Riverside Morning

I managed to get out of the house before the kid rush this morning. I should explain. There’s an elementary school at the end of my block and now that classes have resumed and I am retired, the parade of cars and parents walking their kids to school every morning is a phenomenon I rarely witnessed when I was working and already out the door for my commute.

Blue Jays rarely sit still long enough to be photographed but they were very active and noisy this morning and when one flew right into my warbler tree, well, you see what happened.

It was perfect timing to arrive at the Hofmann Tower, to see all the herons getting their morning together. I counted 8 Great Egrets and there were 2 Great Blue Herons at one point. A couple Great Egrets got into a bit of a disagreement. I think the Great Blue Heron in the last photo below may have broken up the fight.

One Great Blue Heron stood its ground.

While another decided it had enough.

After all that excitement I wondered what if anything I would see. We had a little thunderstorm activity last night which might have shaken things up a wee bit.

The Des Plaines River is full of water…

I crossed the Joliet Avenue bridge to the Riverside paved trail and walked slowly, staring up into the tall trees toward warbler calls I could hear. And sure enough there were some warblers. Not many, but a variety, so to speak. Unfortunately they were so far away and so active it was hard to capture them well but I managed some photographs of them and other migrants.

Blackpoll Warbler

A few fleeting photos of a Bay-breasted Warbler were welcome.

Barely captured was a Cape May Warbler.

An American Redstart…

And a Magnolia Warbler.

Other birds appeared.

Red-breasted Nuthatch
Gray Catbird
Northern Cardinal

The Mourning Doves were statuesque.

And a first-of-season species was represented by this Ruby-crowned Kinglet.

Gray-cheeked Thrushes continue to be a presence this fall.

And one little Mallard by the footbridge caught my attention.

That’s my quick report from this morning. I will go to the Portage tomorrow to see if there are any new birds there. I just met with my arborist who is going to take care of my tree issues Thursday morning, so I will probably miss that day on the trail. Wednesday night is predicted to be a high-migration night, so missing Thursday could be disappointing, but tonight is also a very high migration forecast, which could mean tomorrow will be a busy bird morning. If I can hold onto that thought before I fall asleep I should be able to get up good and early tomorrow.

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