I have been watching for migrating birds in the yard. The trouble is, it is hard to get good pictures of them. Still I am entertained and enjoy observing and learning. After a busy day of gardening it is fun to get out the camera and take a closer look at what is visiting the flowers. So here are a few creatures I saw this week.
Bombylius major – bee-fly. This little brown bee-fly with a long proboscis is enjoying nectar from the strawberry flower. It is a fly that is a bee mimic. No stinging involved here. The wings were flying very rapidly so it could hover above this flower.
I have some pink strawberry flowers, too. It looks like a lot of strawberries are coming soon!
I can never remember the exact name of these blue bulbs, here visited by what looks like a mini-bumble bee. It was hard to focus on both the flower and the bee, so I took a lot of shots.
Here the same blue flowers are below the birdbath where a male goldfinch is coming for a quick drink. There have been quite a few goldfinches in the neighborhood.
I think this is a white-crowned sparrow. If I have this wrong let me know. They are not in my book of birds of Chicago, so I think this guy is just migrating through.
Often from the kitchen window it is hard to know what I am seeing across the yard. Is this still the white-crowned sparrow, a palm warbler or something else?
Or this slightly blurry bird snacking in the chinquapin oak tree. Is this a palm warbler migrating through, or something else? My camera was focusing on the beautiful oak leaves and catkins hanging down.
A red admiral butterfly has a great camouflage with closed wings.
Red admiral butterfly
Back in a weedy part of the garden a toad hopped to get out of my way and try to blend into the surroundings. I am so happy to have toads in the yard.
We enjoy our chinquapin oak tree so much, as do the birds. Our laundry poles keep me from getting a very good shot of it, but once warm weather comes the laundry can dry so quickly outside.
I planted garlic for the first time and it seems to be doing well.
Seeds Sprouted: All the bush cucumber seeds sprouted so maybe I will try making pickles this year. The wax beans are sprouting and I saw two zinnias emerge. The lettuce needs to be thinned and nibbled on.
Sightings: We saw quite a few large bull frogs at Lake Katherine today, and could hear them, too.