I went up to Goose Lake Natural Area in McHenry County over the Memorial Day weekend to see if I could get any closer looks at Yellow-headed Blackbirds. Unfortunately, due to the drought, the birds were too far away from the trail side or the viewing platform. But I did get some nice looks at Yellow Warblers.
The easiest bird to capture, of all things, was Willow Flycatcher. I can remember having a hard time seeing these guys whenever we heard them years ago on our birding class walks – but at this location I can always count on seeing them well.
It was so hot and dry, this Killdeer looked desperate.
On the wooded part of the trail I spotted a Red-Eyed Vireo.
Even the Red-winged Blackbirds didn’t feel much like showing off.
I think this must be a female Red-winged Blackbird taking in some shade.
A Green Heron flew by.
I will never tire of seeing Sandhill Cranes, and there were two.
So I’ve been kind of in perpetual motion, or so it seems. Last Saturday’s Berwyn Historical Society inaugural Garden Walk was great fun. I never considered that I was doing much planning or had any theme at all for my backyard but it stood out because of all the trees I planted almost 20 years ago. People were calling it a sanctuary! Who in their right mind plants a small forest in a postage-stamp sized yard? I didn’t want the grass that was there, and I wanted birds, so I planted trees, especially as they were offered to me by the Arbor Day Society the moment I moved in. In retrospect, I’m even happier I did this because I lost the original Ohio Buckeye years ago – so I could have been without any trees at all.
The week in preparation for the walk was hot and somewhat hectic but I loved working outside in the yard almost every day. I also had fun discovering the names of many plants I had never managed to identify. Best of all was the day itself. I had a fabulous time talking to people and in the process learned more about myself and my gardens. Maybe it wasn’t so haphazard after all. I look forward to having the time to really take care of the yard through all the seasons and continue to learn what the plants can teach me.
I will be back. I haven’t been birding for over a week, but I did manage to visit the Portage a couple times prior to the garden walk. Now we are in line for thunderstorms, making up for some of the rain we didn’t get in April, so that might curtail my birding activity this weekend. Life goes on, sometimes to my amazement.
How nice to have grown a sanctuary. Perhaps you should do a post showing your yard to your readers.
Well I think the reason why it was a “sanctuary” was because it was a hot day and the trees offered shade. I have been contemplating a post and I should start working on some pictures — then I can make this “before” and anticipate “after.”
Very nice captures, Lisa! 🙂
Thanks, H.J.! Hoping to see more birds and some butterflies and dragonflies after the rain. 🙂
Great shots of the yellow warblers!
Thanks! He made it easy compared to the migrants that just keep going…and going. 🙂