20170515-16 Sandhills, A T Sparrow, Bumblebee, Beefly, Hawk, Redstart, Nashville Magnolia Warblers, Kestrel,

It is getting busy out there …. especially on warm days.   This is what we’ve been noticing the last few days:

A pair of Sandhill Cranes on Boucher Pit Road, just before they launched…

American Tree Sparrow, with its characteristic bicolour bill:


Bumble Bee pollinating the pistils of a female willow catkin …

Another bee-fly.  This one is not as big as the Bombylius major that was nectaring on the Coltsfoot flowers a few weeks ago.  It also nectars with its wings beating while the bigger one stands on the flower while sucking nectar.

Hmmm.  ??

Willow leaves unfurling.  This seems to happen very quickly.  The leaves completely unfurl over a couple of days.


Difficult question:   Cooper’s  Hawk or a Sharp Shinned Hawk?

Coopers/sharp shinned hawk??  http://www.audubon.org/news/a-beginners-guide-iding-coopers-and-sharp-shinned-hawks

Nice pictures, though.


American Redstart in song at Big Lake…

Same place, a day later …   Maybe the same birdie establishing its territory.

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry, chuckleberry, currant-tree, Juneberry, Shadblow Serviceberry, Shadblow, Shadbush, Shadbush Serviceberry, Sugarplum, Thicket Serviceberry)  In our area I’ve  yet to see full term fruit as there seems to be some sort of blight or rust that shrivels the berry by mid summer.  Too bad as the berries are very sweet, making a nice pie.

Less artistic but more biologic photo from the same bush:

Nashville Warbler, also at Big Lake, across the road from the American Red Start.

Native bee (?) pollinating wild strawberry plant…. mmm.

Acer rubrum female flowers  are moving right along …

Pussytoes.   As I mentioned in an earlier blog entry ( 20170510-11 ):

Mary Ann Borge discusses the amazing Plantain-leaved Pussytoes here:


Our local Field Pussytoes ( Antennaria neglecta) apparently have the same methods of reproduction and similar relationships with pollinators, including the caterpillar of the beautiful American Painted Lady, which we’ll see in another month or so.   I will pay a lot more attention to the flowers (which are budding now) in a week or two.


Another Warbler seen at Big Lake, just once.  It might have been passing through as Georgian Bay is near the southern limit of its breeding range.

American Kestrel from a looooong ways away.

My sister sent me this photo of Morels from their property near Campbellville, ON.

Beautiful, eh?

If you are a wild mushroom forager you’ll know to avoid Gyromitra  as Mary Holland advised in her latest post: