Saratoga NHP Raptors

Scott Varney
 

While biking the 11 mile tour road (even at high speed and two laps), the raptors were jumping out all around me. First, an adult Bald Eagle buzzed only 20 feet over my head near the Barber Wheatfield followed by a Kestrel near the 8 mile mark (over-looking the Hudson River). Then an adult Cooper's Hawk raced me parallel to my bike (yeah, he won).  Finally, an American Kestrel perched on a tree next to the road as I drove past the maintenance building.
..oh...and the Red-tailed Hawk perched next to Tour Stop # 3. 

Lots of Goldfinches, one pair of hollering Ravens, a weaning number of Chipping Sparrows, and multiple Towhees...not much fall warbler activity yet other than Common Yellowthroats. 

When I got home in Salem, I was greeted by the recently-made-famous Giant Swallowtail Butterfly I've heard chatter about on Listserves...I thought I was going to have to drive a bit to finally observe one. I've enclosed a photo of the one in my yard... absolutely beautiful!  I can't help but notice the yellow smile pattern on this butterfly's wings that is reminiscent of the Joker's Smile...think Batman!

Happy Day,

Scott Varney
Salem, NY

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