This year we were fortunate to be able to visit Point Pelee during the Festival of Birds, and we met up with our friends Damian and Doug who provided us with most of our identifications of the over 125 species that we spotted. Once again, I took far too many photos, and it is taking quite a while to go through them all and select the “best of the best”. Here are a few, but there will be a lot more to come in the near future.
Our Ruby Throated Hummingbird still visits our backyard feeder, and up until last week, the Baltimore Orioles were making sure we kept them fed as well. It looks like the Orioles have moved along now. And how’s this for something funny, during the inbound migration, I spent days trying to take a decent photo of a House Wren, but all they wanted to do was scurry around the leaf litter and undergrowth on the ground, and then fly away as soon as the camera would focus. I may have a good shot in there somewhere. Then a few weeks ago, I heard some sweet little “Whirreee – poop poop poop – peep peep” in the tree in the neighbour’s yard behind our fence. Then, as I watched, a House Wren popped down to the deck, found a little bit of fluff, grabbed it, and flew into a birdhouse that we put up on the fence. I was dancing with excitement. Not only was our birdhouse being occupied, IT WAS A HOUSE WREN! There have been a few ladies checking it out, but so far it doesn’t look like it met their standards. He is still in the tree, calling for the ladies, and occasionally tidying up the little love nest. Good luck to him.
One little fella that we really don’t want hanging around, is a Carpenter Bee. At first I thought it was a Honeybee, so I left it alone, until I found some wood shavings under our steps, and saw the bee make its way into a hole under the stair. Did some quick reading up, and sure enough there is a difference in the Honeybee, and the Carpenter bee. Looks like I have to make the bee a little uncomfortable about moving in, but I might not be able to evict it until the fall.
When we came to Leamington a few years back during the Canada Day weekend we were introduced, rather rudely I might say, to the common Fish Fly. At night, they would fly in from the waters of Lake Erie, and buzz around anything that a) moved, b) didn’t move, c) was lit up, d) wasn’t lit up, e) breathed. We woke up in the morning and the hotel was covered in them. The cars were covered, the roads were covered, and the grass was alive with them. Millions upon Millions of them. And when you walk on them they crunch and emit the smell of rotting fish. Imagine the smell in town as people try to go about their business, driving over them, walking on them, cleaning them off the signs and buildings everywhere. Our neighbour told us when they lived in Belle River they had to use snow plows to get them off the street.
Well, this year isn’t too bad in Amherstburg. Sure, we have them, but nothing like Leamington a couple years ago.
On the other hand, we were in Kingsville (just west of Leamington) on Saturday and found some areas that were like a carpet of bugs.
These bugs are at the end-of-life stage, and the only thing they are interested in is mating. They swarm around looking to hook up, then go off to the nearest streetlamp, neon sign, light coloured car / house / building / person, to wait to die. They live for 24 – 72 hours, and don’t even eat. In fact, they don’t have a mouth, so other than being a nuisance, they won’t bite you.
After a couple of weeks, they will be gone, and we wait for it all to happen again next year.
Welcome to Summer and Happy Canada Day.
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