Saturday, March 27, 2010

Farm and Garden Weekly - week of March 21

Borrowing from Garrison Keillor, it's been a quiet week at Windy Poplars Farm. No farm animal exploits to report on. Nothing happening in the garden.

Monday, March 22 I heard the woodcock for the first time this spring. The holy bird trio have now all arrived. I haven't heard the redwing, but Tom is quite sure he did one morning. They aren't regular visitors to our land anyway since I think they like wetter areas. We see and hear them only occasionally here.

We had a little snowfall to begin the week, but it never landed, and by afternoon the sun was out again. Tuesday night into Wednesday morning we got maybe an inch of snow. Wednesday was cool and cloudy so it stayed on the lawns, though not the road. And then that melted too. The temps have been cool and there's been March wind, but sunny and bright.

Today there was a bird on the wire outside the laundry room that we have never seen before. The bird book description makes us think it is a kestrel. So exciting! It used to be known as a Sparrow Hawk because, sadly, it likes to eat one of my favorite little birds.


  1. It sounds like your Farm is just waiting for some warmer weather to spring out. Redwings come to our feeders if you can believe it. They wheeze and sing. They are very skittish. Wow to have a Kesteral in your garden is great. They also eat mice, grasshoppers etc.

  2. Great and interesting post again Nan! I just have to tell you that I LOVE your gets me excited just to see those pretty!
    I purchased some yellow ones yesterday and enjoy their bright and friendly cheerful company!
    Thanks again,

  3. Hi Nan: This afternoon as I was out taking some photographs, I was thinking of you. I thought it must be time for your farm update. This is a very interesting idea, you've certainly caught my interest. I look forward to many more through the seasons.

  4. I've never seen a bird like that - very exciting. The ice went off the lake this week. It's a process that usually takes 2 or 3 days, but this year it all happened in 24 hours. I need to change my header again...

  5. What a lovely little hawk! Poor little sparrows, but isn't nature wonderful that she matches predators and prey so well. Different sizes for different niches.

    Also your visitor reminds me of Arthur's visit to the mews in The Once and Future King. A great scene in a great book. Perhaps you have read it?

  6. The weather was cold here too in Michigan. The weather report is for 70's by the end of the week!! My son, his friend, and I had to capture a small kestral which had a broken wing. We took it to a Vet that rehabilitates wild animals. They're awesome little birds!

  7. I enjoyed this post, Nan! Years back and ornithologist friend used to have a Woodcock/spring party where we'd all quietly walk to a gorge where we could hear the woodcock's tune at dusk. Fun memories! Seeing the photo of the kestrel was really neat!! (Even if they do eat sparrows). We are enjoying the hungry birds at our feeder. My favorites are the juncos! So cute.

  8. It does indeed look like a kestrel! They are not an uncommon sight here in my part of the planet, but people tend not to notice them, or take them for young buzzards (because they are considerably smaller than those).

  9. Great photo! Definitely a kestrel. Another name for them is "killy hawk" which I believe comes from their high-pitched call. They're such elegant, pretty little birds. Though they will take small songbirds, their favourite foods are actually small rodents and large insects (big, juicy grasshoppers are a favourite). We see these sitting on the wires near fields a lot around here, and my grandmother has a nesting pair in her silo every year. Enjoy your visitor!

  10. Yes I think it is an American Kestrel it's the same as ours here in Europe.Ours tend to be big mouse and vole eaters, you can often see them hovering trying to spy little things in the grass!
    Your robins are much bigger than ours here, ours are tiny and cheeky and very tame in our gardens.I hope you get warmer weather soon and lots of sunshine. We all need it so much after the winter.

  11. Glad your week at the farm was a quiet one. After last week's animal episodes it's probably good to have an uneventful one this week. Love the picture of the sparrow hawk!

  12. I clicked on "Garrison Keillor" yesterday on this post because I hadn't visited his site in a long time, and there was info. on his show featuring The Wailin' Jennys, one of my favorite groups. I looked at the clock, and his show was to start in 10 minutes - I tuned in to hear them perform. Funny how this kind of thing happens! Thanks, Nan!

  13. Gorgeous header and post pics. Love the donkey avatar too, I am a fan of donkeys.

  14. The kestrel has pretty markings! I've never seen one before.

    Love, love, love your new header!!! Gorgeous tulips, my dear!

    No snow here for a bit now. Lots of sunshine and warmer temps. We'll be in the 70s this week. :)

  15. Lisa, I love the look of redwings -that flash of red and yellow is gorgeous and always a surprise to me. I wonder if the kestrel will ever return. So often a bird will drop by for just a while. Others are the northern oriole and the bluebird. They make a short appearance and move along.

    Joanne, they are so cheery aren't they? I love the yellow edges. The bin at the grocery store was filled with every color tulip imaginable. I'd like to have bought them all!

    Donna, what a nice thing-that you thought of me like that. Thank you!

    JoAnn, there are lakes around us that have contests about when the ice goes out. Does yours? Such an interesting life living near water like that.

    J. G., now if there could just be a predator for ladybugs! If you don't know why I wish such a thing, you may read:


    I have read the book, but a long, long time ago. I should read it again. Thanks for the reminder.

    Staci, did the vet keep it until it could fly again? We have a bird rehabilitator around here too. She had to take classes and get licensed. 70s, eh? I can't imagine. This morning it is in the forties with a cold rain. But it is greening up the grass and bringing those flowers so I won't complain!

    Nan, I just have to remember to go outside as it gets dark. I heard the sweet sound last night. I so love that bird. Great story! I'm very fond of juncos too. Love that color. We've still got a lot of visitors too. It's cold.

    Librarian, we don't have buzzards. Isn't that an awful word?

    Kiirstin, thank you for all the info. I'd love to see your grandmother's nesting pair. What a treat!

    K, I don't think ours is eating the rodents - you should see the molehills! I may feature them in next Saturday's Weekly. I have read about and seen pictures of the robins over there. You're so right - they are very different.

    Sherri, that's right! I hope the bird returns.

    Alison, that is simply amazing! I love it!

    Cait, thanks! Me, too.

    Les, yes, the markings are beautiful! Thanks about the tulips. I have way too much fun with this blog. :<)


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