Back to September

In defiance of dreary days, I started going back to revisit photographs taken on September 1 of this year. Now I wish I could time-travel back to September 1 as we are sliding deeper and deeper into an Arctic Blast that will be with us through Christmas. Please bear with me while I reminisce.

Fall passerine migration was in full swing that Saturday. I went to Thatcher Woods with some of the Oak Park Bird Walkers led by Henry Griffin, and then continued on to the Chicago Portage. The photos are arranged by location if not exact chronological order.

Right off the bat Henry spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker perched at a distance and I managed to get some faraway photographs.

The other exciting bird later that morning was a Black-billed Cuckoo which came to the edge of the forest to check us out.

Below may be the only Chipping Sparrow I saw last fall. On a picnic bench.

There are bluebird boxes at this location and in the spring we saw Eastern Bluebirds (and Tree Swallows) around the boxes. On time visit, we saw a juvenile Eastern Bluebird, below.

Flycatchers ruled the day. Below is an Eastern Wood-Pewee.

Then there was a Least Flycatcher.

And in my photos much later, I discovered an Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Just a couple other birds were available for identifiable photos. Below is a juvenile Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

I didn’t capture any warblers at Thatcher save the one below. It’s a distant Palm Warbler.

After we parted at Thatcher Woods, I continued on to visit the Chicago Portage. A juvenile American Goldfinch caught my eye.

American Goldfinch (juvenile)

In the nuthatch department, I was fortunate enough to see both White-breasted and Red-breasted nuthatches, the latter being less frequently seen and more elusive.

I managed to grab a few images of what looks to be a juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker.

I puzzled over the identification of the Confusing Fall Warbler (CFW) below until I finally settle on a Pine Warbler.

The bird below could also be a CFW if it had not confirmed in the very last photograph with its orange feet that it was indeed a Blackpoll.

Here are a few more Cedar Waxwing shots.

And as you may know by now if you follow this blog, I never turn down a Northern Cardinal.

Also considered a warbler species, I had a Northern Waterthrush that day.

Below is what little I managed to capture of an elusive Magnolia Warbler.

This hoverfly would not go unnoticed.

Either I saw a lot of thrushes this fall or it was just because I was out more often. Or maybe a little of both.

Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson’s Thrush

Three more warblers. Below is a Bay-breasted Warbler.

Then below, an American Redstart.

And below, a Yellow Warbler. I don’t think I saw very many this fall.

One more of the immature American Goldfinch.

As I go back to reality and the cold: we had fun singing in the choir this morning, and we managed to coax the sun to come out after it has been behind the clouds all week. It was shining through the clerestory windows once we sang “Hail o Sun”.

At home with the birds this afternoon I am resting up before I undertake afternoon and evening activities. Since Saturdays are so busy this month I’ve moved the big cleanup to Sunday night, so we will celebrate by vacuuming, swapping out dirty cages for clean ones and putting clean papers on the floors. In the meantime, some birds are taking advantage of my quieter moments. Greetings from the Hand-warmer Finch.

I’ll be back in a little while with a little recap of my participation in a Very Cold Christmas Bird Count yesterday.

Wherever you are, I hope you are safe, warm and comfortable heading into the Winter Solstice.

2 thoughts on “Back to September

  1. Boy, good time for a trip back to warmer times. Even seeing one of your birds on your gloved hand makes me cold. Kudos for doing the Christmas Bird Count on Saturday. I was cold just running errands in a heated car. Looking forward to hearing about your Saturday trip.

    • Saturday was good prep for the weather ahead of us. I got used to my new jacket and will be wearing it faithfully this week. The gas was a dollar cheaper in Aurora too or wherever I bought it on the way back. I’ll report on the birds – or lack thereof – a bit later.

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