One of the more fulfilling wildlife-watching days this year

It took me awhile to realize that today is a holiday and that the school semester had ended two days ago. It sure is easy to lose track of days when you focus on something 24/7.

Saw a male Goldfinch on my way to school.

Cloudless Good Friday
After working in my office for a few hours, I went outside for some fresh air.

Unknown Fly Pollinator
It was quite windy today so there were few insects visiting the flowers.

Unknown Fly Pollinator
A seemingly Muscoid fly.

Unknown Bee
The only bee visiting the flower. I can't quite figure out what kind of bee this is, mainly because the antennae is so long. Perhaps an Osmia sp. (Mason bee).

While crouching down on the ground looking at the insect, a flash of red occurred before of my eyes. It was a ladybird beetle! It took its time going up and down sticks, in and out of pebbles, and even spent a few minutes resting in some twigs.

Seven-spotted ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata)
It disappeared in front of me when I shifted my attention somewhere else for a brief moment. I believe this is a Seven-spotted Ladybug (Coccinella septempunctata).

Code of the Dancing Men?
After the ladybug had gone and no more insects came to the flowers, I walked around the area and saw these interesting patterns on a rock.

Then I realized it was shadow cast by the fallen twig. Interesting, no? I thought it was a pyrography or something.

Maple trees are budding and flowering here in Peterborough (similar to the tree on the first photo of this post). I have yet seen any cherry blossoms here in Peterborough though, which I am a bit sad not to see for the first time in many many years.

Then another insect with some red flashed before my eyes. This time is was a Sweat Bee with a red abdomen!

Sphecodes sp. (Family Halictidae)
Googling "Sweat bee" and "red abdomen" got me to Sphecodes sp., a cleptoparasites (i.e. lay eggs in other bee's nests or food supply), usually of other Halictinae.

Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae)
While photographing the bee, a spider with black and white markings jumped in front of me. It is a Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae).

Beautiful creatures.

Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae)

Jumping Spider (Family Salticidae)
Definitely one of the more handsome spiders out there. Interestingly, TDW just posted why she loves the "salties".

Soaring Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura)
After I done my work and was biking home, I saw at least ten Turkey Vultures soaring in the sky.

Here's a short video.

A few of them even got pretty close because I was on a arching bridge about three stories high.

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)
Cool bird, and just the other day I was commenting on how I will never see them up close again, guess I spoke too soon.

Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
The Osprey was finally on the nest when I crossed over to the west side of the Otonabee River.

April 2012 Full Moon
Full moon tonight!

Great day today!

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