Rick Marsi Diary

Following are a collection of sightings and thoughts.

Sightings for July

July Sightings

July 1, 06 – Many birds scolding broad-winged hawk in woods by side of house. Photographed male and female widow skimmers at pond. Observed male common green darner. Found nest of juncos five feet high in juniper by mother’s house. Flapping young sound ready to fledge.

July 1, 07 - Robins are busting out of nest on the house. Every day, their increasing mass forces them father above the nest edge. I photograph Compton tortoiseshell butterfly.  

July 1, 08 - On the river... Several buntings singing. Also a number of warbling vireos. Only one yellow-throated vireo heard. One red-bellied woodpecker calls. Hen common merganser with 11 little ones. Four young hooded mergansers, able to fly, floating along by themselves. Several families of rough-winged swallows. One group perches on dead overhanging branches. Yellow beak linings of fledglings visible. An adult swoops in from the river and feeds one bird on the wing. Five kingfishers within 50 yards of one another. Four spotted sandpipers together. A lot of family action. Discovered kingfisher burrows in high bank. Three holes within ten feet. Many waxwings hawking insects above riffles.

July 1, 09 - Awoke to see one fawn chasing another through the back yard. On the river... Black-billed cuckoo calling from large black willow. Red osier dogwood in flower along bank. On roadsides ... wild parsnip and cow parsnip (huge with purple rounded flower head). Many skipper butterflies feeding on large blooms of red clover. Eight-inch milk snake on driveway. Disappeared into hole in the blacktop.

July 1, 10 - At CV State Park. Photographed painted turtle, kingfisher, Canada lily, black cohosh and several damsel flies. Observed female rose-breasted grosbeak feeding two fledged young. At Upper Lisle, photographed honey bees on milkweed and swamp milkweed, more Canada lilies, horse nettle, nanny berries, tall meadow rue. 

July 1, 11 - Veery singing in lower woods.

July 1, 12 - In woods Susquehanna County, Pa..... Hermit Thrush and Scarlet Tanager singing steadily. Heard single note of Brown Creeper. Jack-in-the-Pulpit with green berries. Red Admiral and Northern Pearly Eye butterflies clinging to thorn apple tree.

July 1, 14 - Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak continues visiting feeder. Young Chipping Sparrows in the yard. 

July 1, 15 - A first here: two Wood Thrushes singing in woods at same time. 11 a.m. One was in dead aspen by our backyard mound garden; the second on the other side of the house by the road.

July 1, 16 - Visited a Great Blue Heron rookery in Susquehanna County, Pa. The young birds were fledged but still perched around their nests. Fifty feet high in large Beech trees on a steep forested slope. In meadow approaching the slope, an Indigo Bunting sang from the top of a half dead crab apple. Many Fritillaries flitting through meadow but not feeding. Photographed a juvenile and adult Barn Swallow perched on pasture gate. Youngster chased after the adult when it took off.

July 1, 17 - Great Crested Flycatcher actively calling. Also heard Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager singing in back woods. First Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly appears, in perfect conjunction with first blooms of coneflowers, which it loves for nectar.

 July 2, 07 - Red admiral butterfly by side of the driveway.

July 2, 08 - Hen wild turkey sighted by side of the road. She was pulling at the the tops of two-foot high grasses there, stripping the seeds. Below her were young turkeys, eating them up. Found two singing black-throated blue warblers in woods with dense undergrowth near Sanitaria Springs. Photographed large clump of jack-o-lantern mushrooms at base of logged stump. Two great looks at scarlet tanagers also. Went from there to Chenango Valley State Park to find singingblackburnian warbler in very tall white oaks. Had great look at hermit thrush on the ground, twitching its tail. Hermit also was singing.

 July 2, 09 - Wood thrush singing in back woods - the only thrush nesting here this summer.

July 2, 10 - Wood thrush singing in back woods! See last year at this date. It sang most of the day. Also for the first time this year, a male oriole appeared in the yard. It scolded a bit, hung around for 10 minutes and departed. White admiral, tiger swallowtail and black swallowtail butterflies flitting through yard.

July 2, 11 - Scarlet tanager and great crested flycatcher heard in upper woods. Juvenile oriole in honeysuckle, with parent nearby. Single musical call notes of juvenile distinctive, as was blackbird-scolding note of adult.

July 2, 12 - Scarlet tanager singing constantly during late morning at friend's woods in Susquehanna County, Pa.

July 2, 15 - Much Robin activity, including a lot of time spent eating honeysuckle berries. Heard the wheep! of Great Crested Flycatcher briefly. Jan spots Brown Creeper creeping up backyard oak tree at 7 p.m. 

July 2, 17 - Brief look at Broad-winged Hawk swooping gracefully upward over the road. Two fritillaries chasing each other. Photographed male Ruby-throated Hummingbird on his favorite perch above the driveway. He drinks from the feeder, and then flies to his look-out. Only the male is coming to our feeders. Female must be hunting bugs for her young.

July 3, 06 – Family of five blue jays at feeder. Young fluttering and begging.

July 3, 07 - Wood thrush singing in back woods at 6:30 a.m. Family of wrens in yard. Young have just fledged. Their gapes are still yellow. They already have the short stiff tails of adults. The band moves about, with everyone uttering the typical wren chattering sound.

July 3, 08 - Two hen turkeys with five young at front of driveway. Young fly across the road - weakly. They are softball-sized. On the river... Clump of Canada lily on bank. Numerous square-stemmed monkey flowers on bank also. Mature bald eagle circles overhead, offering a great view. Juvenile eagle also sighted. Red-winged blackbird attacks bald eagle as it soars high overhead. Doe with three fawns sighted. Baltimore oriole feeding young. At home... northern pearly-eye butterflyat woods edge. Black swallowtail pupa I've been keeping emerges as perfect adult. I photograph on bee balm before it flies away.

July 3, 09 - Juncos have begun building a nest four feet high in clematis vine growing on side of the house. Picked black trumpet mushrooms in same spots they've appeared in previous years.

July 3, 10 - Bluejays have fledged their young. The young birds are constantly squawking for food.

July 3, 12 - Photographed Northern Pearly Eyeand Painted Lady butterflies, drinking sap from gash in Thorn Apple tree - Susquehanna County, Pa. See July 3, 2008 above. Juvenile robin drinking in garden pond. Still spotted but a strong flier. 

July 3, 13 - At overgrown meadow, Upper Lisle... Dozens of Meadow Fritillary butterflies, as well as many Great Spangled Fritillaries and a few Common Wood Nymphs. Tiger Swallowtails flying about near puddle in parking lot. Butterflies nectaring on Wild Parsnip, Clover and the first Black-eyed Susans of summer. Photographed Milkweed, Elderberry, Day Lily, Canada Lily and Angelica.

July 3, 15 - Both Junco and Chipping Sparrow feeding fledged youngsters in back yard. Late morning... Heard pee-eee overhead. Two Broad-winged Hawks soaring high. One dive-bombed the other. On the river... Very high (3 feet on the gauge) and discolored. Many Cedar waxwings hunting insects all along the route. Six clumps of Canada Lily spotted. Many clumps of huge Angelica. Heard one Indigo Bunting singing. Saw three Green herons near bridge at end of trip.

July 3, 17 - Great Crested Flycatcher very close to the house and calling loudly in the morning. First Black Trumpets appearing in upper woods.

July 3, 18 - Ten-spot dragonfly 
appears on cage holding tomatoes on back deck. Uses it as a perch after numerous forays. Don't think I've ever seen this dragonfly here. Gone after one hour.

July 4 – Doe with two fawns. She makes the creaky sound when they stray too far.

July 4, 06 – Carolina wren singing in yard. Heard a wren scolding last evening, but this morning the Carolina is in full form. Found many Horn of Plenty or black trumpet mushrooms under large oaks on bank of stream near fire ring. Photographed them and also a Red Russula. Pair of Broadwings overhead.

July 4, 07 - Male Baltimore oriole appears in yard. Haven't seen or heard one seen one here all spring or summer. It may be attracted by the honeysuckle berries, which are ripe and abundant.

July 4, 08 - Picked some  black trumpet mushrooms in the woods (Craterellus cornucopoides) - very good eating. Good rains this spring and early summer may portend a good mushroom season. A large shelf fungus also has appeared at the base of large white oak at woods edge.

July 4, 09 - At a friend's house in Susquehanna County, Pa.: Indigo bunting and yellowthroat singing in clearing at driveway entrance. Hermit thrushes singing in forested interior. Five adult male rose-breasted grosbeaks at sunflower feeders. Sapsucker drumming loudly.

July 4, 10 - Male cardinal bathing in our small garden pond.

July 4, 11 - Painted Lady butterfly in yard, feeding on flowers of thyme and lavender.

July 4, 12 - Two Painted Ladies nectaring at lavender in yard. See directly above. At 6 a.m., a hen turkey walks through the back yard. It clucks loudly at our cat, perched in an open window, watching it.

July 4, 15 - Another rainy day. June was the second rainiest ever here, with more than 9 inches falling. Great for mushrooms. We have hundreds of Black Trumpets in upper and lower woods.

July 4, 16 - Wood Thrush singing at 9 a.m. below driveway. Has been above the house most of the spring and summer. Eight tiny Leopard Frogs have appeared in garden pond, perhaps due to a spell of dry weather we're having.

July 4, 18 - Junco nest in window box on back deck now contains two eggs. Three Phoebes in the woods above driveway. Must be fledged nestlings from somewhere nearby.

July 5, 06 – Monarda begins blooming. Delphinium very close. Purple clematis at peak. Crimson star clematis just peeking.

July 5, 07 - Broad-winged hawk seen soaring above and in woods by the yard. Painted Lady butterfly nectaring on mint in side yard. Great spangled fritillary doing the same on salvia. Red admiral still hanging around at low end of driveway. Observed hummingbird drinking from five-foot-tall monardas in side garden. Juvenile wrens still in yard.

July 5, 08 - Wood thrush singing in woods above house at first light.

July 5, 09 - Two eggs in junco nest in clematis. One laid yesterday; one today. 

July 5, 10 - Phoebes are actively coming and going from their nest on the house.

July 5, 11 - On the river... Pushed a juvenile bald eagle downriver at least four times. Each time, the bird flew 100 or 200 yards downstream and perched in a riverbank tree. Bird showed quite a bit of white on the head. Observed two green herons and a kingbird. Scarlet Tanager singing in deep hemlock woods. At boat launch, 4-5 tiger swallowtails and one black swallowtail, clustered on hardpan launch area, extracting something from the dirt. At home, chipping sparrow scolding as young birds peeped trees at edge of yard.

July 5, 12 - Pair of broad-winged hawks calling and circling high overhead. See July, 5, 08. Heard Great-crested Flycatcher give one "wheep" call at 8 a.m.Many skipper butterflies on lavender and other flowers. Coneflowers starting to bloom, which will attract many butterflies. 

July 5, 14 - Male Red-bellied Woodpecker at the seed feeder several times today. Tanager singing below the new garage. Female Cardinal at the feeder.

July 5, 15 - Mother fisher and two young came to the edge of the back woods this afternoon. They nosed around a fallen dead tree that Pileated Woodpeckers also have worked on over the years. The young were 2/3 the size of their mother. Female fishers are small. This one looked to weigh under 10 pounds. The three eventually turned back and crossed the pipeline. One briefly climbed a foot or two up the trunk of a large oak. Also, GS Fritillary on coneflowers, which are starting to bloom. A Red Admiral and Pearl Crescent also sighted. Also, a saw a shadow cross the driveway this afternoon. Looking up, I saw a Broad-winged hawk soaring out of the back woods and into the open at treetop level. The bird then climbed and soared directly overhead, only 200 feet or so high. Then it set its wings and zoomed north, disappearing in seconds.

July 5, 16 - YB Sapsucker drumming this morning - near dawn and as late as noon. Female Cardinal arrived at feeder, with her mate right behind.

July 5, 17 - YB Sapsucker drumming just after dawn. Two hen turkeys with 6-7 young at road's edge 1/4 mile down from out house. Fawn and doe meander through the side yard at 7 p.m.

July 5, 18 - We find first Black Trumpet mushrooms of the year on moss in upper woods.

July 6 – Watched wildlife for three hours from deck by bedroom.  Doe with single fawn. Made the creaky sound to let it know it had strayed too far. Hummingbird buzzes the petunias. Robins feeding 3-4 babies. Family of 4-5 juncos flitting about. Family of 3-4 titmice at sunflower. Sapsucker drumming and calling. Indigo bunting singing. Veery and wood thrush. Goldfinch female tearing strands from basketball net for nesting material. Loud turkey clucking in morning. Tom and bearded hen appear later in morning. Leopard frog in pond. Chimney swift overhead. Waxwings in honeysuckle.

July 6, 06 – Chickadee fledglings chasing parents around.

July 6, 07 - Photograph great spangled fritillary. Encounter hen turkey and a dozen tiny youngsters in woods below house. Also spot a ruffed grouse perched on a dead limb in clearing. Hear what I think may be juvenile sharp-shinned hawk in same area.

July 6, 08 - Morning on river at Moore Park. Family of 10 common mergansers, still being shepherded about by mother. Also four young hooded mergansers, on their own and able to fly. Observed large accipiter, probably Cooper's hawk, fly across river, and then, an hour later, fly back. Swallows harassed it on the return trip. Young black bear ambles through yard in late afternoon - around 100 pounds, sleek and limber. Wandered about in the upper woods for a while before disappearing.

July 6, 09 - Black swallowtail and American lady butterflies sighted, Swallowtail was a fly-by; lady was nectaring on yellow blooms of a rock garden flower.

 July 6, 12 - Hen turkey with 5-6 visible chicks at side of road. Chicks still quite small. First Hummingbird Moth and Carolina Grasshoppers sighted.

July 6, 14 - Mullein beginning to flower along roadsides. First Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly appeared in the yard, perfectly timing the emergence of flowers on the Purple Coneflowers. That's where I saw it, sipping nectar. Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak spent 10 minutes gobbling sunflower seeds at the feeder. Great-crested Flycatcher "wheeped" in upper woods. Chipping Sparrows chased each other about, to the tune of lisping call of hungry youngsters.

July 6, 15 - Scarlet Tanager sings briefly at 7 a.m. Sapsucker drumming and Wood Pewee singing. On the river... three Bald Eagles in a two mile stretch. Plus, a family of five Killdeer on a gravel bar. Still many Waxwings over the riffles.

July 6, 16 - Junco has laid a third egg in nest within window box off bedroom. One egg each of the past three days.

July 6, 17 - Fledgling crows harassing two adults on grass by feeder. Two fledgling blue jays cling to suet cage briefly. Later, one clings to clinging sunflower feeder for which it is way too big. Red-tailed Hawk swoops by calling in front of house. Not  common this summer. 

Junco 6, 18 - Junco has laid 4th egg in window box off bedroom. See July 6, 2106 entry above. One gee in each of the past 4 days.

July 7 – Turkey gobbles in morning, once. Robins busy feeding four nestlings. Bunting singing.

July 7, 06 – Hermit thrush singing in woods behind house. Male RB grosbeak at feeder.

July 7, 07 - Robin parents carrying on at great length from 5 to 6 a.m. Chipping sparrow and wren youngsters still traveling about yard and periphery in groups. Tanager singing. Chicory gracing local roadsides. Hummingbirds feeding on large monardas. 

July 7, 08 - Male hummingbird at monarda. Black swallowtail at butterfly bush. Compton's tortoise shell lands on house. Observe pair of Baltimore butterflies in courtship flight over clover meadow.

July 7, 10. CV State Park. Red dogbane berries (red) and wild sarsparilla berries (purple) have ripened. Several veeries still singing loudly, despite record heat. Three great spangled fritillaries on coneflowers. Tiger swallowtail and hummingbird sphinx moth on butterfly bush.

July 7, 11 - On the river... Came upon a Greater Yellowlegs foraging at river's edge. Very tame. Also encountered 9 Hooded Mergansers. All appeared to be well-fledged juveniles. One Common Merganser with only two young in tow. Heard 3-4 singing Indigo Buntings but no orioles. Lush beds of day lily are everywhere. Three tiger swallowtails on riverbank, extracting nutrients from large splash of guano.

July 7, 12 - Second sighting in two days of Little Wood Satyr butterfly. This one flitting over the lawn at forest edge. Heard the peeved admonitions of Red-eyed Vireo in woods. Probably has fledged young it is worried about. 

July 7, 14 - Picked a nice batch of Black Trumpet mushrooms in lower woods by big white oak and in upper woods by big red oak.

July 7, 16 - Flushed a Broad-winged Hawk from tree on middle trail in lower woods. Banded tail clearly visible. First sighting of Broad-wings here this season.

July 7, 17 - Photo trip to NE Pa. yield good pics of Chestnut-sided Warbler, House Wren, Northern Flicker and Eastern Chipmunk. 

July 8, 06 – Black trumpets still abundant at far stream. Beautiful lavender coral fungi on stump fence trail near spreading white oak and fire ring. Doe with tiny fawn in yard. Wood thrush singing at dusk – distant above us.

July 8, 07 - Searched for black trumpet mushrooms in same spot mentioned above, but found nothing. The ground is too dry at this point.

July 8, 08 - Collect buds of day lily for eating. Also collect flowers of elderberry for fritters. Tall meadow rue and daisy fleabane are impressive along roadsides. Bluejay young begging food (wings fluttering) from parents on branch of white pine.

July 8, 2012 - Too dry for black trumpet mushrooms to appear. Creek is completely dry. 

July 8, 14 - Silver-spotted Skipper with prominent white spot on hind wing nectaring on Banana Cream daisies. Collect day lily buds. Broad-winged Hawk glides from back woods, over garage and down the driveway, with robins squawking all the while. First Red Admiral butterfly in yard. Also a Mourning Cloak.

July 8, 16 - Paddled through a local wetland. Observed dozens of Common Whitetail and Eastern Amberwing dragonflies chasing one another. These must have emerged as adults at the same time and are now on the prowl. Also saw a couple Green Darners cruising the shore. Numerous Bluet damselflies also present. Photographed one on a rush spike, clasping a winged insect. Photographed a clump of Swamp Thistle growing on a nesting island in lagoon. Also numerous clumps of Pasture Rose growing on the bank. A lone Ring-Billed Gull called and flew over. And a lone Common Loon fished a shallow water near river mouth that feeds the wetland.

July 9, 07 - Encountered two red-eyed vireos scolding something in woods. As I walked closer, a broad-winged hawk flew from one tree and glided 40 yards to another. The vireos continued scolding. Watched our male robin take two extended baths in our small garden pond. Also noted a small meadow frog has moved into the pond.

July 9, 08 - On the river... Three vultures over the water, joined by three ring-billed gulls. Pileated woodpecker and sapsucker in my woods, twenty yards apart, at the same time.

July 9, 09 - Least and common terns fishing actively in Three Mile Harbor, East End Long Island. Family of osprey circling overhead - two young and their parents.

July 9, 10 - CV State Park. Photographed Marsh Skullcap, Allegheny Monkey Flower and Helliborine. Observed Hermit Thrush and Pileated Woodpecker on Oak Island. High bush blueberries are ripe at the park.

 July 9, 12 - Observed Red-tailed Hawk on ground in woods behind house. Did not appear to have prey. Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly feeding on ornamental aster. Scarlet Tanager singing behind house.

July 9, 13 - Butterflies starting to appear with more frequency here. Black Swallowtail, Tiger Swallowtail and Great Spangled Fritillary all here today. A small bunch of Black Trumpet mushrooms has appeared in upper woods. None in lower woods yet.

July 9, 14 - Common Wood Nymph at edge of upper woods. Female Purple Finch at feeder.

July 9, 15 - On the river... The most active singers were Veery and Common Yellowthroat. We head 6 or so of each. Also heard singles from Yellow-throated and Warbling Vireo, plus Scarlet Tanager and Great-crested Flycatcher. Mother Common Merganser with three young. They all dive when we approach.. and we never see them come up! Evening Primrose starting to bloom. Five or six Tiger Swallowtails and one Black Swallowtail siphoning something from gravel/dirt of boat launch parking lot. I've seen them do this here in previous years.

July 9, 16 - Red-tailed Hawk circling incredibly high underneath towering cumulous cloud. Raven calling in mid-afternoon. Back in the neighborhood after several week absence. Juno has laid a 4th egg and has begun incubating in window box.

July 9, 17 - Red-breasted Nuthatch continues to visit the suet feeder. Two hen turkeys and 8-10 young at edge of back yard in the morning. Young stand about 8 inches high.

July 10, 06 – Phoebe sitting on nest for second nesting. Gypsy moths flying about in numbers. Wood thrush singing close in back early morning.

July 10, 07 - Looked for any sign of gypsy moths or forest tent caterpillars and could find none in my woods.

July 10, 08 - On the river... Broad-winged hawk flies across river, carrying something golf ball sized. Killdeer on the gravel bar seem very upset. Five fly away, but we see no juveniles. Lovely mats of river grass anchored to the bottom in four feet of water. Small yellow flowers - six spear-shaped, down-turned petals, with bright yellow center petals sticking straight up. Will try to identify. Several sightings of hooded mergansers in flight. Male bluebird perched on five-foot high stub at river's edge.

July 10, 09 - Tenting in Montauk yard surrounded by thorny tangles. The loudest morning singers: Carolina wren, robin and catbird.

July 10, 12 - Family of five crows in yard. One of the juveniles perched in a dense thicket of honeysuckle and gorged on ripe berries.

July 10, 13 - Black Swallowtail and Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies in yard. Small bunch of Black Trumpet mushrooms in upper woods.

July 10, 14 - On the river... Numerous Cedar Waxwings hawking insects over riffles. Observed an Osprey flying downriver. yellow mustard plants along roadsides. Saw first wild Black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne's lace also. Gorgeous thick flowering Basswood tree on the river bank. There was a loud drone from all the bees at work on the flowers. Hummingbirds drinking from Trumpet Vine flowers here.

June 10, 15 - Awoke at 6:30 a.m. to see a buck in velvet 20 yards away at edge of stone wall in back yard. Single antlers covered in velvet - about 8 inches long before forming a bump that may develop into branches (additional points). In the evening, I heard a Scarlet Tanager's two-note call in the lower woods by rail fence. The call persisted. perhaps the adult had a youngster nearby. 

July 10, 16 - Three recently fledged Rose-breasted Grosbeaks at feeder, uttering a soft melodic call. Wood Thrush singing below the little garage.

July 10, 17 - On the river... Several Indigo Buntings singing. Dozens of Cedar Waxwings hawking insects over faster stretches of water. Juvenile Green Heron hunting along the bank. Allows approach to within 10 feet.

July 11, 04 - Yearling bear at hummingbird feeder off screen porch. Reluctant to leave, despite shouts and thumping. Cinnamon muzzle.

July 11, 06 – Mourning cloak at bottom of driveway.

July 11, 08 - Spotted a  pileated woodpecker working an aspen tree, about 20 feet high, in woods behind house. Filtered sun through the woods shined on its red crest. As I walked closer, I noted another flash of red about a foot below the woodpecker. It was a second pileated on the same tree, but not hammering. It then flew weakly to a nearby tree. I surmise it was a juvenile watching and learning how to find ants in a tree from its parent.

July 11, 09 - At a friend's house... Young yellow-bellied sapsuckers coming to suet, along with downy and hairy woodpeckers.

July 11, 10 - Blue jay adults and young in yard and at bird baths all day. Wood thrush sings about three times in back woods at 7 a.m. Tanager and yellowthroat singing. Great Crested Flycatchers calling. Spooked a pileated woodpecker off tree 15 feet away while doing yard work at the edge of the woods. Fritillaries and tiger swallowtails at coneflowers and butterfly bush all day.

July 11, 12 - On the river... Observed a parent Spotted Sandpiper with two young on a gravel bar. Young were the size of an adult but still very fuzzy. Parent bird peeped loudly as we drifted close to the bar. Many kingfishers along the route, surely because young are now out and about. Flock of 25 mallards took off in front of us.  Watched an Osprey eating a fish while perched atop a power pole at river's edge. At home... Drove my truck into the lower woods on collecting firewood. Got out, walked five feet and spooked a fawn I hadn't seen. It bolted away at an impressive speed.

July 11, 13 - On the river. Level high and water discolored. Observed a pair of Bald Eagles circling high overhead. Scarlet Tanager, Great Crested Flycatcher, Yellowthroat and red-bellied Woodpecker heard on the banks. Canada lilies are blooming.

July 11, 14 - Heard first cicada whining, just one prolonged whine from tall pine at edge of driveway. Spooked a Broad-winged hawk from its perch in aspen at side of road. Bird flew across road and into lower woods. Chicory in bloom along roadsides.

July 11, 15 - Two Great-spangled Fritillaries on the same coneflower. A lovely 6-point buck appears in yard at 8 a.m. Second buck to appear in two days. Tanager and Pewee singing in back woods.

July 12, 06 - Watched a blue jay at feeder utter a perfect imitation of the high-pitched note of a broad-winged hawk. Yellowthroat singing around the house. I easily spished it into view among thorn apple branches.

July 12, 07 - Pair of broad-winged hawks circling and calling overhead. Many dark skippers nectaring on lavender.

 July 12, 08 - A great butterfly day in the yard. Three great spangled fritillaries fluttering about pink monarda. Tiger swallowtail, black swallowtail, American painted lady and Baltimore Checkerspot also observed.

July 12, 09 - Hummingbirds feeding on monarda and trumpet vine - more than at feeders.

July 12, 10 - Two recently fledged Baltimore orioles in yard, one pecking at red fruits on viburnum. Photographed bumble bee on coneflowers.

July 12, 12 - First White Admiral butterfly of the season in yard.     

July 12, 13 - Butterfly bush has started flowering and already the butterflies have found it. Today, a Great Spangled Fritillary arrived.

July 12, 15 - Wood Thrush sang very close to the house for 30 minutes at 8 a.m. Great Spangled Fritillaries in the yard regularly now.

July 12, 16 - Observed two Great Egrets standing in Chenango River near Chenango Bridge.

July 12, 17 - A pair of Flickers in the yard. I've heard the Flicker through spring, but not close.

July 13, 06  - Blue jay at feeder makes perfect imitation of kak-kak-kak call of Cooper’s Hawk. 

July 13, 07 - Floated the river at Smallmouth Run. Banks covered with pale pink flowers of bindweed, bright yellow of tall clovers and rust-colored stalks of curly dock. Birds still singing: song sparrow, indigo bunting, yellowthroat. Goldfinches calling. A flock of 20 red-winged blackbirds flew up from tall grass. Looked like they were mostly adult males. First flocking of blackbirds I've observed this summer. Roadsides thick with abundant day lilies - a great year for them. At least 8 tiger swallowtails fluttering around boat launch and two red admirals seen along river. One was drinking from muddy soil at river's edge. The other was fluttering near patch of nettles (host plant for eggs and larvae.)

July 13, 08 - Observed eastern comma butterfly in woods at Choconut, Pa. It settled on needles of a white pine, closed its wings and disappeared - perfect camouflage. Also had a great look at a wood frog - surprised from its lair at the end of a plastic pipe lying by a garage in the woods. Body was as pale as desert sand, with pale yellow-green flanks. Tell-tale black mask was striking.

July 13, 09 - Junco incubating four eggs in clematis. Allows us to approach with two feet without flushing.

July 13, 10 - CV State Park. Photographed Swamp Loosestrife (Water Willow), Smooth False Foxglove and Button Bush. Four juvenile orioles in trumpet vine on front porch.

July 13, 12 - Pearl Crescent butterfly feeding on large clump of coneflowers.

July 13, 14 - Parent Chipping Sparrow being harassed on ground under feeder by two recently fledged youngsters.

July 13, 15 - Three Great Spangled Fritillaries in yard, plus one Little Wood Nymph. Butter and Eggs flowering along our road. Bumper crop of Mullein this year. 

July 13, 16 - At local wetland. Many Calico Pennant dragonflies mating. Also say Green Darners mating. Many Eastern Amberwings chasing but not mating. Honeybees and Bumblebees all over flowers of Pickerel Weed. Two male Swamp Sparrows singing at each other 30 yards away at wetland edge. Many Carp in the shallows.

July 13, 17 - Great Crested Flycatcher lands on front porch railing. Perches there a few seconds. I have never seen this before. The birds nest in our woods, but rarely enter the yard. Ruby-throated Hummingbird sipping nectar from Monad flowers in side garden. Painted Lady butterfly has been in yard the past several days. Nectaring on flowering thyme.

July 14, 06 - Three pileated woodpeckers working trees in back woods. No sound except for occasional mewing. Family group? Cooper’s hawk soars out of back woods above treetops and glides down the hill. Broadwing calling while soaring overhead.

July 14, 07 - Catbird bathing in small garden pond. Polistes wasps also using the pond for drinking. Black swallowtail butterfly nectaring on lavender. Two tiger swallowtails probing deep into day lily blooms. 

July 14, 08 - Heard two great-crested flycatcher calling at opposite ends of the woods this morning. First hummingbird sphinx moth working pink monarda.

July 14, 09 - On the river... Pair of least sandpipers in breeding plumage, feeding in mud at edge of exposed bottom. House wren, yellowthroat, black-throated green warbler, song sparrow still singing. Family of orioles - young and adult female. Cardinal flower starting to bloom. Also Jerusalem artichoke, tall meadow rue. Water snake on the surface - 16 inches. Sees us and slips under water.

July 14, 12 - Photographed male Common Whitetail dragonfly perched on rocks in lower garden.

July 14, 16 - At the local wetland... Surprised a female Wood Duck that had just paddled out from concealment in plants at water's edge. She did two vigorous "broken wing" flaps and then flew 25 years giving the classic wood duck "whooeek" sound. No youngsters in sight. A large shorebird flew over the lake, heading south into a strong headwind. Larger than a Spotted Sandpiper and at least as big as a Solitary Sandpiper, the bird uttered several well-spaced single notes as it flew. Adult Common Loon fishing in river channel. Saw this same bird a week ago.

July 14, 17 - Single Raven flies high over the house, south to north, croaking loudly. Painted Lady butterfly flitting about in yard fro third or fourth day. Favors Lavender and Thyme. 

July 14, 18 - Scarlet Tanager singing from woods below the road. Catbird signing from honeysuckle shrubs.

July 15, 07 - Broad-winged hawks actively calling and soaring - sometimes quite high. Juncos feeding young in nest within clematis vine. They continue to be quite tame and unfazed by our presence. 

July 15, 08 - Walk at BU Nature Preserve. Wood Nymph and Pearly Eye butterflies. Indian Pipes are up. On Ravine Trail... Adult junco being followed by two twittering youngsters. Three youngsters following parent Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Good look at Brown Creeper. On Field Trail... Catbird, Brown Thrasher, Goldfinch, Yellowthroat, Blue-winged Warbler, Field Sparrow. Gray Dogwood and Nannyberry Viburnum fruits ripening. 

July 15, 09 - On the river... Sunny, 80 degrees, water temp. 62. Many waxwings, spotted sandpipers. Three or four groups of common merganser hens and their broods - broods numbered from 2 to 10. One pair of adult hooded mergansers. Family of four or five kingfishers followed us downriver. Once we saw three perches near one another - all females. Heard a dozen indigo buntings in ten miles. Had good look at yellow-billed cuckoo. First green--headed coneflower blooming. Adult bald eagle over the river. Heard juvenile red-tailed hawk calling in trees at river's edge. Also saw two adults soaring together. Several beds of broad-leaved arrowhead flourishing along river's edge. Some 20 tiger swallowtail butterflies siphoning from mud at a single point on the riverbank. At home.. Collected more black trumpet mushrooms.

July 15, 10  - Male scarlet tanager followed juvenile out of trumpet vine into thick stand of honeysuckle. Juv. emerged with red berry in beak. Male perched above, observing.

July 15, 11 - Common Wood Nymph butterfly in the yard for several days. One humming bird chased another from flowering monarda. Great Crested Flycatcher called briefly in upper woods at 9 a.m. In lower woods, observed two hen turkeys with 9-10 young. Bodies on young were orange-sized.

July 15, 12 - Trio of Broad-winged hawks I saw several  days ago has returned, soaring over the house, with one bird calling.

July 15, 14 - House Wren singing at edge of back woods. This bird is nesting somewhere near here - I've heard it a number of times in various locations.

July 15, 16 - Two recently fledged Great-crested Flycatchers appeared over the small garage. One fluttered down to the peak of the garage and then hopped over the far side. The other stayed in a tree above garage, emitting a repetitive single note. 

July 16, 06 – Collected more golden chanterelles (Cantharellus cibarius) in woods above house. Black trumpets (Craterellus cornucopoides) still fruiting but not as many as a week ago. One book says the trumpets fruit when Indian pipes are flowering. There are pipes in the woods now. Another book calls trumpets “black petunias” while another calls them “poor man’s truffles.”

July 15, 15 - Have seen Chimney Swifts low over the State Street Bridge in Binghamton several times in recent days.

July 15, 17 - Harvested Black Trumpet mushrooms under oaks in lower woods. Many Russula mushrooms sprouting up also. 

July 15, 18 - Numerous Tiger Swallowtails and Fritillaries in yard. Also, first Monarch of the 
season, drinking from Trumpet in flower.

July 16, 07 - Catbird returns to the garden pond for a drink and a bath. House wren singing non-stop in the morning. 

July 16, 08 - First of late summer flowers blooming: evening primrose, mullein, black-eyed Susans. Buck in velvet observed. Antlers around 12 inches tall.

July 16, 09 - Scarlet-tanager singing on cool, cloudy morning. First I've heard it in several weeks.     

July 16, 10 -  At CV State Park -photographed two lovely dragonflies, both male: Racket-tailed Emerald and Slaty Skimmer. 

July 16, 12 - Wood Pewee singing in woods after a long song-less period.

July 16, 13 - First Hummingbird Moth appears in garden.

July 16, 14 - Watched a chipmunk chase a Mourning Dove away from the base of the feeder. It was no contest. Twin fawns munched grass 10 feet from the house this morning. 

July 16, 15 - Photographed Halloween Pennant and Widow Skimmer dragonflies at Upper Lisle. Also photos of St. John's Wort and Canada Lily.

July 16, 16 -  A family of White-breasted Nuthatches visited the feeder - 4-5 birds. Quite a lot of joisting about. Scarlet tanager sang two songs at 5:30 a.m. Very warm spell. 

July 16, 18 - I 
photograph Tiger Swallowtail and white coneflower and Butterfly Weed. 

July 17, 06 – 95 degrees. Great spangled fritillary on bee balm at mother’s. 

July 17, 07 - Black swallowtail in the yard. Hummingbird visits red geraniums in window box outside my office.

July 17, 08 - Hummingbird sphinx moth at monarda in yard. Sapsucker and pileated both drumming in morning. On the river... A dozen hood mergansers together. Large snapping turtle floating on surface of deep pool. Let us get 15 feet away before submerging.

July 17, 09 - Photographed great-spangled fritillary on purple coneflowers.

July 17, 12 - 12-spotted Skipper dragonfly has been in the yard for several days. Two juvenile crows landed on driveway with an adult. Young birds were fuzzy around the head and nape. Also those areas showed a faint tinge of maroon on the feathers.

July 17, 13 - Black Swallowtail butterfly on Verbena flowers in barrel.  

July 17, 14 - On the river... Nearly a dozen rough-winged swallows, most perched in riverbank willows. Periodically a parent bird would fly in, hover for a second in front of a bird, feed it, and fly away. This is more rough-wings than I've ever seen on the river at once. In a three mile stretch, we must have heard 10 Indigo Buntings singing.  First Cardinal Flower sighted. At home... Scarlet Tanager singing at edge of yard. Got a pretty good look at it. Catbird also singing, which it hasn't done in several weeks.

July 17, 15 - Still hearing Ovenbird and Great-crested Flycatcher in the woods, but infrequently.

July 17, 16 - Junco still incubating eggs in window box off bedroom.

July 17, 17 - At least six Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies nectarine on coneflowers in yard.

July 17, 18 - Four baby juncos now in nest in window box. See 2016 entry for this day.

July 18, 04 - On the river at Willet. Beds and beds of Jerusalem artichoke.

July 18, 06 – Captured a question mark butterfly in yard. It first landed on Jan’s car as she backed out; then on a towel hanging on line. Clear “silvered” question mark clear on hind wing. Photographed great spangled frit at bee balm at mother’s and here. Mourning cloak also still here. At Brier Hill Pond, photographed small red dragonfly with bright red body and less red thorax. Also photod small dragon with blue abdomen, striped body and green head. Picked another big bag of black trumpets.

July 18, 07 - Two red-eyed vireos scolding a blue jay high in red maple by driveway. No young vireos in sight, but there must have been some nearby. Blue jay is seen as a threat to eggs and young. First hummingbird sphinx moth sighted, feeding on monarda blooms.

July 18, 08 - Tanager singing briefly at 7 a.m. Junco chases chipmunk under garden cart and won't let it out. Every time the chippy tries to come out, the junco chases after it. Junco babies are still in the nest by house. Both parents actively feeding. Read article that says hermit thrushes are increasing while other thrushes are dropping in many parts of their range. Also – take yellow away from hummer feeders and yellow jackets won’t come as often.

July 18, 09 - Junco still incubating four eggs in clematis.

July 18, 10 - Lily Lake at CV State Park. Photographed Ruby Meadowhawk and  Chalk-fronted Corporal dragonflies, plus gorgeous White Admiral butterfly.

July 18, 12 - Black Swallowtail Butterfly in yard, as well as Silver-spotted Skipper, Pearl Crescent, Tiger Swallowtail and Little Wood Satyr. This last butterfly hardly ever lands. Instead it constantly flutters just over the grass tops.

July 18, 13 - Scarlet Tanager sings at 5 p.m. Haven't heard it in weeks.

July 18, 14 - At Mill Brook in Catskill Park near Downsville... Many Wood Nymph butterflies in meadows by stream. One Monarch butterfly fluttering among numerous flowering Milkweeds. First St. John's Wort of the season flowering. Chicory everywhere.

July 18, 15 - At least three Great-spangled Fritillary butterflies in the yard, as well as Little Wood Satyr.

July 18, 11 - On a 12-mile drive, I saw two phone wires sporting at least a dozen Barn Swallows.

July 18, 16 - Pileated Woodpecker flew across the road as we drove through BU Nature Preserve. Deep rowing wingbeats are unmistakable.

July 18, 17 - Scarlet Tanger singing in Red Pine grove, lower woods. Phoebe hawking insects at bottom of driveway. Male Cardinal chasing and feeding female. Looks like a second nesting is coming. Wood Pewee singing in upper woods. Good crop of Black trumpets along lower woods stream.

July 19, 06 – Smallmouth run. River cool, flowing and beautiful. Ostrich and sensitive ferns coming back from the flood. Queen Anne’s Lace abundant on roadsides. A good number of monarchs and tiger swallowtails about. Mother merganser and 8 flightless young.

July 19, 07 - Great-crested flycatcher calls briefly here. Haven't heard it for several weeks.  

July 19, 08 - Periodic cicadas in full voice, and have been for almost two weeks.

July 19, 09 - Removed two dozen Japanese beetles from monarda, potato vine and Rose of Sharon.

July 19, 10 - Family of grackles appears in yard and at feeder - very rare for here. Phoebes are starting to leave nest. Blue jay family is constantly in and around the yard.

July 19, 11 - Catbird seen furtively exiting rhododendron clump on north side of house. Must be nesting there. 

July 19, 12 - Kicked up the first katydid of the summer - green grass color and bright. Cicadas have been calling noisily throughout this spell of warm weather.

July 19, 13 - Hummingbird Moth is coming regularly to several species of our garden flowers.

July 19, 14 - On Mill Brook in Catskill Mountain Park near Downsville... Bee Balm growing along banks of stream. Many Meadow Fritillary butterflies on Milkweed.

July 19, 15 - First Periodic Cicada whine of the year - on the hottest day so far - 90 and humid.

July 19, 16 - Cicadas calling for the past week, as temps during the day are hitting the mid-80s. Wood Pewee has also been calling. I saw one perched on dead branch, high in tree at edge of back yard.

July 19, 18 - On the river... Vervain and Swamp Milkweed in bloom. First flowers of Green-headed Coneflower. Two broods of Common Mergansers with a female. One brood of 8-9, the other of 5-6. Found a perfect kingfisher burrow about 4 feet above water line on bank just before Clay Banks.

July 20, 07 - Coneflowers blooming in garden are attracting many butterflies.

July 20, 08 - Japanese beetles having another good year. Many found on monarda flowers. Impressive numbers of daddy longlegs in the forest, and everywhere else.

July 20, 09 - Very quiet, foggy morning, with only red-eyed vireo singing. Chipping sparrows nestlings have fledged. I hear their "tsee, tsee" calls through the day.

July 20, 11 - Even though very warm, I heard tanager, pewee, titmouse and chickadee this morning. Frillary and tiger swallowtail on butterfly bush.

July 20, 12 - Cool and rainy for a change. No birds singing, except for the red-eyed vireo, which seems to sing all the time, every day, all summer. 

July 20, 13 - Observed a family of four Juncos flying about in the yard, keeping close quarters. 

July 20, 14 - Wood Trush singing briefly in woods just before dark.

July 20, 15 - On the river. River gauge at 2.1. The river has not gone below 2 in weeks, which is abnormal for this time of year. Very high levels. Heard two Indigo Buntings, a Great-vrested Flycatcher and a Warbling Vireo, plus several Yellowthroats and Song Sparrows. A gorgeous adult Bald Eagle flew in front of us as we approached the boat launch at the end of our float. First Cardinal Flowers along river and Green-headed Coneflowers along the road.

July 20, 16 - Heard several coyotes howling at 3:45 a.m. Distant and to the south. Also saw a recently fledged Red-bellied Woodpecker at the suet feeder. The bird's head was all gray - just a hint of red appearing on forehead.

July 20, 18 - A monarch butterfly sips nectar from 
white coneflower. 

July 21, 06 – Two big bucks together in back woods. Big racks in velvet.

July 21, 07 - Carolina grasshoppers beginning to appear around the yard. Juncos fledge from nest in clematis vine. Parents seen all day continuing to forage for them, their mouths full of food. However, no fledglings sighted.

July 21, 08  Three raptors over the house at once: A vulture circling low and a broad-winged hawk harassing a red-tailed hawk above that. Both these hawks were calling during their encounter.

July 21, 09 - On the river... Got caught in the rain, but the air was warm, so no problem. Despite the showers, I got good looks at a pair of kingfishers, one double-crested cormorant, a squawking green heron. Plus on the bank, two bucks - both fork horns in velvet - were feeding on vegetation. I got very close. It must have been "buck in velvet" day. On the way home, another buck with the same antler configuration crossed the road in front of me.

July 21, 10 - A family of blue jays is visiting the sunflower feeder daily. Sometimes, three or four are clambering around on it at once. The young jays are a constant presence in and around the yard. Finally got around to photographing one today.

July 21, 12 - Cedar waxwings in yard, as well as robins raiding the honeysuckle for berries. Chipping sparrow at yard's edge, scolding, as if there is a young fledgling or to about. Tiger Swallowtail feeding on nectar of coneflowers. Queen Anne's Lace has appeared along roadways.

July 21, 13 - Heard a Raven croaking overhead. Then the bird began making repeated whooping-type calls.

July 21, 14 - At friend's house on Cape Cod... Several Chimney Swifts overhead. Carolina Wren and Catbird singing noisily at first light.

July 21, 15 - Four Pileated Woodpeckers appeared at edge of back yard this afternoon. They all took turns hammering at the fallen log there. There appeared to be one male with three females.

July 22, 07 - Pair of great-spangled fritillaries on coneflower together.

July 22, 08 - On the river... Adult kingbird feeding young. Damselflies with black wings and green bodies are active now. Two tiger swallowtails nectaring on thistle flowers. Cardinal flower in bloom. Also green-headed coneflower, butter and eggs, and many pink and white bindweed flowers.

July 22, 09 - On the river... Three killdeer whiz by, all calling. Squawking green heron. Purple loosestrife and evening primrose now blooming. Harvested more black trumpet mushrooms (also called "black peonies"). July 22, 10 - Hummingbird nectaring at Trumpet Vine. Juvenile Scarlet Tanger visits honeysuckle again. 

July 22, 12 - Several Hermit Thrushes singing in my friend's PA woodland. Cedar Waxwings eating honeysuckle berries there. Red-spotted Purple butterfly fluttered past.

July 22, 14 - Whale watch north of Provincetown, Cape Cod. Encountered on Finback Whale and several Humpback whales, one with a calf. Got very close looks. Also observed Wilson's Storm Petrels and Sooty Shearwaters, both pelagic birds.

July 22, 15 - A male Scarlet tanager flew out of the honeysuckle hedge in front yard. Fruit eating? Teaching a recently fledged youngster to do so? At 7 p.m., I heard a quark overhead. Two Great Blue Herons were soaring over, in a clear blue sky with no wind, barely flapping as they went.

July 23, 07 - Adult broad-winged hawk and two young seen in nearby forested neighborhood. Parents perched on telephone pole; two youngsters in a pine tree.

July 23, 08 - After heavy rain, I find a nice handful of golden chanterelle mushrooms in woods. Parent juncos hunted food and brought it to the nest during the heaviest downpours.

July 23, 09 - Juncos feeding tiny nestlings in the clematis vine. Junco trill still is the first song at dawn, followed by a cardinal whistle. Friend reported seeing first monarch butterfly today. Still haven't seen one myself. 

July 23, 10 - At CV State Park, photographed Maidenhair Fern on Chenango Lake trail. Also found thistle in bloom, plus Horse Balm and Christmas Fern. On Bog Trail, heard Hermit Thrush singing and Brown Creeper calling. At home, cicadas calling loudly.

July 23, 11 - Walking in woods by Mill Brook, I heard Wood Thrush and Scarlet Tanager singing. Also observed Mountain Maple. 

July 23, 12 - At CV State Park... Several Hermit Thrushes still singing vigorously. Also heard Black-throated Green Warbler, Brown Creeper, Swamp Sparrow. Head cat-like mewing from Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. On Bog Trail, a Barred Owl sat perched two feet over a bridge we had to use. It flew when we got within 15 feet. In lagoon off lake, I photographed Blue Dasher and Slatey Skimmer dragonflies, plus a young Green Frog.

July 23, 16 - First Hummingbird Sphinx Moth in the yard, nectarine at Bee Balm flowers.

July 23, 17 - At Montauk Point, I photograph two fledgling Barn Swallow being fed by their parents.

July 24, 07 - A number of Japanese beatles on rose-of-sharon. They are having a banner year. 

July 24, 08 - Walked a meadow observing butterfly activity. It was abundant. First monarchs are active. Also multiple tiger swallowtails, great spangled fritillaries and a white admiral. Clover, spotted knapweed, black-eyed Susans were popular feeding plants.

July 24, 09 - Three great spangled fritillary butterflies in yard, feeding on purple coneflowers. Cicadas calling briefly.

July 24, 10. At CV State Park, photographed Maidenhair Fern and Horse Balm.

July 24, 11 - Driving along upper Beaverkill River in Catskill Mtns., I noticed an adult bald eagle keeping pace with me over the water. About 20 feet high, it flew alongside me for 200 yards or so before landing in a tree on the bank. 

July 24, 12 - On the river... Just enough water to float. Many Killdeer and  Spotted Sandpipers enjoying the numerous gravel bars created by low water. Also flushed a Greater Yellowlegs off a bar - the first migratory shorebird of the summer. It whistled loudly 3-4 times. Photographed Green Heron at river's edge - a juvenile that let me get within 30 feet. Green-headed coneflowers have appeared on river bank.

July 24, 16 - Wood Pewee has been singing regularly for the past week, perching and hunting at the edge of the woods.

July 24, 17 - Robins actively feeding on honeysuckle berries. A Raven croaks overhead. No sign of Broad-winged Hawks for the past two weeks.

July 25, 06 – Two hummingbird moths at monarda at mom’s. Screech owls in the night. Before the whinny sound, they were making a soft high single note call.

July 25, 07 - Queen Anne's lace abundant on roadsides, along with chicory.

July 25, 08 - At Jones Park... Louisianna waterthrush still active and singing. Also heard hermit thrush and blue-headed vireo. Fleeting glimpse of winter wren. Picked a few golden chanterelles. Identified sweet cicely by side of trail. Fern-like leaves and gone-to-seed. At home... Male junco chased a chipmunk across the driveway and across my foot. The junco's wings touched my leg. Junco nest is very active, with nestlings making a buzzing sound each time parents come with food.

July 25, 09 - Female pileated woodpecker flew across back yard and landed on dead aspen. The tree is still upright. Pileated proceeded to whack away at the tree for five minutes, tearing big chunks of dead wood away. I have heard quite a bit of pileated calling this week. Young certainly are out and about, so this may be the family keeping track of one another.

July 25, 10 - On the river... Floated under a juvenile Bald Eagle, perched 40 feet above us. Several clumps of Cardinal Flower along the bank, as well as Jerusalem Artichoke and Sneezeweed.

July 25, 11 - First White Admiral butterfly of season in yard.

July 25, 14 - On the river. Floated under an adult bald eagle. The bird remained perched, about 40 feet high. Numerous pairs of Spotted Sandpipers flying downstream in front of us. Numerous  Indigo Buntings singing. Cardinal flower and first Green-headed Coneflower of the season observed along the bank. Black Swallowtail butterfly at boat launch. First Great Egret of the season reported on local rivers.

July 25, 16 - Northern Flicker landed  at the edge of out little garden pond and had a drink this morning.

July 25, 17 - I photograph a lovely Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from a white coneflower in the garden. Hummingbird Sphinx Moth nectarine on coneflowers.

July 26, 06 – Screech owls again - this time around 9:30 p.m.

July 26, 07 - Monarda staring to fade a bit, but butterfly bush coming on to attract hummingbird moth, bees and butterflies.

July 26, 08 - Several chimney swifts flying high above the house. Four or five cedar waxwings eating honeysuckle berries behind split rail fence. Nettle flowers in bloom.  Male scarlet tanager appears in ash tree by driveway. Also in the tree - four or so recently fledged tanagers. The male kept watch until the young ones flew into the woods, at which time he followed. Several gs fritillaries feeding on butterfly bush and monarda.

July 26, 09 - Yellow-shafted flicker on lawn this morning. First sighting here in weeks. As many as four fritillaries on coneflowers.

July 26, 10 - Junco is building a nest under thick potato vine in oak barrel planted, side yard. We can't see the nest, but a bird flies out whenever we get too close.

July 26, 11 - Very large black bear walks through woods 40 yards behind house at 5 p.m. Estimate weight at 300 pounds; height at shoulder 4 feet. Saw deer running through the woods a moment or two before the bear appeared. Walking steadily but unhurried. First great egret of the season on Chenango River at Port Crane. 

July 26, 12 - Robins and Chipping Sparrows both have recently fledged young in the yard. Sparrow parents scold if we get anywhere near the young. One robin fledgling just sits on the lawn, patiently waiting for his parents to bring food. Pair of Broad-winged Hawks circling and calling high overhead. Hummingbird moth active on butterfly bush.

July 26, 14 - Family of Blue Jays at the feeder - parents and two young. Young begging and fluttering their, climbing about on the feeder as their parents stock up on seeds. Very noisy. Flicker calling in lower woods. Wood Pewee singing. Catbird in the honeysuckle.

July 26, 15 - Crossing the Long Island Sound by ferry, I observed several dozen Common Terns fishing a serious rip tide just out of Orient Point, Long Island.

July 26, 16 - Flock of at least 100 Common Grackles appeared at the feeder and in the adjoining woods.

July 26, 17 - A pair of Cedar Waxwings briefly feed on honeysuckle berries in front yard.

July 27 – Picked up three monarch larvae in Owego. Kayaked Smallmouth Run. One 13.5-inch bass. River slightly high and cold. Gauge at 1.4 feet. Song sparrows singing vigorously – a couple of them throwing new syllables into their songs. Picked a few day lily buds but most have gone to flower or seed. Pretty combo of queen anne’s lace and black-eyed susans along road.

July 27, 07 - Broad-winged hawk perched low at curve of driveway. Takes off and sails across the road to lower woods. Wood thrush singing in nearby wooded neighborhood.

July 27, 08 - First junco fledges from nest by the house at 7 p.m. Barely able to fly, it hops/flutters under the deck. Once again, an adult junco chases a chipmunk off the driveway and under a shrub.?

July 27, 09 - Pair of meadow frogs in our small garden pond. The woods is filled with the buzzings of recent fledglings. 

July 27, 10 - At CV State Park, photographed Eastern Pond Hawk, plus flower vine called Ground Nut. Hermit Thrush still singing. 

July 27, 12 - Cedar waxwings and Robins still feasting on honeysuckle berries - a daily occurrence for two weeks now. Silver-spotted Skipper feeding on lavender flowers. Not a daily visitor but common here this summer.

July 27, 13 - Group of five chickadees moving about in trees at the edge of the yard. Surely recently fledged young and their parents.

July 27, 14 - At the edge of the woods, bedded down in tall grass, twin fawns leapt up as I approached, bounded into the forest and stopped. Their beds were four feet apart. They remained motionless for a minute or so, standing 20 feet from each other. Then one approached its sibling and they touched muzzles. I moved toward the woods, and at that point and they bounded away.

July 27, 15 - At my son's house in CT... At 5 p.m., a Barred Owl glided into the back yard and landed in a large tree at the edge of the lawn. It perched there for a minute before setting its wings and plunging into deep woods beyond the yard.

July 27, 16 - At the garden pond... A male Scarlet Tanager and a juvenile, a chipmunk drinking and 30 Common Grackles bathing at once.

July 27, 17 - A Great Horned Owl appears in the back yard at dusk. It first flies to the ground, then up into a dead tree, with nothing in its talons. It poses briefly before disappearing into the forest.

July 28, 06 – Harvested five pounds of golden chanterelles on same spot we found them in two years ago.

July 28, 07 - Family of seven chickadees on and around a niger feeder in yard. Kak, kak, kak call in woods sounds like juvenile accipiter. Heard the same call in lower woods several days ago, where I suspect a sharp-shinned hawk is nesting. 

July 28, 08 - Several young accipiters (the size of sharp-shinned, but couldn't get a positive look) calling and flying about in lower woods. See the entry above, describing this happening same date last year. Two hen turkeys by the roadside, with just two grapefruit-sized young.

July 28, 09 - On the river... Family of four hooded mergansers flew over. One wood duck calling "who-eek." Green heron juvenile and adult perched together. Many waxwings and numerous great blue herons. Heard at least 6 indigo buntings singing, plus 3 or 4 yellow-throated vireos and a warbling vireo. Jewelweed or touch-me-not starting to flower. Today we saw the less common variety with yellow, not orange, flowers.

July 28, 10 - Two juvenile cardinals appear under feeder, a first for this year. Their black bills differentiate them from adult females. 

July 28, 12 - Very quiet day on the bird song front. Only the Red-eyed Vireo sang - briefly around noon. 

July 28, 13 - Ovenbird sang briefly in the morning. Hadn't heard it in weeks.

July 28, 13 - A juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew right in front of a car and landed low on opposite side of our road. Streaked breast and rounded tail were plainly seen.

July 28, 15 - At deep dusk, a lone Gray Fox exited the back woods and moved quickly across the back yard for 20 yards, before returning to the forest.

July 28, 17 - Picked a nice batch of Chanterelle mushrooms in woods below house. Black Trumpets still appearing in lower and upper woods. Wood Pewee and Scarlet Tanager still singing.

July 29, 06 – Observed young hummer perched on garden fence at side of garage, in front of large red monardas. Tame. Got quite close for photos. Then female arrived and buzzed around for a moment. Youngster chirped at here. Female flew and away and youngster flew weakly to shrub clump beyond viburnums. Five minutes later it was back, perched on the fence. More close photos. It has found a perch it likes. 

July 29, 07 - Floated smallmouth run. River gauge was 1.3 feet. Caught and released five bass, three of which ran 12 - 14 inches, and a fourth around 15 inches. Healthy and beautiful fish. Birds sighted: kingfisher, spotted sandpiper, yellowthroat, kingbird, brown thrasher, song sparrow. Several monarchs fluttering at river's edge where its bank is covered with flowers. Received some remarkable e-mail photos of a bobcat, taken July 14 in South Montrose, Pa., 25 miles south of here. The cat had walked out into a yard!

July 29, 08 - On the river... Flushed a juvenile great horned owl from tall silver maple at river's edge. It flew 100 yards downriver and landed in another maple. Jays and robins immediately descended to harass it. I floated under the perched owl and looked up with binocs. The owl was looking straight down at me. Owl almost fully feathered but not quite. Ear tufts a bit shorter than adult. Rounded another bend to hear a bald eagle calling. Saw an osprey perched in a tree across from the calling eagle. Then the adult eagle flew to the osprey's tree and began calling again, this time lowering its head and moving it back and forth. The osprey departed. Then the eagle just perched contentedly, 30 yards away, in the open, and only 20 feet high. At least 6 indigo buntings heard singing. Flock of a dozen rough-winged swallows hunting over riffle. Several similar-sized flocks of waxwings hunting insects over other riffles. Two sightings of cardinal flower.

July 29, 09 – Towhee calling in yard. Haven’t heard or seen one here in weeks. 

July 29, 10 - Observed 3-4 Great Egrets in wetland at Upper Lisle Wildlife Area. Eight or nine had been reported on Chenango River a week ago. Green-headed coneflower in bloom.

July 29, 11 - White admiral butterfly resting on driveway.

July 29, 13 - Visited wetland at north end of Whitney Point lake. Photographed a cooperative Spotted Sandpiper at lake's edge. Many Blue Dasher, Twelve-spotted Skimmer and Widow Skimmer dragonflies chasing at water's edge. Also photographed White Admiral butterfly that was siphoning minerals from mud on the road.

July 29, 14 - On the river... Several Green Herons, a Bald Eagle, a number of Cedar Waxwings, plus the first Butter and Eggs flowering this year. At Home.. I watched three hummingbirds vying for position at the feeder. One was distinctly smaller than others. The juvenile was allowed to perch opposite the female but was chased away by the male.

July 29, 16 - Great Spangled Fritillary sipping nectar from coneflowers. We've had a few of these this summer,  but nowhere near the number of previous summers. Same with Tiger Swallowtails.

July 29, 17 - Huge flock of Common Grackles invaded the lower woods. They covered ground in waves, with birds in back moving front by the dozens.

July 30 – Hermit thrush singing faintly in morning. Broad-wing circling and calling in mid-day. In front of clouds, then with sun as backdrop.

July 30, 07 - Family of jays in the yard. The jays have been absolutely quiet while getting their young to this stage. The young were making mewing sounds as they flew about with their parents. 

July 30, 08 - House wren and Carolina wren singing at wood's edge this morning. Neither has been here all summer. Good look at two juvenile sharp-shinned hawks in lower. Perched, they show the straight, not rounded, tail that tells them apart from Cooper's hawks.

July 30, 10 - Two hen turkeys and 7 young visited the feeder. The young are grapefruit-sized.

July 30, 11 - Broad-winged hawk calling and circling low over lower woods.

July 30, 13 -  Male Scarlet Tanager appeared in back yard oak tree. The bird then flew from tree to tree in woods closest to the yard. This happens when young have fledged and the adults keep track of them. Don't know if this is connected, but the tanager sang briefly yesterday - the first I had heard it in several weeks.

July 30, 14 - Male Scarlet Tanager appeared in the yard (see entry directly above), at the edge of a clump of honeysuckle. We watched as the bird flew to a berry and plucked it in flight, hardly breaking stride before flying up to a perch 20 feet high with its prize.

July 30, 15 - Very quiet morning, with only the Red-eyed Vireo singing briefly. Little Wood Satyr butterfly on the grass. - a common sight for the past two weeks.

July 30, 16 - Watched a male Scarlet Tanager fly into our honeysuckle hedge, where 5 robins were feeding. It stayed there several minutes, no doubt eating ripe red berries.

July 30, 17 - Watched a male Scarlet Tanager fly from the lower woods into large maple in side yard. It paused briefly before flying into oak at edge of forest. Also saw and heard Great Crested Flycatcher perched by small garage. Heard Raven croaking over the house. Hummingbird Moth has been in yard fro several days now.

July 31 – Turkey clucking loudly in woods at 7:30 p.m. – for more than 30 minutes. Finished dehydrating a nice batch of golden chanterelles. Screech owls again in the night – starting with the drawn out single note before going into the whinny.

July 31, 07 - Discovered cardinal nest five feet high in dense yew shrub by side of house. Tiny peeping sounds inside it. Also saw hen turkey with brood of young along the road. The youngsters now are the size of grapefruits. 

July 31, 09 – Juncos fledge from nest on a rainy but warm day. First bird flies into side yard, where both parents immediately attend it. Second bird flies directly onto screen door screen of breezeway. It clings there several seconds, then drops to the ground. Adult male is very agitated in tree above while this little drama plays out. First bird goes at 1:30 p.m. By 5 p.m. all four have vacated.

July 31, 10 - CV State Park. Several Hermit Thrushes singing. Photographed Water Lilies, so beautiful. Broad-winged Hawks calling and soaring overhead. On the road near home, a turkey hen with one youngster. 

July 31, 12 - On the river... Observed a Greater Yellowlegs and a juvenile Least Sandpiper, both feeding on numerous gravel bars created by low water levels. Also had a Giant Swallowtail butterfly cross the river right in front of our kayaks. My first sighting of this butterfly in our area. Also, a mature bald eagle flew ahead of us, and Indigo Buntings continued singing (but few other birds).

July 31 , 14 - While we were sitting on a bench on our side deck, twin fawns appeared from the woods and began browsing clover on the lawn. We watched for 10 minutes at 10-15 yards.

July 31, 15 - No birds singing this morning. A wood Pewee sang briefly in the afternoon. A cicada whines.

On the river... several Yellowthroats, Cardinals, Song Sparrows and Indigo Buntings heard. Joe-Pye-Weed and Jerusalem Artichoke have appeared. 4-5 small clumps of Cardinal Flower. Ebony Jeweling damselflies along the river edge, along with a pale blue damsel with white on head. 

July 31, 16 - Driving on country road near Triangle, we watched two fishers cross the road right in front of us. Both were small and the same size. I'm guessing they were young of this year, staying very close to one another.






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