Bluebirds at David Weld Sanctuary

Wednesday, January 25, 2023,

This past Saturday, my friend Deb and I decided to take a hike. Women are always telling me to “take a hike”, so it was nice that she actually wanted to join me. 🙂  I had suggested Frank Melville Park in Setauket, but she wanted to visit David Weld Sanctuary in Nissequogue. It seems that she had never been there before.

David Weld used to be one of my regular stomping grounds, but I hadn’t been there in a couple of years. I had fallen out of the habit of visiting there, so I was glad for the suggestion.

The day was cold and gloomy, and there were very few birds to be seen. We took the main path out to the Sound. We took a side path on our return trip. Just as we were coming towards the main trail, I saw some movement in the trees up ahead. Flashes of blue. At this point, even a Blue Jay would have been welcome. However, these birds were too small to be Blue Jays. So, I pulled my tripod, with the camera attached, off my shoulder, and shot off a few pics. This photo, directly above, was my first true glimpse of the smallish birds ahead of us. While it had its back to me, I knew that I was looking at a Bluebird.

And, while these birds are the New York State Bird, they are not so easy to find, let alone photograph. This was a serious treat, for more than just the obvious reasons, because we saw a whole flock of them. I have never seen more than two Bluebirds at a time. On Saturday, we saw at least six of these beauties, perhaps more.


This is Not a Bumblebee

Tuesday, July 7, 2020,

This is not a bumblebee. To the uneducated eye – mine – it certainly looks like one. Just look at it. A chubby bee – at least I got that part right – with black and yellow markings. That’s a bumblebee, right? Well, no. Not in this case.

I had sent these photos to my friend Sue Avery. She’s the lady that allows me to sound intelligent when I describe flowers. I’ve mentioned her here before. Not only is she my go to source for flower identification, but she has her own blog, which is beautifully written. I am always in awe of her prose. Sue was able to ID this pretty flower as Bugleweed. It is not a native plant and can be an aggressive spreader. If I sound informed, it is only because I am quoting Sue. Without her help, this post may have been titled, “A Bee on Purple Flowers.” 

But wait, there’s more. Our story doesn’t end there. Three weeks ago, I had posted a pair of photos of a Yellow Jacket. I had posted them on Facebook as well as here. One of the commentators there was able to inform me of the exact species of Yellow Jacket I had managed to photograph. I was duly impressed, so much so that I sent her these photos to see if she could identify what kind of bee I had here. As it turns out, Jody Gangloff-Kaufmann is a professional entomologist and more than knows her stuff. She was able to explain to me that this was no bumblebee. Instead it is a male Carpenter Bee. Its white face is the main field mark that identifies this as a male. The female Carpenter Bees do not wear white makeup.

If I sound the least bit informed, it is only because I have folks like Jody and Sue helping me out. Honest. JK.