Thursday, September 20, 2012


Wednesday at Waggoner’s Gap hawkwatch was another good day on the mountain. The wind was strong in the morning, prompting some of the hawkwatchers to haul out last winter's gloves against the strong northwest air. The wind did keep many of the migrating hawks away from the ridge and further away, so I didn’t get any new hawk photos. Still anytime I can see 10 bald eagles in a single hour is a good day on the mountain. Also migrating were Sharp-shinned hawks, some Osprey, American kestrels and Cooper's Hawks for a grand total of 710 for the day.  Chimney swifts, Monarch butterflies and Black-throated green warblers all showed up, too

Because I didn’t get any new hawk photos, this morning I will post one of the other “hawk watchers” who are a regular fixture on the rocks.  This chipmunk is just one of several that dash between the rocks on Waggoner’s Gap. They are over and under the rocks, almost underfoot, wending their way from wherever they live out to the rock where American chestnuts, almonds and other goodies are arranged for their dining pleasure. This week a new nut—the pawpaw—was placed out there. That was soundly rejected by the chipmunks, who nosed each one before moving on to the next. Eventually, they worked their way through a dozen or more of the pawpaw nuts (or are they seeds?), rejecting each and every one. That prompted a return to the chestnuts, which promptly were gobbled up or stuffed into their cheeks.

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