We are rainy and still warm today so perhaps these photographs from Wednesday won’t look out of place. The forecast was similar to today’s, albeit almost twenty degrees cooler, but it didn’t rain while I was out. I nearly dashed out this morning when the sun broke through the clouds because spring migration is picking up, but I am not interested in playing chicken today with the forecast, and with predicted rain and storms there is wind that will eventually drive the temperatures back down to where they were when these pictures were taken.
The first thing I noticed looking over the river from the Lyons side was swallows. They were mostly Tree Swallows.
Except for a Northern Rough-winged Swallow I managed to capture, albeit blending in with the cloudy sky reflected by the water, which was moving rather briskly. I later tried to capture the “rapids” in the photo below the swallow.
For what it’s worth, there was also a Ring-billed Gull over the river at Lyons.
There were Yellow-rumped Warblers at the riverbank at Riverside, bugging in the mud.
Distantly perched, I barely managed to capture a Belted Kingfisher, a male this time.
Showing up for the count, so to speak, a female Brown-headed Cowbird was foraging in the lawn.
Over on the Riverside Lawn side of the Des Plaines things picked up a bit. There were numerous Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Ruby-crowned Kinglets are slightly larger than Golden-crowneds, which makes them appear huge by comparison when you are dealing with birds this size altogether.
There were plenty of Golden-crowned Kinglets as well, with these giving me some nice looks.
At one point while I stood wondering where the birds were, a Song Sparrow came and sat right in front of me for the longest time. Here’s only a few of perhaps 20 photographs. He wasn’t singing, he was pretty silent, but he wanted me to notice him. Maybe this is the same bird that gave me a recital weeks ago. The third photograph shows his feathers ruffled up a bit by a wind gust. I don’t think the temperature had reached 50 degrees yet.
This Northern Cardinal looks a bit chilly as well.
It’s always hard to tell whether you are seeing the same birds that were on the other side of the river because they tend to fly back and forth, but I suspect these Yellow-rumped Warblers were different individuals from the mud bunch.
And then out of the blue, so to speak, I saw the flash of a Northern Parula. This was a bird I had seen on the weekend before at Columbus Park – and I will try to be back shortly with that report as I managed to get better images in much better light. This warbler has been showing up in various locations around the Chicagoland area the past week and it was still early on Wednesday. I was about finished with my walk when I noticed the bird was working along the riverbank and I followed it until I managed to barely grab these images. This bird seemed to prefer foraging in old logs.
I am always good for a quick White-breasted Nuthatch.
Blue Jays are starting to show up again. I have heard them on occasion all winter but now I am just beginning to see them.
Beyond that, a couple Mallard drakes for good measure.
And one more of the Northern Parula.
I will try to be back soon as I try to keep space on the old hard drive free for inevitably more photographs. It’s going to be a rather busy week as I keep practicing for the Spring Music Festival so I am not making any promises, but a rainy morning forecast helps the blog efforts.
I would also like to dedicate this post to the memory of my former first-alto Alice Muciek who was a force for nature and music, in whose memorial service I will be singing with the Unity Temple Choir this afternoon.