Inertia and Bald Eagles

It’s been a week. This post has nothing to do with the Fourth – or now, the Fifth – of July except that I realize it’s the first such holiday I have not been compelled to visit Goose Lake Prairie for my annual prairie and Dickcissel fix. I will be going there perhaps in the next week or so now that I have no obligations to a workplace.

I’m going back to photos from the Chicago Portage taken on June 12 and June 18. Just last month, but it already seems like those were slightly cooler days of innocence. Before the loud music from my neighbors’ pool stereo. Before the fireworks. I’ll stop there.

Below is the first time I captured Tadziu, the indomitable Indigo Bunting, on his new perch across his bridge. Also are recordings of his song on both days.

Recording of Tadziu singing on 6/12/22 with Warbling Vireo in background
Tadziu singing on 6/18/22
Looking at Tadziu’s bridge from afar, on 6/18

I captured a Bald Eagle flying over the Portage both days after not having seen one for quite a while.

I still think Brown-headed Cowbird males are good-looking guys.

More Bald Eagle flight photos.

These are not good photographs of a Northern Flicker but perhaps they are interesting in the shadows.

Here’s another Indigo Bunting – not Tadziu – I saw on June 18.

And here’s another Northern Flicker. These photos intrigued me because in the first ones, his tail completely disappears into the tree.

I keep expecting to see flocks of Cedar Waxwings in the mulberry trees, but so far had only barely seen a couple individuals.

12-Spotted Skimmers are relatively common at the Portage.

I haven’t seen Red-bellied Woodpeckers as often as I have heard them, but was able to capture this one at a distance.

Red-winged Blackbirds are not as visible as they were right now, so in good light I try to photograph those I can.

On June 12 I saw this Indigo Bunting and then managed to record his song. You can hear how different it is from Tadziu’s.

Indigo Bunting with Baltimore Oriole answering

I was happy to see a Black-capped Chickadee for a change of pace. It was busy and quiet.

This Ruby-throated Hummingbird was far away but perched so I attempted a couple photos. I hate calling them “shots”…!

Vegetation I haven’t seen or noticed before always attracts my attention. From left to right, Motherwort, a non-native species; Red Clover, also introduced; and galium aparine, known by a plethora of colorful names including Bedstraw, Sticky Willy, Catchweed, Whippy Sticks – now naturalized in the U.S.

Below, perhaps more or less native, allium canadense or Wild Garlic, and Fox Sedge.

There was this beautiful orange fungus on the 12th. I haven’t seen it since, I will have to remember to look for it.

Two tiny insects, what looks like some sort of fly, and a beetle I am too lazy to look up and identify.

I keep photographing this bridge as long as I can still see it through the vegetation, and then a view of the stream overgrown.

Not the clearest photo of a somewhat distant White-breasted Nuthatch but I hadn’t seen one all summer and the two tree barks almost make me dizzy.

One House Wren pondering his next move…

A view of the Des Plaines River from the trail above the bottomlands…

Today is also the 11th anniversary of my blog. And my birthday. I may not be posting as often as usual (albeit I post infrequently enough as it is!) for the next few weeks as I have penciled in – no, engraved in stone – my intention to start working on the book I’ve been meaning to write for the last 20 years. I don’t intend to finish it, but it’s a good time to start: I have no immediate obligations without choir rehearsals during the summer, the weather, whether too hot or stormy, may interfere somewhat with my propensity for morning bird walks, and I don’t know, I just have a feeling that if I start writing it may take me over like the last long writing project I was involved with years ago, and that will be worth doing in and of itself. A long retreat into another corner of my mind. A brief respite from the world’s troubles. Truth in observation. Trying to make sense of it all, but acknowledging when it makes no sense.

8 thoughts on “Inertia and Bald Eagles

  1. Making a start on a book that has been lying in wait for twenty years sounds most exciting. I hope that you do it, but also that you can find a moment every now and again to put out a post or two. Happy birthday Lisa.

    • Well the book keeps changing in my mind so I don’t know what will happen but it will feel good to get caught up in it. Thanks so much, Tom, for your encouraging words.

  2. Well I understand the need to visit a prairie site and see a few different birds. I have gotten my annual sighting of the dickcissel, bobolink and even the western meadowlark, lark bunting and lark sparrow. But now, back from the west I was briefly taken aback with my recent walks at Portage. The vegetation growth over that time was significant. I almost could not recognize the place. The summer birds were there, I could hear them, but almost all remained hidden behind the wall of foliage. Well, that is except the ubiquitous robins who just seemed to repeatedly pop out and go TA DA here I am.

    I did hunker down during the explosive neighborhood celebration of the 4th. This is not my favorite way to experience this holiday. But, this warm spell and quiet time for birding is an excellent opportunity to pursue some writing. I wish you well on getting started. Also Happy Birthday! I still have not seen a hummingbird yet this year. So for now I will just enjoy your photos.

    • Thanks so much, Bob. Summertime is a slow season almost everywhere. Sometimes one gets lucky enough to observe a little breeding behavior but rarely as that’s the last thing any bird wants attention paid to. But it’s definitely time for me to get caught up on the plant species… I haven’t seen any hummingbirds for the last month or more. One place to watch last year at the Portage was the red bee balm which is now in bloom at the top of the hill. It was a magnet for hummingbirds. But there were none yesterday. I keep hoping!

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