I may have said I didn’t want to get distracted in my last blog post, but I felt the need to go out for a little exploration Sunday morning, and so became distracted by a few birds at McGinnis Slough and the Chicago Portage. And if I don’t pay them due respect now they will likely never get another chance.
The Red-Winged Blackbirds are back in force at McGinnis, with likely more to arrive. I counted maybe a dozen males singing on their territories. There were Red-Winged Blackbirds back in Millennium Park downtown yesterday, along with some of their Common Grackle cousins. (The photo below is from McGinnis.)
I have been checking off all my little Signs of Spring since I got back: the appearance of the first American Robin in my yard last week, then hearing Robins singing in the neighborhood yesterday (looking forward to those 2:00 AM serenades!), the Northern Cardinals singing their descending scale song, and I’m even distracted by the return of the Canada Geese to the Jackson Street Bridge. A Horned Grebe on the lakefront. Every year around this time someone sees a Red-Throated Loon by Monroe Harbor. I may have been the first to report one a few years back. I have missed the bird ever since but wonder if it’s the same individual returning year after year.
It was cloudy, cold and windy on Sunday, perfect Red-Tailed Hawk weather at McGinnis. We have warmed up since then and have relatively balmy temperatures predicted for the entire work week, along with attendant rain and thunderstorms.
The other raptor at McGinnis was a juvenile Bald Eagle. There are more and more frequent sightings of these birds in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Not many surprises at the Chicago Portage but it was brimming with the promise of renewal. There were several White-Breasted Nuthatches and Downy Woodpeckers.
One of the pairs of Canada Geese ready to set up housekeeping was the same tagged couple from the last two years, No’s. 16 and 11. If I recall correctly 16 is the male. This time I noticed the bands on their legs as well although they are not decipherable.
Among the Mallards and Canada Geese was one Northern Shoveler. I just barely managed to capture him before he took off.
There were about a dozen Dark-Eyed Juncos but with the sweep of warm air coming in, this may be the last time I see them.
It looks as if the badgers have been busy…
I’m not changing the header on this page because I do intend to get right back to the photographs from Nicaragua! Maybe all the rain this week will keep me inside long enough to finish that task.