penny@unityme.org

Watching the snow come down and the birds hurriedly feeding. I bought the squirrels a corn block and the turkeys have discovered it; it keeps the cats entertained from their inside perches.

The 25th consecutive annual Unity Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021. The weather was great with generally balmy and calm conditions and no precipitation. Many watched feeders had few birds and others along observer routes were not provisioned with food. The latter situation may have reflected few birds visiting in fall and early winter (resulting in feeder “apathy”), or financial concerns because the price of sunflower seeds nearly doubled since last winter.

Many observers also commented on a lack of birds in the field. Climate change has enabled red-bellied woodpecker, tufted titmouse and bluebird to expand their winter ranges northward resulting in record high counts. Bluebirds were never even recorded on the Unity CBC until 2015. A pair of lesser scaup was found by the Grassi team at Freedom Pond, and a ring-necked duck lingering in 25 Mile Stream was tracked down by Greg LeClair and Sammy Grimaldi. Both ducks had only been recorded as CW birds one time.

Other cool finds that had only been found once or twice on past counts were a mockingbird at Unity College, a kestrel and flicker in Burnham, and an adult glaucous gull at Kinney Compost in Knox. Mammals recorded were unremarkable other than two rarely recorded species found at the same feeder in Unity by me, a flying squirrel and an opossum. The latter southern emigrant is yet another reminder of how fast our climate is warming.

Nomination papers for one position for municipal officer (selectman) are available at the Town Office. This is a three-year term. Must be a Unity resident over the age of 18. Deadline for return is Jan. 27.

Don’t forget your dog licenses! We’re in the “grace period” now; late fees of $25 per dog start on Feb. 1.

Another new service in town! EO Skin is located at Kalaa Does Hair at the train depot. They are offering custom facials, body treatments, facial/body waxing, brow/lash treatments and spray tanning. FMI:  716-7420.

Wondering what you can do with that Christmas tree that’s drying out? Drop it off with Maine TradeHers, 956 Albion Road in Unity, and then go to the bonfire! They will be collecting your bare Christmas trees from now right up until Jan. 22. From 3 to 7 p.m. on the 22nd, say hello to your friends and neighbors, grab some coffee or cocoa, listen to music, shop with local vendors, and have some tasty, locally made snacks and treats! Stone Tree Farm & Cidery will be holding a wine tasting inside the store, so you can sample delicious wines, too!

As you know, due to arson, the Unity United Methodist Church burned a year ago in December 2020. They have been cleared to rebuild. You can donate by sending a check to Unity Union Church, P.O. Box 146, Unity, ME 04988. Mark your check for restoration, please.

 

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