I went back to the Portage Sunday to see if abundant sunshine would allow me to see more birds. As it turned out, it was harder to capture most of the birds – except for the Indigo Buntings who were readily available – but in going through my photographs later I discovered the camera saw more birds than I did and I found some unexpected species. Nothing rare – it’s spring migration, so just about anybody can show up.
Not only was the Vesper Sparrow unexpected, but I was also surprised to see a Black-Billed Cuckoo, although I have seen them at the Portage on occasion before.
There were swallows like the day before, although not as many. I have concluded that the Northern Rough-winged Swallows fly in a more deliberate fashion which makes them easier to capture. Still I managed to snap one photo of a Barn Swallow in the lower right-hand corner.
So the Indigo Buntings were busy singing in the sunshine. I am convinced they have an artistic sense of the best places to perch for photos. I love the way this one was initially framed by the split of the tree trunk.
Male American Goldfinches are in full bloom too.
The Red-winged Blackbirds are looking a little tired of it all already.
I thought I was hearing the tail end of an Eastern Towhee’s song – and then I spotted one way up high (used to seeing them closer to the ground). Below the shots of the male is a partially visible female Eastern Towhee.
I was also hearing an Eastern Wood-Pewee for the first time this spring. I barely captured a picture of one below.
Red bird of the day turned out to be a male House Finch.
The Baltimore Orioles are busy gathering nesting material. Both female and male birds are below.
This is a really unfortunate place for a Lincoln’s Sparrow to show up but I’m glad one was on site anyway.
I walked around back by the water reclamation district and saw three Killdeer. Below is one of them.
There were quite a few Brown-headed Cowbirds. I got closer shots of the female in the grassy area by the parking lot on my way out.
So we really, really need some rain. This is how the Des Plaines looked on Saturday. You can walk down to it easily because the bottomlands are all dried out. Unfortunately because of the lack of water, there were no birds by the river.
So it wasn’t a great day for warblers, but I did manage a few pictures of a female Bay-breasted Warbler.
Can’t leave without a Robin. It’s got to be getting harder and harder to find those worms. The Robin below has a not-so-tasty-looking worm in its bill.
With a little luck I will be back with the prelude to all this before the weekend when I will likely be outside again. There is rain in the forecast but I have learned to become skeptical of the outcome. At least it is still fairly cool, but that will change too. This is all affecting my mood, to say the least. I am looking forward to swimming tonight – a sure antidote to depression.
I am continually amazed by the number of birds that you see and can recognise. If my head had that amount of knowledge in it, it would probably explode.
I am continually amazed by all the flowers and plants you can identify. It’s a wonder to me then that you contain all that in your head… but then it was Fernando Nottebohm who discovered birds create new brain cells as they develop their songs, which led to research confirming that humans, too, can create new brain cells… so instead of your head exploding, your cells are just becoming more efficient, perhaps.:-)
That would be nice but it seems a bit improbable as I struggle to remember where I have put things.
Routine things, short-term memory things delegated to auto-pilot, are definitely forgettable. Not worth the struggle…but I hear you.
These are a great variety of birds, Lisa. Seems like you have very good weather. 🙂
Thanks, H.J. I am happy to report we just got some rain. Not a deep, soaking rain that we need, but still better than nothing. We are in a drought though and I don’t think I will ever get used to it.
I love Indigo Buntings, too bad they don’t love me back.
Don’t take it personally. I suspect Indigo Buntings are only in love with each other…