So, let’s start with lifers.  Firstly, may I be the miserable beggar who points out that I’m pretty certain that SLB’s Hairy Woodpecker, um, isn’t.  I’m pretty confident (I’m sorry to say) that the bird pictured is a Downy.  If you look at the tail feathers you’ll see that there are side-bars which is a dead giveaway for Downy and not a Hairy WP feature.  Sorry.


Moving swiftly on.  I got a lifer today.  My first Veery.  After seeing it (3 of them) I checked eBird and found several other people in the area were reporting them over the weekend (one at the same location) so that’s an extra piece of confirmation.  Also, the other report said there were three of them, so I probably saw the actual same three birds.

As for the Mantis, yes, I was saying this is my first EVER sighting of one.  I’m very into bugs and creepy-crawlies, so it’s not a case that I didn’t spot them before.  I’m always coming home with a flash-drive full of images of a ‘new’ insect and then going to BugGuide to see that it’s a Wheelbug or Walking Stick Bug.  However, there’s more to the story now.  I’m not sure if I wrote this (or just told my wife) but it ran up to my boot and vanished, and I was concerned that it had climbed onto me (not that I was scared, simply that I didn’t want to take it out of its habitat or worse, squish it as I walked or sat).  After a thorough but careful search I concluded it was NOT on me and drove home.  Now comes part two.  After 3.1 inches of rain this afternoon, my wife said “take the car” so I drove to the local Botanical Garden and was only there for 20 minutes when the lady decided to close up early due to the fact that everywhere was soaked.  As I got back into the car, I spotted the mantis walking up the side of the door speaker to say hello!  So, I drove to WWP and returned him to the exact spot I found him yesterday (or at least the nearest tree).  He was a lot more energetic this afternoon and opened his ‘arms’ to reveal a bright red inner ‘arm’ that was on Google, but not obvious on him last night.  He also seemed very keen on running up my arm and it took some doing to get him onto a tree.  I wasn’t sure why he suddenly wanted to be on my skin, but as I was wearing bug-spray I thought it best he didn’t get to climb onto my bare arm (OK, so I was a wee bit nervous too).  Here he is as I stopped at some traffic lights…


As for the birds today.  Well, I heard (but again failed to see) the Gray Catbird.  That’s now three days in a row.  I ‘accidentally’ saw a Yellow-throated Warbler and later, two Bald Eagles came over together, had what I presume was a “play” fight in mid-air and then flew off in different directions.  28 species (of bird) all told this evening (at WWP) so nothing legendary, but nothing to sniff at either.  OK, I think that’s all my news for Tuesday.

Oh wait!  SLB, my admin bar vanished again today but I clicked on “me” and it asked me to confirm I was me and then gave me back the bar, so I think my status as being logged-in timed-out.  So now I know how to get it back when it vanishes again (which it also did on WBIT? at the same time).


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