Spring Rolls Out Slowly

It’s been a weird week and a half. I have gone for walks off and on, weather has been iffy at best. More threat than actual thunder. This will be a little bit of a catch-up post, but I can’t promise any focus or real theme as my life for the moment is taken up with the choir’s imminent performance for our Choir Sunday.

I won’t get into any details, but I have been immersed in the story behind the story upon which Considering Matthew Shepard, by Craig Hella Johnson, is based. The oratorio not only tells a story but reflects upon the idea of story telling as central to our lives. We had an electrifying dress rehearsal with the soloists and chamber orchestra Sunday night. The choir has one last rehearsal tonight to smooth over the rough edges before the performance.

Back to the birds. Two Sundays ago now, I decided to visit the zoo, to see if there were any interesting ducks in the man-made lake. It was a cold day, but sunny. And the first bird I noticed was a tagged Canada Goose with whom I am not familiar. I haven’t filed a report – yet – for H60.

Walking the trail around “Swan Lake,” I encountered a few curious White-breasted Nuthatches.

Black-capped Chickadees were not far behind.

There were only two ducks in the water – and they weren’t Mallards. But they were so far away it was hard to get good images of them. They were Ring-necked Ducks.

American Robins are everywhere again, but they only started singing a couple days ago.

Four rescued American Pelicans were hanging out near another water feature.

I was in Riverside the next morning. There was even less going on there.

I managed to see one male Red-breasted Merganser in the Des Plaines River.

Then I went to the Portage on the 21st. A couple first-of-year birds for me: a Turkey Vulture, and two Brown-headed Cowbirds.

I spent the 22nd at home and tried to get a few photos of birds in the yard. It never goes well through the back porch windows. But I have more American Goldfinches in the yard now than I have had all winter. And they are starting to transform.

I spent a while with the Song Sparrow who’s been happy to hang out in the yard lately.

A few other likely characters showed up.

A Gray Squirrel enjoying a likely peanut
Ring-billed Gulls are coming back to the burbs

Just one Mourning Dove posed, but I caught a glimpse of a Eurasian Collared Dove as it flew in and landed in a tree. Years ago I used to have a pair that visited the yard quite often. I have been looking for them ever since.

The light was too poor to capture these birds well. But it was still nice to be outside altogether.

I have more dribs and drabs to report, but it will be a busy remainder of the week. Still I’ll try to come up for air a little sooner. It does look like April will be starting right off the bat with showers and more. I hope I can get the rain barrels installed and start capturing the gallons.

2 thoughts on “Spring Rolls Out Slowly

    • We went over some rough spots last night at rehearsal and I am feeling very good about our upcoming performance. Additionally, our choir director informed us that since hospitalizations are at an all-time low for Covid, we do not have to wear masks for our performance. Those who still wish to may do so but for the rest of us it will improve our diction and facial expression. I am looking forward to singing maskless after all this time! Tired of hiding my flubs behind the mask. 🙂

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