On this first day of a four-day warm up not to be missed, I visited the Chicago Portage. I have been there several times in the past few weeks, alternating between the Portage and Riverside, but have not had a chance to do another post for over a week and I apologize. Things have just suddenly gotten so busy I have gone out in the morning when the weather has been tolerable, but have not been able to catch up with my photographs. I apologize for my temporary abandonment of this blog, but this is just a short post before I have to re-immerse myself into figuring out how to play and sing a somewhat complicated arrangement of a song for the Spring Music Festival next week. I spent hours and hours writing out the score just so I could identify where and what chord changes occur. It’s been about 40 years since I last did this sort of thing…
It started out a bit cloudy and cool but the sun emerged and with its warmth came the beautiful bright blue sky which I could not ignore.
Somewhat surprisingly, there was not a lot of new bird activity this morning. I heard far more birds than I saw. But we had some rain yesterday and there are likely storms ahead tomorrow, which just might encourage more birds to visit. I was most thrilled to see a Great Egret at the far end of the stream as I was walking in its direction. I proceeded as slowly as possible but knew that I would eventually be closer than it could tolerate, especially on such a quiet morning this early in the season. But this is the first Great Egret I have seen this year, which makes it likely to expect numbers of them on the Des Plaines River at Riverside where I have been looking out for them. And it’s so special to have a heron on the water at the Portage after last year’s drought made them so scarce. I am hoping for Green Herons to return.
As can be expected, Red-winged Blackbirds were going about their business.
Also on the water, there have been Blue-winged Teal for the past couple weeks. I counted 14 on April 19. Today there were two pair. I didn’t get great photos through the vegetation but at least this couple perched conveniently on a log. I promise more Blue-winged Teal photos when I start getting caught up with previous visits.
In the sparrow department I heard Song Sparrows but didn’t get on them with the camera. I did manage to record a couple Fox Sparrows though.
The Northern Flickers are doing everything they can right now to avoid my lens. It should be easier to capture them later.
With the sunshine, turtles emerged.
For what it’s worth I found some interesting white foliose lichen growing on a dead log.
For the most part there were a heck of a lot of American Robins. Everywhere. So I have to give them some credit, even if none of it is terribly interesting.
So, that’s it for my short post today. I hope to be back sooner than I think I can make it. If it rains as predicted tomorrow, maybe I can catch up a bit with some photos from other locations as some warblers are starting to arrive. Indeed I was a bit surprised I didn’t have any warblers this morning as I had several individuals yesterday in Riverside. So I guess I know what my next post should be!