As fall migration has waned and winter’s grip descends, searching for birds takes on a different cadence. Maybe in the cold you could use to walk a little faster, but then you might miss that brief view of the only bird you will have seen for the last five minutes.
These photos are from three walks along the Des Plaines River on November 9, 11 and 14. The 14th was the only morning with a little sunshine, so those gray skies are quite real. The 9th was the last time I saw the Great Blue Heron and not all that well.
Mallards predominate, predictably. The drakes’ deep green heads gleam in sunshine. Or even in cloud cover.
There were two Red-bellied Woodpeckers interacting on the 9th and one showed off its red belly.
This is the Des Plaines River looking north from the Joliet Avenue bridge, with a low water level, framed in the filigree of tree branches that have lost their leaves.
I guess the Golden-crowned Kinglets were easier to see without leaves in the way.
It’s also deer season again.
Dark-eyed Juncos are abundant but not always easy to photograph, especially being gray birds on gray days.
Of course there are plenty of Canada Geese too. This group must have attracted my attention as they stood in the river looking as if they were trying to figure out where to go next. I also liked the lone goose taking a one-footed nap with one eye open on me.
Here’s a sunnier look to the south from the Joliet Avenue bridge.
After crossing the foot bridge on Monday the 14th, I caught a brief look at a Carolina Wren.
I also had a Song Sparrow perched for a moment.
American Goldfinches are still busy eating all they can before they start relying on my backyard feeders. I look forward to them giving the House Sparrows a little competition.
I was surprised to see an Eastern Bluebird on the Riverside Lawn side. I don’t know why I can’t decide on just one photo. Probably because I took too many of them.
Here’s what the trail looked like on Monday. Not quite barren yet. And I have passed by that fallen log a million times without looking at it very closely. I suppose with less distraction the landmarks will become more evident.
I have chosen to stay in this morning. There may be a light freezing drizzle. The previously predicted snow is not exactly happening, now described as a “wintry mix.” I’ll go for a swim midday when I perceive the pool to be less crowded. Then I need to practice the line dance before tonight’s choir rehearsal. It’s just one of those days. I’ll get back to wandering around with the camera tomorrow.