I started writing this post on March 1. WFMT’s Carl Grapentine kicked off March 1’s morning program by playing, what else? Various marches. I was just getting over February.
The end of February was sufficiently balmy to lock it into the record books with January as being the first time both months went without snow in Chicago.
I birded with my friend Susan last Sunday. We went to Bemis Woods South and the Salt Creek Forest Preserve. It was so quiet I didn’t bother to do a list. We were about to give up on the Salt Creek portion when a man walking in the opposite direction told us to look for an owl, so we continued. The Great Horned Owl at the top of this post made the day. Its nest was easily seen from the trail, and it sat and watched as people went by.
Two more birds from Bemis below, a White-Breasted Nuthatch and Red-Bellied Woodpecker.
March came in like the proverbial lion, returning to chilly, windy temperatures. My reward for venturing out of the office last week was to see my first Yellow-Rumped Warbler in Millennium Park. Nothing rare, but an earliest first for me.
It’s a busy time of year for the birds, as they prepare for spring. Today I visited the Chicago Portage, and although by the time I got there the sunny start was disappearing, and the number of Canada Geese and Mallards was increasing, and there were some more unusual visitors in the air, like the Bald Eagle below with nesting material and a small flock of Sandhill Cranes. The Sandhills were oddly quiet.
Saw and heard my first male Red-Winged Blackbirds today at the Portage, where they have come to establish territories.
There were maybe 40 Mallards spread out wherever there was water, and 5 pair of Canada Geese were checking out nesting spots. I haven’t seen any banded geese this year.
Other than the Red-Winged Blackbirds there were very few passerines, with the exception of a few American Robins and European Starlings. I heard a Song Sparrow, Chickadees, Killdeer, and a couple Downy Woodpeckers were flitting about.
The last Downy Woodpecker I photographed was last week in Millennium Park.
Also present that day, a couple Northern Cardinals and the White-Throated Sparrows who literally yelled their calls from the bushes when they saw me approach our favorite spot.
More Portage views…
I hope to be back once more if possible, with an update on my indoor crowd – before I leave for a quick trip to Panama. I’ve been planning this trip for months and unbelievably, all of a sudden it’s here.
Thanks to you all for checking in. Until next time… Peace and Think Spring.