When I arrived at the Chicago Portage Tuesday morning a little after 8:00, the forest preserve workers were cutting the grass and taking up the spaces where I normally park, so I parked on the Other Side where I noticed Bob had already parked. Predictably I encountered him shortly afterward and we walked around the main trail together hearing more than seeing. I thank him for drawing my attention to this lovely barbed wire American Goldfinch.
But the first creature I encountered was a butterfly and not a bird.
I did see a male Indigo Bunting. This is not our friend Tadziu.
At one point I photographed a distant bird sitting up like maybe it was a juvenile Eastern Kingbird, but there is no white on the tail, and I determined later that it was likely a juvenile Red-winged Blackbird.
This is the time of year when juvenile birds get confusing. The bird below in the mulberries turned out to be a European Starling.
And we caught a brief but distant look at a juvenile Warbling Vireo.
A few more photographs of this other Indigo Bunting. Although I did not get a photograph of Tadziu, when Bob and I were standing on his bridge watching for birds and talking, Tadziu swooped in with considerable bravado, flying right past us singing his song in greeting. Bob surmised it was Tadziu’s way of saying, “Where have you guys been?”
I am drawing attention to this occurrence simply because Bob and I were both witnesses to it and therefore nobody can say I’m making it up. Tadziu knows us and knows we know him. And I think he knows the story I tell about him all the time too. Fabulous bird!
I did get some photos of a male Common Yellowthroat perched up high and singing in a tree by the bridge.
Bob had to leave, but I stayed a while longer, curious to see if anything was going on by the water. I spotted a Green Heron.
The Green Heron was busy doing some interesting preening.
Then on my way back out the widened inside trail, which has yet to be paved, I saw a doe and her two offspring.
Just look at the size of those ears!
And then I heard and saw one of two Great-crested Flycatchers. It’s been a while since I have seen one, although I have usually heard them here.
I caught a young House Wren in a quiet moment.
Here’s another Indigo Bunting who was in a tree above with his back toward me. The lighting wasn’t really worth it, but in all I think I have been encountering 7 or 8 males on every visit.
Of course American Robins are everywhere. The young one on the gravel path caught my eye, and at the end of my walk I spotted two sunbathing on the freshly cut grass.
One more of the Green Heron and two turtles. And the American Goldfinch.
I am devoting my mornings this week to work in the garden. I will never run out of things to do and decisions to make, but I feel as if I am fashioning a little order for the garden tour, however transient. I keep thinking of things to do ahead of time next year, like cutting back all the towering plants before they grow so tall. But the drought caught me off guard and I was so happy to get the rain I didn’t realize how happy the plants were going to be as well.
Maybe I can swing by with another post during the week.