Thursday, August 17, 2017

He followed me home . . .

. . . can we keep him?!

We were at a nursery picking out a flowering plant as a birthday gift for a friend here on the island. Put the plant in the back of the car.

Stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few items. Opened the back hatch and Chris said, "Look!"

This little green frog was moving around in the plant foliage. Hoo ha! I grabbed the frog, cupping him gently in my hands while Chris opened a plastic bag. I popped him in and we headed home.

What else could we have done, really? Couldn't have him hopping about inside the car. (They always insist on driving.) Couldn't put him down in the parking lot. So home it was, where I released him in what we call the "island" in the front yard, where there are lots of plants, lots of greenery, a moist environment for him. Or her.

I looked him up to learn he is a Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) and is the State of Washington's official amphibian. I saluted him. Or her. And wished it a long, happy life somewhere in our front yard.

FLYCATCHER UPDATE: Well, thanks to Bruce Krucke and her ever-so-wise and helpful birding friends, they're pretty sure the bird's not a wren, not a warbler, not a Hammond's flycatcher, but rather a Pacific-slope flycatcher (Empidonax difficilis). And one of the chicks has already flown the coop, leaving two rather lethargic chicks behind. I saw the chick leave, actually, fluttering out of the nest, onto the porch floor, and then through the railing into the shrubbery below. I trust he (or she) is doing well and that the parents are feeding it, wherever it may be. Luckily they're still hanging around the nest, continuing to feed the two stragglers.

So with this episode of "Carol Leigh's Wild Kingdom," you're up to date on what's happening here on Whidbey. Oh, saw a flock of about 12 white pelicans fly overhead this afternoon. Nice to see those big white birds, black blotches on their wing tips. Not like the huge flocks we used to see circling over Joshua Tree National Park as they slowly made their way north, but impressive nevertheless.

©Carol Leigh
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