Not all birds

The insects in the garden are busy pollinating today – a pity some of them think that pollinating a dandelion is a good service to humanity. Nice bumblebee though – must try to work out what species of Bombus it might be.

So – half an hour later, I get this message from my entomologist friend, Chris.  “Unidentified because you have been fooled by clever mimicry. This is actually a Syrphid fly. Maybe the genus Eristalis. They are commonly known as Drone flies due to their remarkable resemblance to bees.”  Now we know.

In the morning I had been asked to show a candidate for a job at McGill around the arboretum and the MBO. A very bright young biologist from New Zealand who did her PhD and post-doc work at Cambridge … all the birds were new to her so I didn’t have top try very hard to impress though Wood Duck, Baltimore Oriole and Bobolinks seemed to be quite impressive. In the MBO we both sweated trying to identify the calls of a number of birds in the cat-tails … I promised to check them oout and email her the answer but J asked the obvious questions. “Frogs?” … yerrsss, Yer basic green frog.  Shows what comes from getting too focussed on what you expect to see – birds – than on what you are seeing, or hearing in this case.

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NOT a bumble bee but a fly mimicking a bumble bee …. see text above

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