The quiet of winter begins to descend on the farm through November. In the final week, we only observed 19 different bird species, mostly those that will be with us throughout the winter. I’ll likely be making very few changes to the list below for December. The coyotes continue to be quite active, with one neighbor saying it’s the most populous coyote year they can remember in 30+ years here. I suspect that plays a role in:
Hunting season was a bust for me this year. I saw nothing for the first week, then on day 8 saw three in two different locations, but all moving fast and screened by brush. Since then we’ve been too busy with farm work, Thanksgiving, pig slaughter, and more to justify any more hunting time. A friend hunting here did take a button buck, which made us all happy. We kept the hide, tongue, and liver, all of which we use but he didn’t. We’re not alone in missing a deer this year; the Kansas City Star reports that deer harvest in Missouri has been declining for several years now, with this year’s harvest down 45,000 animals from five years ago. We’ve certainly seen plenty throughout the year, but the short legal hunting season doesn’t always correlate with the best time for a farm like ours to actually hunt deer, so it didn’t work out this time. That’s life, and the 200+ lb of pork we butchered last week will make up for it.
The rainfall tap finally reopened, giving us a welcome 4.43″ over the month, the most we’ve recorded since May (October totalled 0.60″). It’s too little too late for most crops, but still beneficial to our pastures and wildlife. Overall November was a quite pleasant month, with stable weather gently cooling off into winter, and no major storms or disruptions. I love this form of Missouri autumn, the long tranquil arrival of winter that makes us deeply happy to be able to work outdoors.
NEW IN NOVEMBER (2 species, some observed earlier this year but not in October)
Great Horned Owl
PRESENT IN NOVEMBER (26 species)
Snow Goose (in migration over farm)
Turkey Vulture (a rare late one on 11/15; they winter south of here)
MISSING/UNOBSERVED SINCE OCTOBER (16 species)
Great Blue Heron
Sharp-Shinned Hawk (likely ID but not certain)
Cooper’s Hawk (likely ID but not certain)
Finch, either Purple or House (couldn’t ID for certain)
Black-Throated Green Warbler