Portage Potpourri

I have way too many photographs taking up space on my hard drive, so I decided to do a brief post with just a few of them that were probably more effort to take than they were worth. Yesterday I was totally rained out and I thought that would make me more productive indoors, but after swimming I took too many naps to accomplish anything.

So here’s a small but select group of photos taken on September 4 of last year. It looks like it was overcast. Below, a Swainson’s Thrush, a barely visible back end of a Pine Warbler, and a Tennessee Warbler. Ah yes, remember those birds?

I had the bird below tagged as a juvenile Swainson’s Thrush.

The Portage was in late-summer-stage green and yellow.

And two more – a Bay-breasted Warbler and a Gray-cheeked Thrush,

How about a tree full of backlit Cedar Waxwings?

I didn’t seem to be able to capture any better photos of an American Goldfinch or a young American Robin in that light.

More recently, a low-light day on February 25 – just this past Saturday morning.

The Des Plaines River – from the railroad bridge
A dramatic-looking sky

There was still a little snow left and we hadn’t received so much rain yet.

A few more Red-winged Blackbirds were hanging out.

A White-throated Sparrow scratching around in the snow

I discovered this thoroughly chilly-looking male House Finch in my photos while I was trying to focus on someone else.

I have heard a Song Sparrow singing on my last two visits, so it could have been this one.

A female Northern Cardinal is an expert at blending into her surroundings
A Mourning Dove was trying, as usual, to not be seen
The light was perfect for fungus
Just a pair of Mallards in the water

So sunshine should make a difference, right? I went out this sunny morning to the Chicago Portage. It started out a bit nippy but soon warmed up enough for me to start loosening my layers. Outside of a few robins that did not pose for any length of time, I saw very few birds and heard only a few more. Talked with some humans.

For the first bird beside the robins, right off the parking lot as I started to walk, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk fly and land to perch on a very distant branch obscured by a lot more trees.

One Red-winged Blackbird did offer himself up to me but he was backlit and obscured by twigs.

Then suddenly in the distance, an unmistakable adult Bald Eagle flew, going southeast.

I stopped to glimpse at the bottomlands and the Des Plaines River beyond, which was still in flood stage from yesterday’s rain. It could be too soggy for me to walk in Riverside Lawn tomorrow.

Maybe it was the light, maybe it was the lack of birds, you never know, but I was attracted to the design of this cherry bark.

When I first came in, I saw only one Mallard in the water, but on the way out, I noticed there were two napping in what looks like it could be a possible nest location.

And the young deer were back.

I have now made some more room on my laptop hard drive in anticipation of the coming days ahead. There are still a lot more recent photos to share from other places. As for my motivation to get anything done, sunshine makes all the difference. I hope you are enjoying some sunshine soon, wherever you are.

4 thoughts on “Portage Potpourri

  1. Thanks for these Lisa! I heard my first Red-winged Blackbird yesterday. Looking forward to your spring posts!

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