While waiting for about ten days for it to arrive there was not a single sighting of a goldfinch but within half an hour of the newly hung replacement they started to arrive. I thought perhaps they all had little tiny cell-phones and the message had gone out — “Niger has arrived!”
The new feeder for the woodpeckers was a different matter. I now have a piece of a thick branch into which big round holes have been bored and into which I can put special rounds of suet mix. Within five minutes the Red-bellied (aka Mohawk), Downy and a special treat, the beautiful Flicker with its spotted breast, were there. Alas there has not been another sighting of the stunning Mongolian pheasant. No big tracks in the snow so I know he wasn’t around when I wasn’t looking. I think his luck had finally run out.
Should you be among those who go to the Stop & Shop on Canning Boulevard in Fall River, look up at the big letters over the front of the store and you may see a tiny bird. Believe me – that is our smallest falcon, a Sparrow hawk. My bird guru says there are probably a lot of sparrows in the parking lot. One day he was on the H and yesterday on the first S. If you have your binoculars handy and you are lucky you can see how colorful he is.
Although it was not warm enough to tempt me to stay outside and pick up fallen branches, I did take a stroll to check on my winter flowers. There are pale, mauve pink Hellebores (Christmas Roses) and those tiny fuchsia beaks that I mentioned in December have come through the freezes and snow and are now open – about the size of my thumbnail. The surprises were the thin sheaths of green tipped with white – snow drops getting ready and Pussy Willows, already bursting out of their wrappings. Winter Witch hazel is still not showing nor are “the most fragrant honeysuckle” buds open yet. Alas – the rabbits have girdled my little crab tree and the irritating part is that I had meant to wrap the trunk so that they couldn’t. So if it dies it is all my fault.