Well, the Johnson's house really.
|A walk in the woods.|
Watch out for deer ticks though.
The bird shop is owned and run by a serious birding couple called Jeanette and Derek Lovitch. Their store is very like an RSPB shop in the UK; stuffed with binoculars, books, gizmos and bird feeders, but the big attraction for us is the array of feeding stations outside. We always see a good selection of American garden birds there and this visit was no exception. In the space of five minutes we saw mourning doves, chickadees, tufted titmice, goldfinches, house sparrows and a hairy woodpecker.
I was foolish enough to mention squirrels to Derek so he gave me quite a lecture about using proper baffles and other techniques to avoid having squirrels on the feeders. "I absolutely never have squirrels on my feeders" he told me. This wasn't just a sales-pitch so he could flog me a load of baffles and poles, but also a bit of a put-down. I thought he meant, "You Brits must be really dumb to let squirrels on your feeders. We don't allow it here. Shape up!"
|Chippies store food for the winter.|
This one seems to have such full cheeks I call him Dizzy
(after the jazz trumpet player.)
|Groundhogs do not store food; they just eat it.|
"Grease? If a bird gets any oily substance on its feathers it will die of hypothermia. You have to stop."
We always set up feeding stations at our holiday homes. In Florida our bird table attracted nothing but a sandhill crane but in Maine we have been lucky with flying squirrels, nuthatches and chickadees. That was two years ago; this year we have had severe thunder-storms and a deluge of rain. Feathered birds and furry mammals generally hate to come out in the wet. The exception seems to be porcupines.
Our house lies at the end of a long, rocky neck called Howard's Point where no hunting is allowed. The track winds past three other remote houses and is hemmed in by woods. On our first evening we saw skunks, raccoons and a white tailed deer. At the house, a plaintive cry led us to a baby porcupine who was left under our porch while his mum ran away across the lawn.
After the rain the roads were awash. We even saw a snake swimming across the black-top and then, after dark, we saw thousands of frogs in the roads. Our best sighting was a screech owl that snatched a frog off the carriageway by the light of our headlamps.
So far my feeders have attracted nothing, but the porcupines have made a good start on the vitamin lick.