The picture above was taken on April 14 at the Chicago Portage. There had been some rain, but the deluge was yet to come. The colors were still muted, with hardly any green. After the Portage, I continued on to part of Ottawa Trail Woods for the first time, searching for signs of spring.
I was a bit surprised to see this lone female Ruddy Duck at the Portage, napping. A little farther down stream were Blue-Winged Teal. Perhaps this couple was looking for a nesting spot.
The Canada Goose below was sleeping peacefully on her nest, incubating her brood. But I am afraid she has probably been washed out by all the rain that followed.
An early female Red-Winged Blackbird was sitting quietly off to the side.
Ruby-Crowned and Golden-Crowned Kinglets were everywhere. This particular Ruby-Crowned seemed to be having a little trouble controlling his crown in the wind. But in the second photo it really looks like a Crown sitting on top of his head.
Here’s a Golden-Crowned Kinglet, for comparison.
The sunshine, which had been in short supply, brought the turtles out of their sleep. This is but a small group: there were at least thirty.
A freight train crosses the Des Plaines River.
This Chipping Sparrow disappears right into the tree colors surrounding him.
Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers almost blend into the birch trees.
Oh, just one more turtle. I couldn’t resist.
At the end of the day, the emblematic first warbler of spring, the Yellow-Rumped, still vies for my attention.
More to come…after the downpours.