Winter to Early Spring at Little Piney

Tammy Brown

Cedar Waxwing Finale

As we slip from winter to early spring at Little Piney, there are a few surprises. The Cedar Waxwings are usually gone before the trees leaf out, so I am accustomed to seeing their saucy forms silhouetted with bare branches. But not this year!  This morning a small flock fed and preening in a large elm bright with unfurling leaves. The spring green foliage and glowing yellow and peach birds made a lovely combination.

Cedar Waxwings in Elm Tree

Coming and Going

The winter birds are dwindling in number.  I saw only three American Robins, and a very small flock of Chipping Sparrows.  I was surprised to see lingering two other sparrows–Harris’s, and Lincoln’s. As the Winter birds grow scarce, Spring birds are arriving. The White-eyed Vireo’s are back and singing loudly, but as difficult as ever to see!  I’m fairly sure I saw an Orange-crowned Warbler and heard a Black and White, but need a good sighting to confirm.

Nest Box Babies

Our nest boxes have occupants.

Eastern Bluebird Hatchlings in Nest Box 1


Chickadees Eggs in Nest Box 6


Eastern Bluebird Eggs in Nest Box 7

Bald Eagle Flyover

  I was thrilled to see a Bald Eagle flyover at Little Piney on Friday!

Sunflower Seed Planting

Our friend Steven, (the kind person who pulled our trucks out of the mud last May), came out to show us how to put the discing attachment on the tractor and get us started on some sunflower planting for the birds.

This is the discing attachment weighted with bags of concrete mix.
The roughly disced field.
Steven and Ken
Ken at work

Ken and Athena raking the seed bed

As you can see, the disced soil is not exactly a smooth seed bed.  Preparing the soil for seeds is a hard job.  About a quarter of the disced area is planted with 3/4 left to go!  At least another 2 days work.  I planted some seeds gathered last fall at Little Piney, and Maximillian and Common Sunflower seeds from the Native American Seed Company, my favorite source for seed.