Looking at the ocean temperatures that recently dipped to ~11°C (~52°F), I'm guessing there were some strong winds during the past week?
Following up on an earlier post — on 2 October 2017 I posted some photos of a large flock of Tree Swallows in Massachusetts. If you read that post and wondered how many birds were in the last photo, I decided to count them tonight. Here's the photo again:
Earlier I had done a rough count (by 10s) and estimated that there were somewhere between 300-400 swallows in the photo above. Tonight I carefully counted every individual I could see and came up with...398. This was just a small portion of the entire flock.
And back in California, here are a couple of photos from Cotati that I hadn't had a chance to share yet:
This bee was visiting a sunflower in our yard on 2 September 2017. As you might remember, I'm slowly learning about our local bee species. I knew that I hadn't photographed this species before. The yellow "underbelly" really stood out. Because I wasn't sure which species it was, I did a quick Internet search for something like "bee with yellow under the abdomen" and was quickly pointed to leafcutter bees (Megachile spp.).
Unlike many other bees that carry pollen on their legs, leafcutter bees are known for carrying pollen on the underside of the abdomen:
P.S. Fun fact: The genus, Megachile, means "large lipped." It refers to the large mandibles in this group of bees that are used for cutting pieces of leaves or petals to bring back to their nests.