Hard to believe that mid-October is here. You know I still have pansies and gladiolus blooming. Mind you there are days when they look a bit tired of the process. Still, it seems that we would usually have seen the end of flowers by now. I hear on the news that this winter could be much colder so these days when it is quite warm are a real bonus.
Lots of sparrows feeding on the ground. They do seem to prefer the mixed seed or fine corn. The juncos are here in great numbers. The Northeast seems to have their fair share as well.
Mark from Dawson Creek was saying he had seen some big flocks of redpolls. Sarah from Fort Nelson has them at her feeder too.
Some of you have sent e-mails about the increased cost of the black oil sunflower seed. Poor weather in the area the seed comes from is the reason. Stock up if you can.
Still so many reports of the Eurasian collared doves. They are now reported in the Dawson Creek area. The question is where do they winter? In this area I know they were still seen during colder times. I am sure if they have a food supply they will survive.
Some of you I know are making your own suet cakes. What kind of fat can be used? You might get some beef trimming from your local meat market. You can used bacon drippings, lard and vegetable shortening.
Marilyn sent this recipe which is easy and flexible. Use one cup lard or rendered beef suet. Add one cup peanut butter, three cups cornmeal, and 1/2 cup flour.
You could add some small seed or ground peanuts. Try different things. If you have the very best suet cake recipe share with the rest of us. Don’t forget, if making the stuff is not for you a gob of peanut butter here and there works or a commercial suet cake is just fine.
A few hawks still around in all areas. The northern Harrier is near here and in the Northeast. Other hawks seen are the northern Goshawk and the red-tailed hawk. The kestrel is still hanging around on telephone wires.
Loons are still here as well as coots, grebes, mallards, and the mergansers. All will leaves soon for southern regions.
Shane says he thinks he has seen white-fronted geese mixed in with the Canada geese. That quite often is the case. Reports of very large flocks of geese have come in from the Vanderhoof area.
Sharon from Fort Nelson is surprised to still have a couple robins eating from her mountain ash tree. The berries are quite mushy and the robins seem to be a bit tipsy. They will head south soon. Have to wait for their hangover to ease.
Had a call this morning about putting the suet mixture in one of those mesh onion bags. I know some have success with that idea. I have found that crows and squirrels make short work of the bags.
Marg in Smithers says she had seen bats a couple weeks ago. I have an idea they must have left this area by now.
The highbush cranberry and wild rosehips are now ready to be picked. A tremendous source of vitamin C. Remember not to eat the inside of the rosehips. Could upset your stomach.
That was a great week for reports. Lots of notes to email@example.com and calls to 250-846-5095.
Brenda Mallory writes For the Birds and Spice of Life.