Last week I noted that there were fewer birds around, perhaps because of the smoke haze and the drought. The same was true for bees. After we finally had some rain a week ago, I walked over to a patch of Guinea Flowers (Hibbertia) where I usually see bees. I found few surviving flowers, and none of the usual bee visitors. However, I did see this Blue-banded Bee settling on one flower.
As she curled up to buzz the pollen, an orange shape appeared behind her:
I’ve done fewer walks this month because of the smoke levels around Sydney. There have been fewer birds to see, but those I saw seemed to be unusually relaxed and cooperative, like this Crested Pigeon near the Coal Loader café.
My old biology teacher, J.A. Wood, introduced me to Dixon Lanier Merritt’s classic limerick:
A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belican
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican
Wonderful or not, the Australian Pelican (Pelicanus conspicillatus) has an ungainly comic appearance, with its huge beak and S-bend neck:
The pelican waddles when it walks, and the huge expandable gular pouch beneath its beak shows even when flying: