I don’t chase birds, and it seems I have had fewer opportunities than I’d like lately to search for birds even in the most convenient places. So I try to make the most out of the chances I do get.
Tuesday morning on the way back to work from the Labor Day weekend, I saw this Wilson’s Warbler at 155 N. Wacker.
The warblers in particular have been scarce in the city parks, if not in the “hot spots,” but I don’t like going back into the city on the weekend after migrating to and from it all week, so today I decided to get to the Chicago Portage early and then go to Palos.
Outside of American Redstarts at the Portage, I had a Connecticut Warbler and a male Black-Throated Blue, but neither of them wanted their pictures taken.
I got a little luckier at Palos, which holds a large area of contiguous forest preserves in southern Cook County. I parked in the south Swallow Cliff lot and took off on the yellow trail. I had looked it up before I went and knew it formed a continuous loop through several forest preserve areas. The entire loop is more than 8 miles. Without realizing the consequences of such a hike, I embarked upon the trek.
The slowest part of my walk was in the beginning. There were Blue Jays and Eastern Wood=Pewees everywhere. I tend not to think of Blue Jays as migrants, but of course they are. To my delight, several jays sang over the course of my walk, and I always had to stop and listen. Not one song matched another.
It took quite a while to hit pockets of warblers and when I did it was sometimes difficult to identify them all. I didn’t get many pictures of them, but this Chestnut-Sided Warbler was most cooperative.
The Yellow Trail is frequented by runners, cyclists and horseback riders. Not necessarily the ideal birdwatching situation. But I got used to it after a while and figured the birds were pretty used to it too.
I’m pretty tired and sore from the trek. I know I will be sore tomorrow, but my four plus miles of walking to the train and back are less strenuous than today’s workout. It was good to see some birds.
I wish I could tell the differences between bird songs. I do love hearing the little guys chirping outside, even if I can’t tell who is singing! Another blogger gave me a lovely guide to bird songs, which has helped a bit, but I may be a lost cause. I enjoyed looking at your pictures. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your comment and for following my blog! Don’t be discouraged trying to distinguish bird songs. It takes a LOT of practice. It took me years before I could recognize all the calls that robins make, and I am still discovering more. Guides and CDs are very helpful, but in the end the key to learning bird songs, I think, is just following the sound to see who’s making it. And your knowledge accumulates over the years: your brain stores that sound in your head somewhere and when you dust it off every spring it becomes more familiar.