A couple lazy uneventful Saturdays at the Portage the first two weekends yielded a few photographs and a little singing to go along with it.
Below is the last time I saw an Eastern Bluebird. I barely saw it – it was in the darkness of the trees as I first walked in and I had no idea what it was until I adjusted the exposure and cropped the photograph. I will likely never know if the two bluebirds stayed and raised a family. But it was still nice to realize maybe they were still around two weeks ago.
Then I got lucky and saw a female Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, just like the one that visits my feeders.
This was the last hurrah for Indigo Buntings too. They are still present but not as visible. This one had a distinctive song.
Below is a female Indigo Bunting with an insect prize.
Two photographer acquaintances I run into frequently, Steve and Mike, were taking photographs of the juvenile Wood Duck below. Another mystery. I had seen a couple Wood Ducks early in the season but I have no idea whether they nested. I can’t imagine with the water levels so low what they would have done with their ducklings once they fledged (if you can call falling out of a tree nest onto the ground fledging).
There are still Robins around although not so many. Most I am seeing are juveniles like the ones below.
Goldfinches are abundant now. They never really disappeared but because their breeding season starts later, they tend to re-emerge later.
A few miscellaneous photos from the summertime abundance. Blue Vervain and Common Chicory are the flowers.I cannot resist photographing the shelf fungus. The dragonfly is a female Common Whitetail, there’s a Paper Wasp, and the butterflies are Painted Lady and Delaware Skipper all the way down at the bottom of this group. The Skipper is a tiny butterfly.
The management of the water levels at this place continues to frustrate me. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that it is a low-lying area close to the Des Plaines River, and all this has less to do with beavers than predictions of future flooding due to climate change. It’s hard not to feel as if the wild places, such as they are, that we have left will soon be managed out of existence. But I will continue to visit and try to look for silver linings to these clouds.
A few birds in flight, above – a Robin at the top and a Red-Winged Blackbird at the bottom right.
A few more photos from those two Saturdays, the 1st and the 8th. The birds were busy but not so visible.
It’s hard to believe that we are now looking toward the end of August and fall migration has already begun for some species. Sometimes this year seems interminably long, but the weeks are catching up with me. I will try to be back soon with more summer observations before the next phase.