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Green Violet-ear Chase

Early (12:30 am) Thursday July 17, 2003, I met Paul Lehman at his house and we set off in his car to pick up Jim and Doyle Dowdell in the Villas, headed for the Terre Alta area of West Virginia. The object was to find the Green Violet-ear Hummingbird that had been frequenting a feeder in a gated community near the border of WV and Maryland. We arrived at the gate about 8:00 am and because Paul had prearranged the trip, had no trouble entering. We found the house and the feeder and set up to wait for "the bird". The owners came out to greet us and said they had seen it once earlier in the morning. Encouraged we waited. And waited. Two other birders showed up and we all waited. At 2:30 pm we had about given up on the hummingbird and decided to make a run for a Henslow's Sparrow that was being seen about 10-15 miles away. We said we would call the owners before we left the area in case "the bird" showed up.

We arrived at the spot and quickly found the Henslow's Sparrow (no photo), also Grasshopper Sparrow (photo) and Clay-colored Sparrow (no photo) as well as many nice butterflies. Found a place for a sandwich pick-me-up, and Paul called the home owners to check on "the bird" before we hit the road for Cape May. He made a call on the land phone and came back to the car smiling, "It came in to the feeder at 3:00 O'Clock, no kidding, a half hour after we left". We looked at each other and said "lets go for it". We arrived at the house waited with the owners, and in 15-20 minutes "the bird"arrived at the feeder - a beautiful GreenViolet-ear! Got some pictures and video, waited for it to come back and feed a second time, threw a couple of high-fives, and were back on the road to Cape May with a stop for a fast food dinner. Arrived home well after midnight exhausted but happy! Life is good.


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