Being a "birder" I had high hopes of seeing a considerable higher number and variety of birds out here in the country, particularly since we are surrounded by such a diverse habitat and number of natural features including the creek and pasture. We hadn't lived here long before I put out our feeder and suet....and it wasn't long before I realized I had under budgeted for feeding fowl.
But this aspect of country living hasn't failed to entertain. The second week here we saw a Golden Crowned Kinglet (I had never seen one before). And soon we began to see a wide variety in high numbers. Brown Creepers to all species of woodpeckers including a pair of Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, and lately a number of different sparrows including a pair of Fox Sparrows have made their way here. We've had turkeys with their tail feathers spread out in the field and a Great Horned Owl keeping watch along the road. Pheobes sit on fence posts and Mallards swim in the creek. And on Saturday we welcomed the barn swallows back, who take up nesting in the lower level of the barn. We typically had about 15 different bird species in town-out here it's been running over 25....only the House Sparrow is absent (thank God).
But that's not the only wildlife. Last night the raccoons were active again (I saw one make its way into the chicken coop), the frogs were hopping into the creek while we hunted for morels, a large coyote sauntered across the pasture early Sunday morning and we have on average 8-20 deer either in the field or pasture each morning. There also seem to be a handful of bats hanging out in the barn-much larger than our city-nemesis friends that found their way into our house each summer.
This weekend I spent two hours mowing (hmmm.....doubled my mowing time, but multiplied my lawn by 20x), a short time sticking donated plant starts in the ground and blazed a trail (or improved a deer trail) along the creek through the woods while looking for mushrooms. We're still waiting to set off the bonfire from Spring Break stick pick-up.
Blessed? You better believe it. And while the house remains unfinished, the dog fence is a bit shabby, and landscaping is non-existent......we're enjoying life here at Sycamore Hill.