These photos are from two visits to the Riverside trail on October 20 and 27 – both after periods of some significant rain. Although the Des Plaines is nowhere near flood stage, it is good to see it looking more like a river.
Activity around the Hofmann Tower on 10-20 consisted of two flock bursts – the expected Rock Pigeons and also a flock of Blackbirds, mostly Red-Winged.
I saw an Orange-crowned Warbler on both occasions.
Below is a Nashville Warbler I saw on the 20th.
It was hard to get a good photo of this Double-Crested Cormorant through the trees but still nice to see on the 20th. I saw one flying a week later and wonder if it was the same bird…
It’s somewhat easier to get Northern Cardinals to sit still for a photo this time of year. As long as they feel somewhat shielded by a twig…
I saw Brown Creepers on both occasions, and was lucky to photograph this one on the 27th.
A Mallard here and there…
European Starlings are in groups, as usual.
One of those Red-winged Blackbirds still hanging around.
Below on the left is the sign posted at either end of the trail in Riverside that runs along the river. On the right is a sign opposite the western end of said trail, which denotes the Plank Road Meadow which features a boat launch.
House Finches are more visible now.
A tree full of Mourning Doves…
I expect to see more White-Throated Sparrows, but managed to capture only the one below.
I was going to simply add the photo directly below and call it a Tennessee Warbler – even though the face looked a little suspect to me. Then this morning when I flipped over the Audubon calendar hanging over the kitchen sink to November, the photograph of the bird on it looked like the one below, only it was identified as a Pine Warbler. So I took out The Warbler Guide to confirm – because now it was showing up as “rare” on my ebird checklist – and went to the bill shape again. That’s what made the face of this bird not look at all like a Tennessee.
Just to elaborate, I rescued the photos below from my external hard drive and found a few more clues to the Pine Warbler identification. There’s ever-so-slightly a hint of wing-bar showing on a couple photographs, but best of all is the one I brightened up a bit, where the bird is looking directly at me. That’s a Pine Warbler face if I ever saw one. I have to be more careful going through all these photos!
Below is a lovely little Song Sparrow.
The remaining Great Blue Heron is not as visible now from the bridge.
Catalpa tree seed pods on the left, and well-eaten Pokeweed on the right.
An American Robin for good measure…
Not sure whose web this is but I found it interesting.
I saw the Red-tailed Hawk flying below before it landed in the tree.
A few more scenes of this location as the late fall progresses.
We are flirting with overnight freezing temperatures. Indeed, this morning I had to scrape the frost off the windows of the car before I went for a walk at the Portage. Today I will be draining as much water as I can store into empty vinegar gallon bottles, to be used in the now-heated birdbaths all winter.
And as the days get shorter and I see fewer birds… take fewer photographs… maybe I can start revisiting the reason why I started this blog in the first place: my fascination with bird song and the birds’ reactions to music. For the moment, I would like to share with you a funny incident I happened to record way back on August 29th. I was playing piano – I have been revisiting Schumann’s “Kinderszenen” – and perhaps that day it had become a bit of drudgery – I was likely distracted by the fact that my effective retirement date was 2 days off. In any event, I struck a wrong chord while playing the 9th piece of it (“Ritter vom Steckenpferd”) and my indoor crowd IMMEDIATELY let me know that was not acceptable. Which not only proves they were right, but also that they are always listening! Below is the clip. Enjoy. 🙂