31 July 2014

Not a honeybee

I believe it to be some sort of bee
Some sort of halictid, sweat-bee, since green and metallic and quite small would fit with that clade.  There was this one, and maybe another, and a bumble bee, on a stretch of flowers four meters long.

30 July 2014

Traditional roses

Five-petal roses, pink and white
The showy roses are very pretty, but I have a decided fondness for these.

20 July 2014

Hail the fence

White and magenta flowers
It's so very helpful to have a fence to rest one's elbows on.  There were a lot of these, all very striking.

19 July 2014

Implausible Blue

Unknown blue flowers
I have a strong suspicion that these are benefiting from some sort of refractive effects, as well as pigment.

Can't say "they really are that blue" because of course I don't know anything about your monitor but what I'm seeing matches what I recall about what I saw, if that follows.

14 July 2014

Another front yard flower

Pink, eight-petalled flower.
These sometimes look like the gardener must sneak out in the night and dye them.  It really was pretty much that shade of pink.

10 July 2014

Purple and delicate and viewed over the fence

flowering plants with purple flowers
Also, roses all over the fence to the right, which made choices of angle somewhat restrained.

08 July 2014

I'm going to say "Cooper's"

I went for a photo walk this morning; there's a lot of flowers in people's front gardens this time of year, and the weather (severe thunderstorms expected after noon) didn't seem sensible for a bike ride.

So I got to have this flash of avian motion go by in the corner of my eye, and the slow "that's not a robin" thought, and then the glimpse of strongly barred tail that connected to "it can't be a hoopoe" which is at least evidence that the most recent bird image I happened to have looked at stuck.

There were four obviously juvenile accipters; I presume a successful clutch.  (The tree is in a small park adjacent to a primary school; it looks very wild but I was standing on asphalt and there were half-a-dozen children and parents on their way to school looking up around me.)  I only got pictures of one; I'm rather pleased with myself that I managed to get the macro lens swapped off for the long zoom in an expeditious fashion, since there was a fair bit of in-the-trees movement going on.

At the time, I thought they were Sharp-shinned; they didn't seem much larger than robins.  Then I got home and looked at the better pictures.

juvenile Cooper's Hawk in a conifer
I'm chewing my way through Peter Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion which makes the point that Sharp-shinned hawks can't turn their heads like this.  (They have to drop a shoulder.)  I recall a discussion at a TOC meeting where Mark Peck of the ROM pointed out that Sharp-Shinned has much larger and distinct "raindrop" streaking on the breast.  (Which makes me doubt about this one.)
On the other hand
same juvenile Cooper's Hawk, same conifer, less obscuring foliage
Those are neither especially spindly legs nor a narrow white terminal tail band, and there's russet on the head and nape.  So I'm going to say it's Cooper's.