The weekend before last was warm – but very windy. I went up to the Hebron Trail/Goose Lake Natural Area anyway to see if I could find any Yellow-Headed Blackbirds. I did eventually see them as tiny little yellow-headed black dots far away. It was almost too windy to see any birds well at all.
Where there was a break in the trees, I was surprised to see this one Eastern Kingbird sitting quietly for me to take its picture. I had to think a bit about its identification at such close range!
There were several Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers but they were hard to see.
I don’t know why I make a fuss about Brown-Headed Cowbirds but I still think the males are beautiful.
I had heard Indigo Buntings the day before at the Portage but this was the first one I saw. The closer photographs below are from last year. I will likely get more opportunities this year after the birds establish their territories and start defending them.
Red-winged Blackbirds are easy to see at this location, even on a windy day.
Although it was a hard day for warblers, it was still warm enough for bugs and worms, and I managed to see this Nashville Warbler.
On the trail, coming and going, I saw a Brown Thrasher.
After I had exhausted my patience with the Yellow-headed Blackbirds heard but not seen from the observation deck, I walked a few feet past and stood – only to see a Sandhill Crane take to the air a few yards away. There is nothing quite like seeing a bird with a 77″ wingspan coming toward you.
A few more views…
I was surprised to see a Gray Catbird sitting and calmly looking at me. They are usually quite secretive.
Playing the hiding game was a Yellow Warbler.
Even Song Sparrows were laying low…
A little more Sandhill Crane action…
One more warbler – a Palm Warbler…
Canada Geese are easily dismissed, but they are still striking looking birds.
We are not on the Brood X Cicada a/k/a 17-year locust map this year, but here is a cooperative Cicada from last summer. It hitched a ride into my post with the Indigo Bunting photos.
I have as many more photographs to share as I have other obligations preventing me from doing so. I hope the space between posts will narrow a bit in the not-too-distant future. Hope for the promise of spring.