157 Lower Beech Hill Road
Campton, NH 03223
Phoebe's Patience

A Vacation Rental House bordering Plymouth, New Hampshire


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Tracks &


Critter Watch Archive

2012 Critter Watch. Wow! What a year. We had another successful brood of phoebes under the front porch eave. Turkeys were around with broods of chicks. One startled guest was shaving when a moose trotted past the bathroom window! Other guests were lucky to see bears here and there. The blueberry patch is thriving. The wildflower meadow was awesome. Lots of bluebirds.

2011 Critter Watch. This has been a banner year for birding. We have had multiple successful bluebird and tree swallow nests. A hen turkey raised a successful brood of youngsters. Ruffed grouse chicks were spotted with their mother. The phoebes raised four babies under the front porch eave. They all fledged on June 19th. Numerous hermit thrush nests were spotted along the trails up in the woods. A chipping sparrow raised four babies in the weeping larch in front of the house. A renter said that they were lucky enough to see a black bear crossing in the field behind the house.

On a related note, we had peaches and cherries this year on the young fruit trees, and the blueberries are coming on strong! We built two experimental grape arbors during the winter. The wild concord grapes seemed to really appreciate being held up out of the brush and put on lots of grapes. A violent wind storm knocked one of the arbors down in June and all of the grapes were gone when we visited in July. The remaining arbor has tons of grapes that are rapidly developing.

The wildflower "meadow" was quite spectacular this year. Not as many lupines developed as last year, but there was a huge show of ox-eyed daisies coreopsis.

2010 Critter Watch --
March 2010. The black bears came out of winter slumber early this year due to unusually light snow fall and warmer than usual temperatures.
5/14/10 Horned Lark was seen roosting and feeding in field. Bluebirds were nesting. Hummingbird was already out and about. Piliated woodpecker flew over field.
End of May/beginning of June. Lots of nests around fields. In the nest boxes: 3 chickadee, 1 tree swallow, 1 bluebird. Three robin nests in the apple trees. One song sparrow nest and one chipping sparrow nest near the house. Three hermit thrush nests up in the grass on the trails.
A black bear wandered by on the morning of June 2nd.
June 14, 2010. Four phoebes youngsters safely fledged from the front eave nest at 9:15 a.m.
Winter, 2010. Quite a number of turkeys around this winter eating apples.

2009 Critter Watch --
Four phoebes fledged from a nest under the front door eave. Lots of exciting wildlife activity last year including the sighting of a yearling moose in the yard (and lots of moose tracks and scat up in the woods); deer; coyotes singing on several nights; bluebirds, chickadees, and tree swallows nesting in the boxes; red spotted salamander eggs up in the vernal pools; frogs and their tadpoles in pools; red-backed salamander found; lots of snakes; ruffed grouse; turkeys... We put up 7 new bluebird boxes. Had a bumper crop of pumpkins for the deer.

2008 Critter Watch--
January - The deer and coyotes have been making good use of the logging "skid" roads. The animals are traveling around on the roads, and the deer are eating the "slash" thrown onto the roads.
July - One sucessful nest of bluebirds so far with two more on the way. A grouse is sitting on ten eggs and is a fierce guardian! A yearling moose wandered by one morning and spent some time in the apple orchard.
Early fall. We ended up with three successful bluebird clutches. We also were overjoyed to have a mama turkey raise a fine family of five poults. This is the start of a turkey flock on our property!

2007 Critter Watch--
In late April, the Ruffed Grouse, Common Nighthawks, Barred Owls, American Goldfinches, and wild turkeys were all busy finding their mates. The Eastern Phoebes arrived April 28th and were very interested in the same nest they used last year.
At 6:30 a.m. on May 2nd, the first two of the Tree Swallows returned. By 10 a.m. that very same morning, there were at least ten of them flying around the house and already squabbling over the nesting boxes.
May 28th - The phoebe nest was discovered destroyed with three broken eggs. We suspect a weasel or cat was the culprit.
July - Bluebirds are very active this year and have a nest in one of the boxes. We were extremely fortunate to see a black bear checking out the bird houses early one morning (see the photo on the "Critters" page).

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© 2005 Paula Woodward & David Peeler