This was the annual October Big Day for birdwatching. The morning was cloudy and cool (more like dreary). I first went to the Sourland Mountain Preserve. There were no Canada geese in the pond, so I hiked up the pipeline path. Lots of noisy Blue Jays. A Northern Flicker up in a tree. Some other small birds high up in the canopy that I wasn’t able to get pictures or identify. On the way back down to the pond, I got an image of a female (or immature) Eastern Towhee. When I got to the pond a Great Blue Heron flew to the other side of the pond. Several Turkey Vultures were also soaring over the preserve.
I then went to the local weekly Farmers Market in the parking lot of Village Shopper III in Rocky Hill. I was surprised to see two Black Vultures watching over the market from the roof of one of the stores.
The only birds I observed visiting my birdfeeder during the day were House Finches. I then went for a bike ride to look for other birds in the neighborhood. I did observe a flock of Canada Geese flying in a loose formation. Also, a Chipping Sparrow on a telecommunication cable.
Birds of the day. Great Blue Heron, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, House Finch, Chipping Sparrow, Eastern Towhee.
While out looking for birds I also took pictures of the late season wildflowers in the area. Because it wasn’t very bright out some of the images are noisy. At the Sourland Mountain Preserve: Eastern Daisy Fleabane, Honeysuckle, and Lance Leaf Coreopsis. While on the bike ride Knapweed and Yellow Toadflax (Wild Snapdragon).
Little planet time-lapse video of the bike ride taken with a Garmin VIRB-360 camera. Note: you can expand the video to full screen, and I added some piano music by John Matthew Rosenberg recorded on my last Semester at Sea voyage back in 2016.
Daily Electric Energy Used (42.4 kWh) from Sense. Daily Solar Electric Energy Produced (15.4 kWh) from Sense and SolSystems. Cloudy. Deficit of 27.0 kWh.
While cleaning the patio and getting the Grow Towers ready for the Ison’s Strawberry plugs, I harvested potatoes, carrots, and hot peppers. I wasn’t expecting any potatoes as the Raccoon’s already dug many out of the Grow Bags.
I found a very large and hungry Tomato Hornworm caterpillar eating the potato plant. Unlike the Tomato Hornworm I found last year that had been infected by wasp eggs, this one looked healthy. After taking the pictures of this alien looking vegetarian, I put it up on the birdfeeder. Some lucky bird, got a big meal.
Flowers of the day: Chinese Forget Me Not, Cosmos, Plains Coreopsis. These are in a back section of wildflowers that I planted late in the summer. Because they were planted late, I wasn’t sure if I would get flowers. The plants are only about a foot high, and I am fighting to keep the deer out of the section. Another section planted about the same time with Marigold and Zinnia is not doing as well. Only 4 inches high, and no flowers.