Familiar Haunts

Carolina Wren, Chicago Portage

Carolina Wren, Chicago Portage

I’m trying to conserve energy for my upcoming trip, but beautiful fall weather and an extra hour of sleep were all I needed to get me out of the house yesterday morning. I went to the Chicago Portage and then McGinnis Slough, to witness the change of seasons.

Chicago Portage

Chicago Portage

Canada Geese gathered in groups of six to twenty-four birds, and I counted 126 total. Not a lot by Canada Geese gathering standards perhaps but plenty for a small preserve. I looked for Cackling Geese but there were none mixed in.

Canada Goose, Chicago Portage

Canada Goose, Chicago Portage

We’ve had some substantial amounts of rain the past week, along with cooler temperatures, contributing to the arrival of leaf color almost everywhere but the Portage. It has its own palette.

Portage 1I2A4101

I was lucky early on to see this Carolina Wren who also appears at the top of the post. He was busy with a worm, which explains to me why he’s still around.

Carolina Wren2 1I2A4085

The light was creating interesting reflections wherever there was clearer water.

Portage 1I2A4131-2

Portage Bottomland 1I2A4114-2

After the geese, the most numerous species represented yesterday was White-Throated Sparrow. I am used to seeing a lot of them on the lakefront but have never before seen 50 or more here. I caught one sitting. They were moving in flocks feeding in the ample brush and dried weeds on either side of the water. Song Sparrows, Swamp Sparrows and Fox Sparrows were interspersed with them but I could not single them out for a photo.

WT Sparrow Portage 1I2A4074-2

White-Throated Sparrow

Convinced that I’d seen and heard everybody available at the Portage, I moved on to McGinnis, where the colors were a bit more varied.

McGinnis Slough

McGinnis Slough

Here the species of the day, at least on land, was Yellow-Rumped Warbler. I had brought the scope but forgot the tripod I was supposed to grab on a second trip back to the house before I left, so I was not able to view any distant birds in the water. Not that I could have taken photos anyway. The two Trumpeter Swans who hang out were in the middle of the largest portion of the water instead of hugging the far shore, but they still looked like white blobs in a picture.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

I took advantage of a Ring-Billed Gull who flew over instead.

RBG McGinnis 1I2A4236-2 jpgRBG McGinnis 1I2A4237-2RBG McGinnis 1I2A4239-2

A little autumn color goes a long way as we say goodbye to warmer weather.

Fall Color at McGinnis 1I2A4249

One more Yellow-Rumped Warbler for good measure.

Yellow-Rumped Warbler, McGinnis Slough

Yellow-Rumped Warbler, McGinnis Slough

11 thoughts on “Familiar Haunts

    • Oh thank you! I wish I could devote more time to the blog. I take pictures almost every day but I am at a loss to go through them all half the time. It will only get worse on my trip of course but then I’ll have a better excuse at least for a little while.

      • I can sympathise with that. I spend far too much time going through my photos and reading other peoples interesting posts but at least it has the merit of stopping me watching TV and getting cross with it.

        I hope you have an interesting trip.

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