Briefly at the Chicago Portage

Getting up early Sunday morning, after Saturday night’s successful Spring Music Festival, was not so easy, but contrary to the gloomy forecast there was a little sunshine and I decided to take a brief, brisk walk around the Chicago Portage before taking off to go back to Unity Temple for the service and a meeting of the congregation.

My intent was to do this quickly and be back later with a lot more from other recent visits. Unfortunately it has taken me all week to just say hello. This week is turning out to be a very busy chapter. So here we go with Sunday morning’s quick start.

A distant Hermit Thrush was for once living up to its name. This individual did not run toward me as if to answer a question.

Ruby-crowned Kinglets are still here and there.

An Osprey appeared, and then had fun flying for the camera.

This is the second time I have seen an Osprey at the Portage in the last week or two.

This White-throated Sparrow didn’t mind having its picture taken as long as there was some vegetation to hide behind.

I caught a Song Sparrow in a quiet moment…

Sometimes Mourning Doves behave like they cannot be seen. This one was trying to blend in with the gravel path.

I heard the fabulous song of a Brown Thrasher and then managed to find the bird perched high up in a tree. This is the first Brown Thrasher I have had this spring.

I found a busy Red-bellied Woodpecker in the spring sunshine.

A slightly windblown American Robin caught my eye.

It was a short but pleasant walk, making it much easier to spend the rest of the day inside and out of the deteriorating weather which became rainy and colder.

Temperatures have since warmed and more birds are showing up. This morning I added four species to my FOY list. I look forward to Riverside tomorrow morning.

Suffice it to say that I am a bit verklempt – I have been working in the yard all week trying to plant some new perennials while removing invasive species. And now that overnight low temperatures are no longer, I have a mountain of cleanup work to do. It is wonderful to be outside in the garden, but it’s also exhausting. Spring at last.

7 thoughts on “Briefly at the Chicago Portage

  1. Lisa, I admire your eye for being able to see and photograph such a variety of birds, of course, but also your ear that you can identify by birdsong. I found this phrase thrilling: “I heard the fabulous song of a Brown Thrasher and then managed to find the bird perched high up in a tree.”

    • Oh thank you so much, Babse! I realize now that I have had the opportunity to go out every day how much more of a difference time in the field makes. It wasn’t until the past year or so that I find myself more attuned to vocalizations. It might be a bit like playing by ear! My hearing isn’t even that great, but for birdsong it improves. Go figure. 🙂

  2. I am still looking for that local osprey, but in the meantime I am enjoying your photos. Stopped at Portage yesterday afternoon and did see several elusive warbling vireos that I have been hearing but not seeing until yesterday. I also caught a pair of bluebirds. The warm weather has arrived and we can anticipate more warblers stopping by.

    • I was there in the morning and saw Warbling Vireos too. Also got good looks at a Yellow Warbler and not great ones of a Nashville. Maybe best bird was a male Orchard Oriole. Had a first-year Redstart this morning and a Northern Waterthrush along with some other FOYs by the river and in my yard. It’s getting to be work now!

  3. Wow that is a nice day. Saw the yellow warbler and a Baltimore Oriole as well as a Solitary Sandpiper today. I have yet to see a Nashville, Waterthrush or a Redstart yet. But I did see Jose, Pedro and George on the trail this morning.

    • It will be interesting to see how many different species we find tomorrow during the Spring Bird Count. I am preparing to be overwhelmed but it has more to do with waking up two hours earlier than usual.

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