Our Red Shouldered Hawks appeared on schedule this week to our Clayton property as well as at the Lanark Farm. These birds are philopatric, meaning they will return and nest in the same area year after year. Prime habitat is old/mature hardwood forest with high crowns.
The Derecho damage at the farm occurred in the vicinity of one of the traditional nesting sites so we will see if this disturbance affects where the hawks eventually settle. The hawks have a characteristic cry and can be regularly seen and heard circling above the woods.
I have seen the first bluebirds perched on the wires along the roadway. They regularly use the nesting boxes around the neighbourhood, including a couple at the farm. We’ll watch to see when they set up shop.
On Wednesday morning, large flocks of migrating Canada geese were passing high overhead. Geese leave the wintering grounds along the Atlantic coast and head north to breeding areas as ice melts and food sources become available. These flocks were heading east – likely in search of open water and food as the lands further north remain ice and snow bound.
There are plenty of robins, turkey vultures, grackles, and blackbirds about and we have also seen sandhill cranes and blue herons. The sun is getting stronger and the snow continues to recede. The birds are telling us that warmer weather is coming!
We experienced the heaviest sap flows to this point in the season on Tuesday and Wednesday and were busy making amber grade syrup. The winds and snow squalls on Wednesday evening were dramatic and a few branches came down on pipelines requiring inspection and repairs.
Looking at the forecast, it looks like the sap will be running well. We are open daily from 10 to 4 with our trails, Shanty Men and Kettle Boys all operating. There is still plenty of snow in the woods, so we recommend people wear winter footwear and dress accordingly. We are celebrating Maple Weekend as well.