Breeding season is upon us, and the chance to see warblers, those beautiful brightly-colored gems that winter in Central and South America, are slimmer now that migration is over. That is, of course, unless you go far enough out of your way to where they nest. Lowden-Miller State Forest is one such place in Illinois, but it’s not right around the corner. I got up at three a.m. on Sunday to meet my friend and join a small contingency from the DuPage Birding Club for this trip. The group was initially larger, but the heat most likely made some people change their minds. I also think it kept some birds from being active. But I am not complaining. We may not have had a lot of species, but we had some great looks at one bird I’ve been trying to see better for a long time: the Yellow-throated Warbler.
This bird was nice enough to come down and check us out. And he gave me a lot of pictures. Like this one that emphasizes why he got first dibs on his name.
Another bird I haven’t seen well for a few years is the Blue-Winged Warbler. I got my wish.
By the time the sun was directly overhead the forest grew quiet, so we went into town for lunch and then briefly to visit nearby Nachusa Grasslands. We missed seeing a Lark Sparrow, but there were Dickcissels galore, which seems to be the story in every grassland habitat this year. While they like to perch on telephone lines and fence posts, this bird was kind enough to pose on a penstemon. Although I wasn’t close enough to get a perfect picture, the surroundings seem to make up for the lack of clarity.
We had butterflies too, and when I figure them out I’ll be back with their images.