Three visits to Riverside are represented in this blog post: October 10, which was a beautiful, sunny morning, October 14 a bit cooler and cloudier, and October 17, chilly and cloudy. Up until today we’ve been flirting with freezing temperatures overnight, but now, suddenly, we are thrust back into summer for a few days.
On the 10th just after I crossed the footbridge to Riverside Lawn, I heard a Carolina Wren. Then I saw the wren perched on a bare branch, singing away. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had this treat. A recording of his song that morning is below.
There were still plenty of Yellow-rumped Warblers on the 10th.
And Golden-crowned Kinglets, who were getting a little bit easier to see.
There have been Hermit Thrushes everywhere I have been the last couple weeks.
I think this might be the last Orange-crowned Warbler I saw.
American Robins are about, here and there.
Killdeer are still present. The river has been receding lately.
I noticed from the footbridge these three carved pumpkins that someone put out on a log, and decided to get a closer view of See No Evil, Speak No Evil and Hear No Evil. Predictably this fine work was consumed by wildlife on my next visit.
There are still Red-winged Blackbirds here and there.
And I got lucky with a Red-tailed Hawk flying over on the 10th.
On the 14th I was very excited to hear and then see a Winter Wren but I was not able to get a decent picture of him. I have seen one or more of these birds nearly every time I have been out since, so I will keep trying.
Here are some more photographs of the White-breasted Nuthatch at the top of the post. The autumn leaves make a nice contrast for him.
I had another encounter with a Golden-crowned Kinglet.
This was the last time I saw any herons on the river. The cold snap probably encouraged them to move farther south.
A gray squirrel posed for me and then indicated he’d had enough.
This Chipmunk picked a perfect fall background.
A Mourning Dove was in no hurry to escape my lens.
Here’s another White-breasted Nuthatch.
I have seen little groups of White-throated Sparrows but they’re not always easy to capture.
It seemed to be a good day to get lost in the leaves. I think this is the last Magnolia Warbler I saw.
Also on the 14th, a family of deer and a lot of Rock Pigeons.
On the 17th it was cold, cloudy and pretty quiet. I only walked on the Riverside Lawn trail, up and back.
It could be that the birds were also quiet because of this Cooper’s Hawk who sat in a thicket close to the Joliet Avenue beginning of the trail the entire time I was there.
I have been back to Riverside twice since the 17th and then there’s visits to the Chicago Portage and a little beyond. I volunteered to help fulfill orders in River Forest for the Chicago Audubon Birdseed Sale tomorrow morning, so I won’t be going out again until Sunday. They requested extra help, and I figured if I was picking up my own order, the morning was spoken for anyway, so I may as well help them out. I used to volunteer years ago. It will be fun to see everyone again.