Seen This Week and Earlier

A flying insect on my 6th floor window, 4 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

13 May 2023

I’ve known for years that chimney swifts eat flying bugs as they zip around above us but I didn’t think about the variety of insects they encounter. Now that I live in a high-rise flying insects sometimes perch outside my window. This elegant bit of “chimney swift food” visited my window more than a week ago.

This week I spent four days birding at Magee Marsh, Ohio on Lake Erie’s shore where I saw 113 species including 20 species of warblers. See my eBird trip report here.

The warblers were on time but the plants were late compared to Pittsburgh. Places near the lake have a later growing season because water temperature changes more slowly than land and influences local weather. Instead of deep green leaves, the trees had tiny leaves and the oaks were still flowering.

Woodland wildflowers were also still in bloom. At Pearson Metropark in Oregon, Ohio I found wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), star-flowered lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum stellatum) and wild ginger (Asarum canadense).

Wild geranium, Pearson Metropark, 9 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

Star-flowered lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum stellatum)

Star-flowered lily-of-the-valley , Pearson Metropark, 9 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)
Wild ginger, Pearson Metropark, 9 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

This blooming plant was new to me: American black currant (Ribes americanum)

American black currant, Pearson Metropark, 9 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

On the subject of green things, last weekend in Schenley Park this small cascade pond on Phipps Run was too green with clumpy algae. Algae is unusual for Phipps Run. Something went wrong … but what?

Phipps Run cascade pond with rampant algae, Schenley Park, 7 May 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

(photos by Kate St. John)

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