Spent three hours at the refuge yesterday morning. It was cold, windy, and
cloudy. Little birds were very quiet. For the first time all winter there
was a good number of duck species though. I had eleven species with all but
one being in the four corners pond.
The oddest thing was that on that whole huge refuge I saw only two
blackbirds, and those were Rusty Blackbirds. So weird. No grackles, no
Red-winged Blackbirds. Nothing.
So many dead trees there now. Areas that used to be dark, heavily wooded
wetlands are disappearing quickly. The trees are breaking and falling to
the ground. There will fewer places for Prothonotary Warblers and
woodpeckers to nest. Less cover for lots of animals. The 2019 flood, two
hard freezes in 2021 and 2023, and a drought in 2022 have done the damage.
Feral hogs seemingly cannot be controlled. The look of Sequoyah isn’t the
same. It saddens me greatly.