I didn’t go for a walk yesterday, as much as I wanted to go back to the Chicago Portage. The sky was gloomy and threatening rain which we never got. But more than that, I didn’t want to lose my parking space because of the holiday, and I had so much cooking to do I figured the only way I would have enough energy to get it all done was to stay home.
But two days earlier, on Tuesday morning when I got to the Chicago Portage, the first bird I saw was a Peregrine Falcon, perched on a tree overlooking the frozen stream, eating its breakfast.
I got a smidgen closer and started taking more photographs.
I started to feel a bit sorry for the falcon having to deal with me while otherwise obviously enjoying its meal, but I couldn’t help myself.
Needless to say I took too many photographs, so here are some more.
Only a bright red bird could distract me momentarily.
Here’s what the Portage looked like that morning from the bridge. The water was frozen, so there were no ducks or geese.
A couple Dark-eyed Juncos stuck around almost long enough for a photo or two.
Two Mallards flew over but kept going. I guess they weren’t tempted by the ice.
But then a Great Blue Heron flew over.
And a little while later, I found it sitting behind where I was on the trail, by the frozen stream.
I crossed the second bridge.
There were sparrows at this point.
I saw more American Tree Sparrows than any other species.
And one more Fox Sparrow.
Here are a couple more photos of the Peregrine Falcon dining.
A Red-tailed Hawk flew over a couple times. I was barely able to capture it the second time around.
One more surreptitious view of the Great Blue Heron.
So you never know what you will see these days at the Chicago Portage as we head into winter. The most amazing thing to me was that the Peregrine Falcon was present practically the entire two hours and twenty-five minutes I was there. I had some more distant photos of it as it moved around, but then snuck up behind it going back down the inside trail for the photo which is at the top of the post. Here’s one more from that viewpoint just for good measure.
I hope your holidays are going well. I’m looking forward to seeing how many different combinations of leftovers I can come up with through the next few weeks.
Awesome photos of the falcon eating, dining and posing. Great shots of the great blue heron and mallards in flight. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.
Thanks, Bob! I’ve seen a Peregrine Falcon, albeit much farther away, the last two days and can’t help but wonder if it’s the same bird. My Thanksgiving was peaceful and I am grateful. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving too.
How wonderful to see a peregrine so clearly. I have only ever had very distant views of our local ones.
It’s been a fairly recent phenomenon, I guess, but all those nests on Chicago skyscrapers that were so lovingly tended have likely produced quite a local population. I didn’t notice any bands on this bird’s legs so likely the wild generations are happening.