Saturday, August 07, 2004

Backyard News

Friday, while mowing the backyard, I saw a grasshopper fly ahead of me and drop onto the lawn. As I drove the mower closer to the spot where it landed, a Summer Tanager flew into the yard. A moment later I flushed the grasshopper, and the tanager followed in fast pursuit, catching it in mid-air. I've seen Cattle Egrets following mowers, but this is the first time I've seen a songbird get an assist from one.

Exterminating fire ants is like playing whack-a-mole. Elliminate one mound, and another pops up somewhere else. Spectracide works, but it's a short term fix. Got a few ant bites the other day while pulling weeds - I disturbed a colony and didn't notice until they were biting my hand.

Been doing some birding and oding (dragonflying) within the limited universe of my backyard. On July 30th I saw 3 Anhingas and a Great Blue Skimmer (the latter is a new one for my od list). Eastern Pondhawk is the most abundant of the dragonfly species that I see around our little pond. This summer the water's surface is green with waterlilies and algae; lately a Great Egret has been prowling the edge. Only other recent bird of note is Brown-headed Nuthatch, seen here on July 30 & 31.


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