Putzing Around the Portage

Portage IMG_2201_1

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.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

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.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

We were delighted to see this Brown Thrasher.

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher

Portage

Phragmites at the Portage

The invasive Phragmites remain mighty, barren stalks that provide cover for the arriving sparrow species.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

The trees are like old friends along the path.

Portage IMG_2323_1

We found this Red-Bellied Woodpecker tending to a hole…

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

and one of several cardinals enjoying the sunshine…

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

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.

Red Tail IMG_2374_1

Red-Tailed Hawk

8 thoughts on “Putzing Around the Portage

    • Thanks Bob. We cannot shake the cold this year! Wind chills are hovering around zero. I keep telling myself this is better for the birds and the trees than last year’s heatwave…

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