Fall park visitors

Crow flying through Daley Bicentennial Plaza

I’ve been looking for sparrows, but the crows distract me and I forget to ask them to help me find migrants. I’m sure they’re capable of leading me to visitors. Haven’t they done it before?

White-Throated Sparrows, Lurie Garden

I did eventually find a few sparrows who chose to ignore me long enough to take their pictures…

White-Crowned Sparrow

and the crows hammed it up too.

Crow landing for a peanut.

Crow devotion.

The gardeners were out early yesterday morning and that might have had something to do with the sparrows not being very visible. When I worked at a different location I walked through the park every morning on my way in and regularly had flocks of sparrows covering the lawns. I must have picked the wrong day to get up an hour early.

Four days ago on my lunch hour I saw a Black-Throated Blue Warbler trying to pass himself off as a Junco, foraging in the gutter by one of the tennis courts. I didn’t have my camera, of course.

Dark-Eyed Junco

But today I found him again, in the same general area, although the light wasn’t as good. He must be waiting for a cold front to ride to his next stop. Maybe I’ll see him again before he leaves, this warm spell will continue for a few more days.

Black-Throated Blue Warbler

Molting Crows

Purple Crow

Yesterday morning I got up at an ungodly hour so I could go down to the lakefront and look for migrants. Unfortunately it was quite cloudy and although warm, I really could see and hear very little. I managed to find a few Tennessee Warblers and a Swainson’s Thrush, but mainly it was a congregation of Canada Geese enjoying the newly laid grass in Butler Field…

Canada Geese conference

…along with Ring-Billed Gulls getting ready to depart for the winter.

Ring-Billed Gulls flying over the park

There was a pair of Cooper’s Hawks which caused the crows to carry on a bit. Cooper’s Hawks don’t photograph too well back-“un”-lit.

Cooper's Hawk

But most of my visit was spent seeing just how little light I could photograph crows in. I had the shutter wide open and on abysmally slow speed to get most of these pictures.

Crow trying not to swallow cached peanut whole

My last picture was a reflection of the cloudy sky, appropriately in the sculpture affectionately known as the “Bean” in Millennium Park, but truer to its real name, Cloud Gate…

Cloud Gate with Clouds

The sun came out later but I was too busy at work to go out at lunchtime. My timing has been off all week.

But here’s a couple more pictures for you crow lovers: you know who you are. Talk about black being the sum of all colors.

"How about another peanut?"

Molting Crow