Sometimes a miss is a good thing, especially when it’s a Hawk that misses you

Beautiful day here in NS…sunny and 60, which I’m told is partly because of that stormy weather that’s creating quite a fuss along the Eastern Seaboard and we will most likely get touched by her this coming week.  Anyway, while sitting on the front porch steps, watching the Sharpie make countless attacks at the Jays, it decided that it needed a new target.  I watched it leave its perch in the Pine tree and instead of going after a Jay, it headed straight towards me….coming within a foot or so of my face before swooping up and away.  What in the world was it thinking?  This all happened within seconds and I almost had no time to think….it was quite scary! 

Congratulations DaLo on reaching 19 birds….surely you’ll reach the 200 mark before the year is out.  We’ve been in Levy and Dixie Counties, but I don’t recall if we went through any others when we went to the Suwanee State Park this past April….it’s up near the Georgia border, on the north side of I-10.

Speaking of Hawks, when I went outside to enjoy the weather, I scared a Northern Goshawk that was sitting in one of the Spruce trees in the front yard.  It was then that I noticed that there were absolutely no birds in the yard, testament to the fact that they know enough to hide when one of these Hawks is around.  Unlike the immature Sharpie, this one wouldn’t be practicing.  Earlier, I had scattered more cracked corn on the ground for the five Black Ducks, but had they walked up the hill from the river, they would have been quite literally sitting ducks for the Goshawk.  Shortly after it left the area, the Jays slowly returned to the feeders and the Sharpie continued its attacks on them and included me, too.  When I went back inside, the Ducks came up to eat the corn and so did one Crow.  There’s never a dull moment around the yard these days.

Congrulations, DaLo, on your 196th bird….you should have no trouble at all reaching 200 before year’s end.  I have been in Dixie and Levy counties, although when we went to Suwanee River State Park near the Georgia border this past April, after passing through Pasco and Hernando, we may have gone through more counties but I don’t recall any of them.  I’ve never counted the number of counties I’ve been in…..from Jacksonville to the Everglades, all along the southern portion and up the west coast to the Panhandle, and several inland places.  It’s a very big state!

Wow!  Terry just alerted me to a Brown Creeper working the trees in the backyard….I tried to get a picture, but this birds climbs up trees so quickly and is difficult to find as its colors blend with the tree trunks.  I went outside to try again, took a couple of pictures of a bird hopping around the branches…not the behavior of a Creeper, so when I checked my image, it wasn’t the Creeper at all.  My pictures were blurry, but it was easy to see that the bird had yellow feet, was tiny with two wing bars and olive green in color….a Ruby-crowned Kinglet…..as I said, never a dull moment around the yard and I think that ups my bird count to 183…and here I thought there would be no new birds around the yard this year.  Well, I’ve seen these two before, but they’re new for this year. 

As SLB mentioned, the title of the Whooping Crane article was really misleading…..someone should have edited that title.  I also wondered how #10 broke its femur, especially since it wasn’t the same bird that landed and had to be rounded up.  The only other information was that the other birds were still flying.  It was very sad to hear about the loss of one bird, since there are so few of them.  The dedication of the people who work with these birds is amazing.  They are to be commended for the efforts they make to maintain the species at a great cost of time and money.  There is a place to leave comments on their website, so perhaps we could ask what happened….surely that wouldn’t be inappropriate….what do you think, DaLo?

Jenn, congratulations on finding a job and for running the race.  I hope the job works into a full-time one or perhaps leads to to another that is full-time….either way, I’m sure you’re quite happy and I would assume this is your field of interest.  As far as the race, I don’t quite understand what a 13.1 race is….is that kilometers or miles?  Forgive me, but I know nothing about running, unless it’s trying to run after a bus that has just pulled away from the station…or would that be a sprint?  I join the others in hoping your area didn’t suffer any damage from Miss Sandy.  Your story about playing “mom” to those baby Crows was amusing, especially with the one who was very particular about how it was fed.  So, what’s with the mystery bird and the flock of birds…haven’t checked WBIT? to see if you’ve posted new photos there and I think we all love a mystery, so fire away.

Your odd ducks, DaLo, are quite pretty….the one with the purple sheen has the curly tail of a Mallard, although it’s not curled enough to be a Mallard.  Too much interbreeding among the Mallards.  Isn’t there a concern that the Florida Duck will disappear because of interbreeding?  Of course, we humans cannot put a stop to it…they answer the call of nature and it’s any old port in a storm.

SLB, your comment about having evenings but no Evening Grosbeaks made me laugh….guess I have to wonder why we don’t have Pine Warblers or Pine Grosbeaks here since we have lots of Pines around the yard.  🙂  What we do have in great numbers are Red-breasted Nuthatches and Black-capped Chickadees, two of the friendliest little birds you’d ever want to meet.  When I went outside to look for the Brown Creeper, the Nuthatches and Chickadees were at the feeders hanging from the roof overhang.  They barely moved as I walked past them, completely unafraid, chattering away, each grabbing a sunflower seed and hurrying off to either stash it in a crevice of a tree, which is what the Nuthatches do, or hold it between their feet, peck at the shell until they get to the seed, which is what the Chickadees do, although they do stash food away for future use.  As I stood outside near the feeders, they flew past or around me to get at the seeds.  Two of my favorite birds, and I would love to see either or both extend their range into Florida.  Even the Carolina Chickadee’s range doesn’t get as far south as our backyard in FL.  

One more note….gas prices….we went to the drug store yesterday and I noticed that the price of gas had gone down my 10 cents since a week or so….from $1.31/liter to $1.21….although even that is totally outrageous.  Surely the election in the US has nothing to do with here, but it is a world-wide commodity….who knows?  I’m definitely not complaining!

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