Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble

7 June, 2015                   Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble

 When you begin a project called Every living thing, you learn a lot. This week I’m learning humility! Along with other stuff. This week I learned how to tell swifts from swallows:

Swifts v. Swallows:

Swifts v. Swallows:

The humility comes when another example occurs of how much stuff there is at Pony Pasture. Because consider this example I’ve pondered lately. Honeybees have mites. Think how small those must be. Living things that size are at Pony Pasture. But I’ve not yet managed to photograph any.

I did add a new bird this week! The picture is not brilliant but I know what it is. This is a Tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor):

My first Tree swallow

My first Tree swallow

Here’s another view – same bird – facing the camera: 

Same first Tree swallow, this time looking at the camera

Same first Tree swallow, this time looking at the camera

That’s my only positive ID – and it’s not a terrific picture. But it’s definitely a Tree swallow. I watched it fly for a long time.

Earlier in the week I got another new bird – but I can’t get a positive ID from the pictures. The light wasn’t good and it was moving a lot. But you can definitely tell this is a pretty little bird. I’ll put in the few crummy photos I took. Maybe a viewer of this blog can ID the bird and let me know. I suspect it’s a warbler or a vireo of some sort.

What first attracted me was the sound. Listen to it here:

Here are a few pictures of the bird. Click them to make them bigger if you think it’ll help you with ID: 

Mystery bird picture #1

Mystery bird picture #1

Mystery bird picture #2

Mystery bird picture #2

 

Mystery bird picture #3

Mystery bird picture #3

That is a tantalizing bird. You can see how appealing that must be. I’ll keep trying!

[[As of Monday morning, June 8, 2015 I’ve had two blog watchers (my friend Kim & one other) guess the above bird is a Yellow-throated warbler (Setophaga dominica). Click on that link and see if you agree; it appears to be correct. I’ll work on getting a better picture. And thank you for your assistance! And have a great day!]]

The hawks have been out all week. Look at this one yelling at one blue jay while another blue jay harasses it from the other side:

The bluejays think the hawk is obnoxious; the hawk thinks the bluejays are obnoxious. I think.

The bluejays think the hawk is obnoxious; the hawk thinks the bluejays are obnoxious. I think.

Here’s the pair – again: 

I'll never get tired of seeing these two.

I’ll never get tired of seeing these two.

Evelyn’s been working hard (and successfully) rehabilitating our yard. Our battered hydrangeas are making a comeback:

Lush hydrangea

Lush hydrangea

We’ve had two little birds fledge in the yard this week. I think they’re both sparrows of some sort. Or finches. One was on the mulch in front of the house while i was cutting the grass:

Uncertain fledgling

Uncertain fledgling

After a few minutes it gathered up its strength and flew past my ear and landed in the red maple in our front yard. A moment later an adult bird flew over for a visit. Another poor picture but nice – both later flew away looking energetic and healthy:

Uncertain fledgling makes it to safety of tree & doting parent

Uncertain fledgling makes it to safety of tree & doting parent

Then when I came home from Pony Pasture today, that bird’s nearly identical twin was sitting on our front steps. It looked a bit dazed and uncertain. I took a few pictures then it gathered its wits (and its energy) and flew off to a more comfortable perch:

Yet another uncertain fledgling, this one on the front walk - and this one flew away too!

Yet another uncertain fledgling, this one on the front walk – and this one flew away too!

Have a great week!

All best,

Jay 

PS Can’t close this post w/o a picture of the dogs – great hike at the river this AM: 

That is three fine looking boys right there- Mackey on the left, then Turner, then Yuki

That is three fine looking boys right there- Mackey on the left, then Turner, then Yuki

 

About Jay McLaughlin

I am a rehabilitation counselor. I have many friends with autism and traumatic brain injuries. They help me learn new things constantly. I hike with dogs at the James River in Richmond - a lot. I've completed an Iron distance triathlon a year for 11 years. My most recent was in Wilmington, NC in November, 2013. I currently compete in mid-distance triathlons. And work and hike and take pictures and write and eat.
This entry was posted in Birds, Dogs, Flowers, Fun, James River, People, Rivers, Smiles (including "dog smiles"!). Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble

  1. My ‘mystery bird’ guess- Yellow-throated warbler

  2. Thank you! My friend Kim made the same guess. So I’m updating the entry – thank you! I’ll keep my eyes (and ears) out next time I’m down there. And hopefully get a better picture. The area was perfect for Yellow-throated warblers, from what I’m reading about them. Thanks again! And have a great day!

    Jay

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