Bee Happy !

IMG_4272

Our alternate leaf Dogwood was flowering the other day, and was just humming with bees. It has a heavy pollen load and was particularly popular with the smaller native bees. Some bumble bees were around, but few honey bees.¬† I thought I’d try a bit of a photo survey of the bees that were out and about on some of the plants that are in flower right now. Some I could identify, a few I’m just guessing at.

IMG_4232Sweat Bee (Halictidae, Halictinae, Halictini): Augochlora pura ?

IMG_4240

GUESS: ??

IMG_4229

GUESS: Leaf-Cutting Bee (Megachilidae, Megachilinae, Megachilini)

IMG_4237

An Impersonator: Syrphid Fly

I love seeing the big queen bumble bees at this time of year. They’re so big you can see the down draft from their wings kicking up particles from the ground or moving leaves. And the honey bees, well they just have their heads in the flowers !

IMG_4441

Bumble Bee (Apidae,Apinae, Bombini) on Red Clover

IMG_4257

Bumble Bee on Wild Black Raspberry

IMG_4431

Honey Bee (Apidae, Apinae, Apini) on Comfrey

Like Magic the Merlins Are Back !

Ok, I’m a little behind the times. Last year a pair of Merlins arrived in the neighborhood. This April they returned ! There is a rather tall dead tree at the end of our block which they like to use as a perch, in the beginning of the season anyway. Now in early June I only hear them infrequently so I’m guessing that they found a nesting spot a little further away. Merlins are small falcons and having a raptor in the area makes it feel a little bit more wild ! Better pictures and recordings can be found here : Dendroica.

IMG_3423

IMG_3410