Any prediction of warmer temperatures and sunshine, however brief, is all it takes to make me a little nuts these days, especially if it falls on a weekend. So Sunday I tested the forecast for the last days of March and headed toward the Palos Forest Preserves of Cook County, starting with my favorite, McGinnis Slough.
Red-Winged Blackbirds were singing on territory, but much of the water was still frozen. I managed to see ten species of ducks, including Ring-Necked, Lesser Scaup, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Mallard, Bufflehead, Common Merganser, Northern Shoveler, Blue-Winged Teal and Green-Winged Teal, plus American Coots and there was one Trumpeter Swan at the far side of the larger expanse of water.
Not much in the way of land birds, save a few skittish Song Sparrows
and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker
Even the closer ducks at McGinnis’s south end were still too far away to photograph, but that never stops me.
From McGinnis, I went next to Saganashkee Slough, where American White Pelicans and Common Loon had been reported. I saw neither, but added Red-Breasted Merganser, Hooded Merganser, White-Winged Scoter, Pin-Tailed Duck and Common Goldeneye to my duck list. There was also a distant Horned Grebe and an immature Bald Eagle soaring over the water. It was even more useless to photograph anything here but I’m still including a picture of a lot of white blobs that were Herring and Ring-Billed Gulls.
On the way home, I stopped at The Chicago Portage to see if anything new was going on since last week. It was midday so I didn’t expect to see many birds. But there was a lot of melt and mud.
And a White-Breasted Nuthatch, heard first and seen at a distance later.
Also heard before seen, a male Belted Kingfisher. This guy was really far away but the camera saw him. I think this might be the first one I have actually seen at the Portage.
I decided to capture a close-up of some lichens growing on a dead stump, the only green going on.
So much for the early spring report, it’s back to finishing going through my Belize pictures. It won’t be long before McGinnis is full of Great Blue Herons like this one. Only the vegetation will look a bit different… 🙂
Are you happy now? I’m sure you don’t miss that white stuff! Have a good time Lisa! 🙂
Thanks, HJ. Don’t jinx it now – it’s not over till it’s over. We’re plunging back a bit…but sunlight will prevail, eventually.
It must be springtime..you have most certainly captured the aura of Spring..well done..Love them all..have a great day..
Thanks, Syl. We’re back in the cold again :-(, but everything is relative…? Maybe it’s April Fool’s Day!
we are cold here too..one day spring..next day..who knows..lol..it is really all relative..Have a great evening..so enjoy your photos..
Thank you so much, Syl, for your gracious comments. 🙂
That final heron picture was a real treat though I liked the flying geese too.
Thank you. The heron was quite cooperative as were so many of the birds in Belize. We were in a boat going around the lagoon so that gave me a good vantage point too,
Looks like you had a good outing. Very exciting you saw a kingfisher. I love the herons also.
Thanks. Yeah, the Kingfisher kind of surprised me, but I was even more surprised that I got a picture. As for herons there are more to come, I discovered some last night, forever unburying photographs. 🙂
Even the white blobs are interesting, thanks for always sharing your adventures. Last week I saw turkey vultures and red-winged blackbirds and knew that even with snow and ice, spring must be on its way.
Thanks so much for your comment. Yes, I think we’re really counting on the birds this year to point the way…to the budding trees, the longer days, it has to happen, right? 🙂