17.01 | Nature Notes (Jan 1-7)

Photo of American Robin
American Robin | Biddeford, ME | 5 Jan 2017

Highlights of the Week

On New Year's Day, I witnessed an early morning movement of 175+ American Robins in Kennebunkport; elsewhere I encountered flocks feasting on the fruits of Winterberry and Crab Apple.

I located an active North American Porcupine den in a large, partially hollow Northern Red Oak. In addition to hearing sounds from the creature, I noted fresh scat and a white quill near the cavity entrance.

I've seen two species of warblers so far this year: a rare Orange-crowned Warbler, who's been feeding in the wrack line at Pond Cove in Cape Elizabeth since 23 Dec 2016, and a small number of Yellow-rumped Warblers, who regularly overwinter at select coastal sites.

Wild Edible of the Week

On Saturday, I gathered two dozen Common Periwinkles during the midday low tide. At home, I rinsed them off, boiled them in water for 2 or 3 minutes, drained the water, and one-by-one removed them from their shells with a pin and ate them. Delicious!

Nature Challenge of the Week (for you, the reader)

In your travels this week, locate at least three trees/shrubs currently holding red fruit. If you already know of three such plants, then check on them this week to see if any wildlife are feeding on them.


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