Early November at the Portage

I am sure I have heard a Tufted Titmouse at the Portage on occasion, but I have never seen one until, just as I was about to finish my walk on November 2nd, this one appeared. I had been hanging out with a Black-capped Chickadee and the titmouse insisted on having its picture taken instead.

Black-capped Chickadee

More photos of the Tufted Titmouse are below. In all there are way too any photographs in this post. I am trying to empty them off my hard drive so I can keep up with the present. And there are still pictures of the fall warblers from two months ago. Well. You get the picture.

Birds are moving in flocks now, which generally means you can go for a long time without seeing anything move and then encounter several individuals at once. Below is a flock of Cedar Waxwings.

The 1st was a bit sunnier than the second. Northern Cardinals are easier to see now than they were all summer. Even the females allow themselves to be photographed…as long as they are somewhat hidden and backlit.

Although there are lots of White-throated Sparrows, I don’t often see one well enough to get a picture. This one was a challenge.

Another White-throated Sparrow

One sparrow that has been showing up a lot since I took these first photos below is the Fox Sparrow. They are considerably larger than other sparrows and tend to just sit, so even though this one was behind branches, I could still capture it.

Black-capped Chickadee… and an American Goldfinch

House Finches blend right in to the browns and grays of fall.

Below is a Red-tailed Hawk.

I’ve been delighted to see White-breasted Nuthatches after hearing but rarely seeing them all summer.

Nearly every day I have seen a Brown Creeper.

Here’s about how far away the Brown Creeper was.

American Robins are in flocks too, but every once in a while I spot an individual.

Apologies for Downy Woodpecker overload – it is the start of Visible Woodpecker Season… I love to observe their behavior.

There is a barely-visible House Finch in the two photos below – just to get a feel for how well camouflaged birds can be this time of year.

More Northern Cardinals…

More Downy Woodpecker overload…

Speaking of flocks – Red-winged Blackbirds have been stopping by every day so far, in various-sized groupings.

Some scenes of the fall colors here… The water in the bottomlands has dried up by now, but this was fairly soon after we received a lot of well-needed rain.

Backlit House Finches don’t make very interesting photographs but I liked the surrounding vegetation…

One more Goldfinch…

Below is a well-preserved wasp nest.

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk was sitting with its back toward me … until it took off.

The Des Plaines River
The Portage creek

Thank you for letting me get these off my plate. I will be back soon – either with something more historical or more recent. It’s been exciting for me to go out every day, either way.

10 thoughts on “Early November at the Portage

  1. Lisa I love how you say that you were “hanging out with a Black-capped Chickadee” and I adore your Nuthatch photos, especially the head-on capture where it is looking straight at you. That seems like a rare camera angle – most images of them seem to be only in profile!

    • Thanks so much, Babsje! I have been to this site so frequently now I sometimes wonder if the birds know me. I could swear the young deer I ran into this morning right off the trail recognized me from our encounter last week… Either that or a part of me has become half bird. 🙂

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