Fall Walks at Columbus Park

I am late getting around to a roundup of the three visits the Oak Park Bird Walkers managed at Columbus Park. The fourth was rained out and never rescheduled. In spite of all that, I am only including photos from the first two visits because there are too many to include from all three: I will follow up with the third visit later.

Larger birds dominated the visit on September 2. At first we had a young Black-crowned Night-Heron perched in a tree.

And then a bit later, a Cooper’s Hawk.

The first bird we were barely able to identify turned out to be an Eastern Phoebe when I checked my photos later.

Not seeing a lot of birds, we did have some insect activity in the wildflower garden.

I happened to stop by the Chicago Portage afterward and saw an Osprey…

Two weeks later on the 16th, back at Columbus Park, it was a different story. There were a lot more birds. And a lot more photographs. We were seeing some warblers.

Bay-breasted Warbler

By far the most prevalent warbler was Blackpoll Warbler. The photos below are of a few different individuals.

Beyond warblers, there were other migrants.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

And not so migratory, but interesting anyway, a Blue Jay and a Northern Flicker posed nicely for me.

The star of the morning for me was a Philadelphia Vireo, also at the top of this post. We don’t see them quite so often. For comparison, the third photo below is of a Warbling Vireo.

Still early in thrush migration, we were seeing Swainson’s Thrushes.

We actually started off the morning with a young Red-tailed Hawk, but I saved it for later.

At some point, we spotted the Great Blue Heron that frequents this body of water.

It’s been busy lately. Halloween has come and gone, and I was gratified to find most of the snacks-and-candy offering gone as well. Choir performances are piling up as our voices grow stronger with them. Birding has offered a few surprises which seem that much more dramatic just when you feel like so many birds have gone, only to realize there are still some fascinating individuals among us. It’s a reminder that it’s always about the bird in front of me. Whenever I get that unanswerable question – “what’s your favorite bird?” – the only answer can be “the one I’m looking at right now.”

4 thoughts on “Fall Walks at Columbus Park

  1. Nice trip on a time machine back to the more active days of fall migration. Wonderful lead photo of the Philadelphia warbler.What is the hawk perched on in the top picture? Is it a tree or a piece of art?

    • Hi Bob. Good to hear from you! I confess I fell in love with that Philadelphia Vireo… I think that is a new piece of art in the park. The hawk made it even more interesting.

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