Friday, February 20, 2009


I am patiently...waiting and hoping no one chooses BORED or CONFUSED as their reaction to this Hudson River Birder.
And so...let me tell you, in order about some of the "critters" we have on our Esopus land here looking right up the Hudson to the Esopus Lighthouse, which is on a diagonal from our main building or Norrie's Yacht Basin which is straight across the Hudson from us. Esopus Island is on a diagonal about southeast of us.
1. ALPHIE: is Fr. Gene's nearly eight month old female Black Labrador. She probably knows our property better than any of us. She now knows what a possum is and that they are not good to eat. She has seen but wisely not chased our herd of wild turkeys. And she has had at least two "uncomfortable encounters with......our
2. ALBINO SKUNK: Yes, there are albino skunks. (There is even a quite famous "albino squirrel" over in Tillson which has not been seen recently. The snow might have something to do with this.... )Our albino skunk, after these two encounters has not succeeded in convincing Alphie that skunks are not nice to "hang around with". Well, hopefully Alphie will learn as we all do.
3. JUNCOS: Juncos are birds that are like "little maitre des" They seem to get a nicer darker coat as winter wears on...or "wears out". And their neat white chest sometimes looks like a swell tuxedo to me. During my morning walk they flitter from bush to bush just ahead of me. The Eastern Bluebirds and Tufted Titmouses (Titmice???) as well as the ever present Black Capped Chickadees, and White Breasted Nuthatches "hang out" with them.
4. OUR EAGLE FAMILY: About three years ago an Audubon person from across the river spotted nesting eagles on our property. He has tagged some of the hatched eagletts and protected the nest also for which we (and the eagles) are very grateful.
5. BRO. CHARLIE'S WOOD DUCK HOUSE: Two of our largest ponds left over from the Pell Estate era in the last century have been host to, well, of course our "over eager beavers" who have damned them and damned them again. But many migrating ducks including Woodducks have "passed through". Our now deceased Bro. Charlie Summers constructed a very good Woodduck Nesting House and placed it at what we considered the proper distance from the pond, the proper height (about 10 feet) and with the entrance facing "away" from the pond. I have snowshoed many times up past it on route to the old Pell Barn (now fallen) and the little old cemetery that has graves of people born as early as 1732. But so far I don't think any wooducks have checked in. (Maybe this has something to do with the housing market.)

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