Filling in the Blanks

Green Heron

Green Heron

Somehow I managed to talk myself into getting up early both Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. Both days began on the cloudy side, with Saturday turning into rain by 10 a.m. But I finally saw some birds I had missed so far this season. Both Green Herons were at the Portage, for instance.

Flickr IMG_2961_1

Last weekend the woodpeckers eluded me, but this time I had the Northern Flicker above, in addition to Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, Downies and a Hairy.

Fledgling Robin IMG_2724_1

Juvenile Robin

Some juvenile Robins are starting to forage on their own. And there were at least four Gray Catbirds on territories. Below is one of them.

Gray Catbird IMG_2785_1

This juvenile Red-Winged Blackbird sitting on one of the foot bridges was scolded furiously by her dad as I approached.

RWBB Child IMG_2890_1

Wood Ducklings revealed…

Wood Ducklings IMG_2848_1

Wood Duck ducklings

Finally, the mirage I saw last weekend emerged. It was indeed a scurrying flotilla of Wood Ducklings. There are seven of them, and when they dart around en masse they look like a strange 7-headed creature.

Wood Duck IMG_2864_1

Above, mama Wood Duck.

Song Sparrow IMG_2828_1

Song Sparrow

Again, the same silent Song Sparrow. Maybe it’s a she.

Snapping Turtle IMG_3037_1

Still plenty of water on both sides of this path, when I caught the Snapping Turtle crossing.

Snapping Turtle IMG_3041_1

And a beaver going about his business.

Beaver IMG_3053_1

And Southwest Airlines flying over…

Southwest IMG_2820_1

Sunday it was grassland birds at Plum Creek Forest Preserve, way down at the southern tip of Cook County, organized by Chicago Ornithological Society. The birds were often too far away to photograph, but we were surrounded by Dickcissels and Henslow’s Sparrows.

Dickcissel IMG_3118_1

The Indigo Bunting below was interesting from the standpoint of his plumage. I don’t know if he was a juvenile or more likely somewhat leucistic, since his song sounded adult.

Indigo Bunting IMG_3100_1

Always a delight to see a Great Crested Flycatcher.

Great Crested Flycatcher IMG_3265_1

Great Crested Flycatcher

And the only Henslow’s Sparrow of the seven or eight we heard who dared show himself was still buried in the grasses, for all practical purposes. Others ventured closer to him but I chose to hang back; Henslows nest on the ground, and I didn’t want to disturb anybody.

Henslow IMG_3171_1

I leave you with a shrug from one of the Green Herons who had just about had enough of sitting still for so long.

Green Heron Stretch IMG_2939_1

I’ll try to shorten the space between posts. If I can stay awake long enough. šŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Filling in the Blanks

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