I have to start getting up earlier! The days are getting longer and I have been giving in to a winter tendency to sleep in… but I think I better get back in shape. In any event, my birds always tell me when it’s sunrise, and on a sunny day they tell me just a little bit before. This morning was gorgeous, awash in sunshine, so after I fed everyone I headed for the Chicago Portage.
Suffice it to say we have had more snow since last week and it was a workout to walk the trails this morning. They have been navigated but the snow is still quite deep. Slow as it goes.
I hardly heard and didn’t see any birds at all until I got to the first rise where I found a couple American Tree Sparrows and several Black-capped Chickadees. The Chickadees evaded my lens but I managed to somehow focus on one Tree Sparrow.
So it was more snowy scenes, and some interesting sky views.
I took a look around the MWRD to see if there were any birds at all, dreaming of a misguided Snowy Owl, but not seeing anything.
And the view of the Des Plaines River through the bottomlands was equally stagnant.
Beyond the obvious deer tracks, there were some interesting tracks in the snow.
On my way to the second bridge and out..
All was not lost. I saw a distant adult Bald Eagle through the trees but did not have time for a photograph. Still, I was glad to see one.
Here’s a tree that had American Robins in it on January 31 but none today.
I think this Red-bellied Woodpecker has become familiar with me. His territory seems to be closer to the part of the trail where I have been ending my winter walks. Anyway he saw me stop when I heard him chirping around his trees and volunteered several nice looks.
I also managed to get a few somewhat-more-distant shots of a male Downy Woodpecker before I left. Lately it seems to be getting harder to focus at a distance so I’m happy with these.
Those warmer greener photos from late September are still in the works but I felt like honoring today’s walk before the snow melts. Here’s one more of the Red-bellied.