Double Whammy!

Thanks, DaLo.  I thought of what you went through with eBird after your European trip, so I now know how frustrating it can be to update your eBird lists.  What I’m curious about is that while I have 181 species, there are 345 ABA Area Total  Ticks….can you tell me what this means?

Our lovely fall weather has ended and we’ve now had a few days of dull, dreary, damp, dismal, dank and drizzly, not to mention overcast weather, although it hasn’t stopped the aerial sorties from not one but two immature Sharpies.  The harassment continues today and starts as soon as the birds start their daily routine.  Just a while ago, I came downstairs and as I looked out the dining room window, I noticed a Blue Jay in the Hydrangea bush which is next to the front porch.  Glancing to the left, just about two feet from the Jay, I noticed another bird….one with stripes on its chest….the Jay flew away first and the Hawk followed soon after.  A little while later, we saw two immature Sharpies flying side by side in the front yard….a double whammy for the Jays.  I saw both Hawks land in the trees in the front yard, waiting for the Jays to return to the front yard so they can continue their harassment.  When the Hawks land, they often cry out….the cry they would make if they were begging for food from their parents….one of our Jays has learned how to mimic this sound, which means they’ve heard it often enough.  We believe that the two Sharpies are siblings, but we’re thankful that their parents aren’t around, because when they are, they won’t be practicing…and the Jays know this and clear out quickly.  Whoops, one of the Sharpies just flew past the computer room window….the harassment continues.  I did manage a fantastic picture of one of them yesterday, as it was kind enough to land on a branch, perhaps 15 feet from where I stood on the front porch, and stayed there while I fired off several shots…..what a nice bird!  NOT!Image

DaLo…what great pictures of the Yellow-throated Warbler….nice going!  Consider yourself lucky to have Hummers around until October…ours depart by mid-September, although we weren’t here this year to see that, and Terry is still saddened by the fact that they won’t be back here until next May.  We plan on going to the Southwest next spring, so we’ll see Hummers there, although they have been known to visit our yard in SCC during the winter, probably those that are migrating north.  Do you not get them at your feeders in either January or February?

I might have to do some research to find out if Hairy WPs have that coloration on their tails.  Whenever I’ve taken pictures of them, they’re propped up against a tree, so underparts are hidden.  Maybe it’s only the babies that have the colored tips.

Wow!  What an unusual looking caterpillar….thanks for posting it!  Did you know that it was the Pipevine Swallowtail or did you find this out after posting it to BAMONA?  I’ve only seen a Pipevine Swallowtail once, when I lived in PA.  Since they’re in FL, it would be nice to see them again and, hopefully, get a decent picture.  I think that when you’re a birder, it just follows that you would also be interested in seeing butterflies as they’re often in the same places, as are dragonflies, another one of my favorite subjects to photograph.

I’m not surprised that your wife would be seeing lots of birds in Virginia, as migration is in full swing, especially where Hawks are concerned.  Right now, I wish we were on Brier Island, which is about a 5-hour drive from us.  There are daily reports of all kinds of birds passing through, including many Hawks.  But, the weather forecast is for rain, rain and more rain, so we’ll stay put.  I doubt very much if any migrants will be passing this way….just the same old birds every day and eventually, even the Sharpies will move on. 

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