Almost two weeks ago, I went with a friend to the Chicago Portage to see what birds turned up after the snow. It was a beautiful, sunny day. My pictures of the most numerous species, Red-Winged Blackbird, aren’t worth publishing (maybe I wasn’t trying hard enough to get a picture), but other early visitors and some regulars complied.
Winter is hanging on a bit longer, but it sure beats the freakish 80-degree temperatures of last year. Undeterred, the Cedar Waxwings have begun to arrive on schedule, finding sustenance in leftover freeze-dried berries.
The Downies have been here all year, but I cannot ignore them.
We were delighted to see this Brown Thrasher.
The invasive Phragmites remain mighty, barren stalks that provide cover for the arriving sparrow species.
The trees are like old friends along the path.
We found this Red-Bellied Woodpecker tending to a hole…
and one of several cardinals enjoying the sunshine…
On our way out, a pair of Red-Tailed Hawks flew over: here’s one. Red-Tails used to nest at the Portage. I hope this pair decides to stay.