May blooms and butterflies

There’s a lot going on in the backyard. Lots of blossoms and bees, and some butterflies. This area in particular is the scene of a lot of activity (click to view larger image).

Itea - sundrops - phlox and more
Front, left to right: Virginia Sweetspire, Sundrops, Purple Milkweed and Smooth Phlox. Trumpet Honeysuckle on the fence. Winterberry (the tall shrub) is also blooming.

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Backyard bird bonanza

The migratory birds in the backyard have been a special treat lately. The first to arrive were the rose-breasted grosbeaks (Pheucticus ludovicianus). The name is obvious when you see the strikingly-marked male, while the female reminds me of a large sparrow. We often see these birds for a few days each spring and fall as they migrate through.

We also saw black-and-white (Mniotilta varia), yellow-rumped (Setophaga coronata), and Nashville warblers (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) and a Baltimore oriole (Icterus galbula). We were especially surprised to see an indigo bunting (Passerina cyanea) and a scarlet tanager (Piranga olivacea) – the first time we’ve seen either one in our backyard.

Click any photo for a larger image.

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