I’ve been trying to write this post since last Tuesday. Spring migration has begun, and at this rate I will not be able to get caught up until next spring. On my visit the morning of April 5 to Riverside, one species stood out, albeit the smallest: Golden-crowned Kinglet. I first encountered several by the paved path in Riverside, but on the Riverside Lawn side of the river, there could easily have been more than the 50 I reported. They were slightly outnumbered by Red-winged Blackbirds that I did not bother to photograph in cloudy light, but I did record them because some of their vocalizations reminded me a bit of other blackbirds I have heard and you can hear the beautiful cacophony in the second recording below. The first recording has the sound of the Kinglets – that little tiny tinker bell sound on top of the blackbird chorus.
I took way too many pictures of the Kinglets because they were practically at eye level or on the ground…
Here’s how the Des Plaines River looks these days from the paved path in Riverside.
On the other side of the paved path, the flood plain was flooded a bit, providing enough water for a group of Blue-winged Teal along with Mallards and Canada Geese. As for the geese, I have been seeing 68B a lot lately.
In addition to all the Golden-crowned Kinglets I saw my first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season.
Here’s how the river looked that morning from the Lyons side by the Hofmann Tower.
When I came back to the bridge on Joliet Avenue I could just barely see a Belted Kingfisher perched far away in this tree. I had followed her in flight from another location. I have usually seen a male at this location so it was nice to see her with her rufous breast band.
There were still some Red-breasted Mergansers in the river, although they were pretty far away.
I always have room for a perching Northern Cardinal. Here are my two volunteers from that morning.
With the available light on and off, I thought these Mallards looked rather content in the fluddle.
The perched Song Sparrow sat and talked to me, he didn’t sing this time. The one on the ground looks to be a different individual.
Brown Creepers never really disappeared but they seem to be making a comeback for spring anyway.
I wasn’t able to capture a Great Blue Heron by the river that morning but I sort of managed to commemorate these two flying over.
Here are two more of my favorite Golden-crowned Kinglet photos.
I will try to get back sooner. I have been alternating visits to Riverside with the Chicago Portage and every day I have gone out, I have seen something new.
I also have been spending time visiting with my flute-playing friend Linda who very unfortunately broke her femur a week and a half ago. She is recuperating well from a successful surgery which put her back together, and she is now in rehab. I will miss playing with her in this year’s Spring Music Festival but pray for her complete recovery and making music together again.