Bee Happy !


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 ?




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


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 !


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


Bumble Bee on Wild Black Raspberry


Honey Bee (Apidae, Apinae, Apini) on Comfrey


Lunch Buffet

The bird feeder has turned into a grey squirrel, red squirrel and chipmunk feeder !

IMG_3819Red Squirrel With Full Tummy

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.