Who needs sunshine? I went for a walk this morning in Riverside. Of course the sun came out after I got back home, but it was considerably warmer than it has been, not too windy, not raining, not snowing…if anything, melting ice was the only weather effect I had to deal with.
My first bird was actually in Lyons by the Hofmann Tower, a Northern Cardinal singing his heart out. There’s a recording of his song below the photo.
Here’s how the river looked from the Lyons spot. No ice left.
Over on the other side of the bridge there were three Common Mergansers. I tried to get a halfway decent shot of the hen sitting on a rock before they started swimming downstream.
I finished crossing the Joliet Avenue bridge and got over to the paved path which was primarily clear, save a few deceptive patches of black ice to watch out for. There I encountered a flock of Dark-eyed Juncos but could not photograph any of them. However, the male Eastern Bluebird at the top of the post and below. I have seen him here before. He came and sat for me, proclaiming his territory. I look forward to seeing a lot more of him in the warmer months.
Looking across the river I focused on two tree stumps that looked like raptors sitting – but weren’t.
Of course there were Mallards but without much light it was hard to find a reason to photograph them, except for the beautiful feather patterns on the backs of these birds.
On my way to the foot bridge I noticed the gargoyle atop the library entrance.
I took the obligatory photographs of the foot bridge.
There were no birds to photograph over on the Riverside Lawn side of the river, but there was a lot of melting ice. I proceeded slowly.
So other than a couple more standard views, the river and the tower, I am done for the moment but I wanted to honor the appearance of the Eastern Bluebird and the song of the Northern Cardinal as the promise of spring continues.
It was good to get out for a walk and, weather permitting, I intend to continue doing so…while attending to the backlog.