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The 2008 Journal

December

           

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December

           

Mainly it is about the wildlife whose existence around our home follows a somewhat predictable pattern from year to year but still manages to be full of surprises with no outcome  guaranteed. Since the first sighting of Flying squirrels in 1993, we have been fascinated by the variety of the wildlife to be observed and studied right here on our half acre. I have chronicled some of that activity for the last few years in a number of different formats. This year the schema will be simply a page or multiple pages per month. Follow the adventure by selecting each month from the menu.

December

2008 Holiday Greetings

 


December 2 -- Today with the December weather all that it should be, ie cold and snowy, noticed the first inkling of the annual war between the robin masses vs the lone Mockingbird protector of the holly berries. Today with the Robin gang in numbers of only in the 20's or so, the fierce guardian successfully defended his already claimed stash of winter treats. But they will be back and he will ultimately lose.

It is a time for the birds to band together in large flocks and for the last few days, have noticed this band of marauding Starlings sweeping down and into the lawn to feast on an unknown delicacy .


December 10 - Today it was the Robin flocks who made the news with their earliest winter assault on the Holly berries that I have ever witnessed. Noticed the commotion right outside my office window in the same general area as the Starling masses just a few days ago. It was a small flock this time of perhaps 50 or so Robins mauling the hollies and driving the resident Mockingbird crazy trying to protect his quickly diminishing bright red morsel stash. It was of course futile as in all similar assaults with the eventual complete erosion of the once abundant winter supply of - for all to see pure and simple Mockingbird fare.  It is quite amazing to see just how quickly and completely the Robin mob strips them clean.

While still only mid December this will be the last entry for the 2008 wildlife web effort.  In a few days my wife will undergo major surgery which will necessitate a lengthy hospital stay and most likely additional weeks in a rehab facility.  If all goes well we will indeed celebrate our 54th Wedding Anniversary on December 25 in her hospital room. I am hopeful that our life will return to some normalcy before the first nesting attempts begin in the Spring. Not sure if there will be any 2009 edition of the Howpeg journals, and if so what form they will take. This years schema will not be the template for next years effort if any. To my visitors, and especially to my regular visitors, I say many many  thanks for  your continued interest in my wildlife musings and observations over the years and hopefully there will yet be new opportunities for sharing wildlife adventures.

The Feeders are becoming noticeably more busy as the  coming winter days grow shorter and colder . These last pictures are of a bit of that activity.

 

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