Archive for the 'Fieldnotes' Category

More Flies!

February 23
March 1
March 5
March 8
March 14
March 15 (two views of this one).
April 1, and one I can actually ID: Black-shouldered Dronefly. Note the pollen on this specimen. Flower flies pollinate, too.

Two more from yesterday.

The mysteries of Diptera!

PS: the answer to yesterday’s mystery photo: it’s the toe of an American Coot. Coots aren’t ducks; they don’t have webbed toes. They have lobed toes.

April Fools Challenge

What the @#%&! is it?

No fooling’.

Raptor Wednesday

The pair.
The female.
The male, at twilight.


An Edgeworthia something or other, with very small flies. These wee gnats or midges have come out in force on warmish days all month, and even back in February.

Something Berberis — a mahonia. This was very active with various flies in the park last week. There was one bee-mimic, one honeybee, and a mess of flesh flies. I wouldn’t say the flowers stink of rot, though. Not like paper whites, a nauseating stench which make me think of Baudelaire translating Poe under the influence of opium in an Egyptian tomb.

Both of these plants are exotics, as are so many of our early bloomers from forsythia to all the bulbs. Here to note that flies also serve… as pollinators.

USNS Comfort being escorted through Upper New York Bay yesterday morning. With a total patient capacity of 1000 beds, including 80 ICU beds (maybe they’re making more?), it’s helping out the hard-hit city.

A city which has allowed several hospitals to be shut down for residential real estate developers in the decades I’ve lived here.





Three varieties or species of Viola here, in flower-size order, smallest to largest.

Raptor Wednesday

Through the new year, sightings of Merlins, or at least a Merlin, were pretty regular here from the #ViewFromTheMoraine. Then, after a single sighting in January, nothing until last Saturday in Green-Wood.
It could be that I just haven’t spotted any. More likely is that more of them are on the move now and passing through.
Merlins are known for perching a long time in the same place. (Born to physical-distance in a pandemic?) While I was there, an Eastern Phoebe landed at the top of this ginkgo tree. The Merlin eyed it. The Phoebe then moved on it, and so did I, but the falcon was still there when I left.

Ed Yong on what we know about this new coronavirus.

Timber! It’s Timberdoodle Season

Saw six on my last excursion out three days ago. As is typical, they saw me first and bolted. Social distance geniuses!
Here’s another. A crappy photo, but giving some suggestion of the gorgeous russet belly.


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