Saturday, October 15, 2011

Various visitors

I have a backlog of photos to post, and I'm sure many of you are missing your daily duckling fix. It's coming! But last weekend, we had this little visitor:

A Yellow-rumped warbler (yes, they have a yellow spot on the rump) flew into our screened porch and couldn't figure her way out again. I gently cupped her in my hands and took her outside, but she was a bit discombobulated and didn't fly away for a couple of minutes, which gave Gordon time to my camera so I could take a photo.  Beautiful!

We get masses of warblers visiting as they migrate through in fall and spring. We've had unseasonably warm weather this autumn, with an explosion of Asian Lady Beetles  and cluster flies. Lots of Yellow-rumped warblers have been flitting around our house on bug patrol. One day I found THREE of them stuck inside the porch, and I had to usher them all out. They were after the bugs on the screens.

Speaking of bugs, here's a pile of ladybugs (Asian Lady Beetles) clustered on sap oozing from a sick tree of ours. There's a wasp in there too, and this is also the tree the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker hangs out in all the time.

Asian Lady Beetles were introduced in the US some years back by farmers who used them for aphid control. They have moved north to Canada. We had an explosion of soybean aphids this year, and a resulting explosion of Asian Lady Beetles. I've never seen so many as I have this year!

 They have been congregating in the front porch, and also in the house. It's a bit much!

Still, you can see why the warblers fly in here when the door is open, looking for nummies!

Meanwhile, down in the duck run..

We let the chickens free-range last weekend and they thought the duck run was just great. The ducks ignore them, or occasionally give them a peck if they are in the way. Even the roosters respect the ducks!

And here is Amy Winehouse! Her beak is healing well from her little accident, although I think she'll always have a slightly misshapen beak.  I love her colouring! Very brown underneath with a lovely white muff.

More duck pics and other excitement coming soon!
 Have to go eat the big English breakfast fry-up Gordon just made for me. Unlike my Dad, he doesn't fry slices of bread in lard...


  1. Watch out for the ladybeetles. Those dang things BITE!

  2. Never saw that many ladybeetels at one time before! Twice a dove got stuck inside the chicken coop and I got to hold them out in my hand and both times that happened, I didn't have the camera!! Amy Winehouse is looking mighty sweet. I like her colors, too.

  3. Wow I've never sen ladybirds swarm like that before Knat!

  4. Anonymous1:38 pm

    Lovely bird in the hand shot.

  5. They do bite. I got a good one on Saturday last. Cute bird photo.

  6. Great bird pic! And ya, I've gotten bitten by those lady bugs. Ug.

  7. Anonymous4:40 pm

    I'll take ladybeetle bites any day over the scorpion that nailed me on the neck when it got between me and my pillow the other night. Ouch!

  8. Please keep those beetles in your neck of the woods. We used to have them in our old farmhouse, but haven't been much bothered with them since we moved. That is quite a clustering of them.

    Your chooks have turned into nice looking adults - any eggs yet?

  9. Katnip, they are little bastards! They land and bite before you even know what's happening to you.

    Pilgrim, it's quite the swarming going. But the temps are dropping now so this should end soon. And wow, a dove in the coop. I was just lucky this time that the bird stayed long enough for me to get a pic.

    Jams, welcome to rural Ontario. they're in the house, too. We just vacuum them up a lot.

    Thank you Andrew! Almost as good as deep-fried Mars Bar, eh?

    Deb, my kitty Naomi bit me on the nose this morning while I was waking up. "Feed me, mommy!"

    Ronna, I don't think I remember an invasion quite like this year's.

    TTPT, I don't find the bites bad at all, more of a shock than anything. And yes, give me ladybug bite over scorpion ANY DAY!

    Musical Gardener, I think they've started laying but i'm not positive because I haven't caught them in action. But egg production is suddenly up and they look like the nice, perfect eggs of new hens. I know at least one of the English gamehens is laying because I'm getting small, dark reddish-brown eggs. Very pretty!

  10. I guess you didn't know about Protect-The-Lady-Bugs Association. They have the first right of ownership wherever they land. I'll send the papers to Gordon to sign.

    Vacuuming your visitors??????

    There goes my proposed visit to your farm.....:)

  11. I'm in love with that first picture. It's so sweet!


  12. Your husband doesn't fry bread in lard? That's a good thing. Honest.

    Bread fried in bacon fat is so much tastier.


  13. Love the photo of the little warbler.

  14. We had the ladybug swarm too, all of a sudden last weekend when it was so hot. Do birds eat them?
    Your duckies are adorable though. And the warbler shot is so cool.

  15. Claude, I promise I would never vacuum YOU up! :)

    Kristin, welcome! ANd the warbler was very sweet. THey are so tiny!

    HWB, I have to agree.

    LBM, I was really glad I was able to get a photo.

    Fran, I'm really not sure if the birds eat the ladybugs (they definitely eat the cluster flies.) I thought ladybugs exuded a nasty-tasting substance (that stuff that stains yellow) but who knows?

  16. I went up to a friend's house in the Eastern Townships a couple of years ago to housesit for a couple of days and I said "Aw, look, Brigitte, aren't those ladybugs just so cute?"

    Until we got into be that night. I woke up and I felt things crawling on me . . . I "opened the light" (that's how Brigitte says it!) and there were thousands of the little bastards all over the bedroom! I have never liked ladybugs EVER SINCE.

    Disgusting little pests. I should have done what I used to do as a kid in Africa: get out a can of butane, grab a lighter and BURN 'EM. But there were too many so we vacuumed them all up.


Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!