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Let me put a positive Randolph Center spin on things.  I have never  
seen so many baby birds in our time up here!

We had never had a titmouse save for perhaps one visit per year and  
this year we have a bevy of young ones twittering about; our  
occasional cardinal pair raised a family here for the first time;  
starlings, redwings, grackles all darkened the ground for weeks with  
their many, many children; the blue jay parents were in huge numbers  
all season and they raised lots of noisy guys; our three tree swallow  
pairs raised among them at least five sets of nestlings; the bluebird  
pair came very late and successfully raised a family; the hummers  
were abundant and finally left on September 9th; we had at least  
three pairs of common yellowthroats to our usual one; there are lots  
of baby woodpeckers - downy, hairy, plus some noisy yellow bellied  
sapsuckers; we hosted a gezillion baby rose-breasteds; and right now  
three gezillion goldfinches, six or eight of them hanging on a feeder  
at a time (x 9 feeders).  Whereas we usually had one pair of indigo  
buntings, house wrens, purple finches, and hermit thrushes, this year  
there were at least two pairs.  Our turkey hens had a successful  
season as well, as we see them with a large flock of youngsters in  
the fields.  Chickadees abound. As for sparrows, we have had all our  
usuals: tree, white throated, English (!), fox, chipping, field,  
white crowned, and song, plus the weird siting of a swamp sparrow on  
our front walk, as reported in the Digest in August.

We all know that birds are in distress now because of, among other  
things, diminishing habitats on both ends of the journey, but at  
least here at Penny Brook Farm, it's been a fecund season, which  
gives us hope.  (And P.S. - there were at least five or six bats  
living all season in our barn and they are still there as of yesterday).
Janet Watton
Randolph Center