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.
By far the most prevalent warbler was Blackpoll Warbler. The photos below are of a few different individuals.
Beyond warblers, there were other migrants.
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.”