A Visit to Goose Lake Prairie

On July 9, I went to Goose Lake Prairie for my annual summertime visit. There were not a lot of birds available for viewing, but enough of the usual suspects were present for the most part and I had a good time observing a few individuals.

Song Sparrow

It was hard to find a Dickcissel close enough to the trail until I had walked quite a ways and meandered farther. The bird in the middle photograph below is a female.

The wind sweeping over the prairie made it difficult to get clean recordings, but below is a sample of a Dickcissel song.

Dickcissel

I was stumped by this Meadowlark – and wondered if perhaps it was a Western instead of a more likely Eastern – but I remain stumped and have decided whatever it is, it is a juvenile. I took way too many photographs of it but none have clarified the identification.

I am always happy to see – and hear – Field Sparrows. Unfortunately the only recording I got was very faint and far away.

Field Sparrow

There were plenty of Song Sparrows…but I did not attempt to record any. There was always one singing somewhere.

I was a bit disappointed that the parking lot Killdeer refused to turn around.

This bedraggled looking bird must be a young Indigo Bunting.

Here are some more poses from the Indigo Bunting at the top of the post.

It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day.

There were turtles on the rock in the water by the Cragg Cabin.

A male Northern Cardinal stood out against this background.

There were a lot of Common Yellowthroats but they were quite far away when visible at all.

Common Yellowthroat

Red-winged Blackbirds were predictably present.

Somehow I got lucky with this Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

I would have liked to have at least heard a Sedge Wren, but instead there seemed to be plenty of House Wrens.

The Purple Loosestrife below stood out. Luckily there wasn’t a lot of it but still it’s considered invasive.

There was one Great Egret at the water by Cragg Cabin, but it took flight when I tried to walk by quietly.

I like the colors of this rather distant Cedar Waxwing.

I made it all the way back to the lake, as it were, but the vegetation made it impossible to see the water and when I entered the blind and looked through the dirty cloudy windows, I didn’t see anything in the water.

I will have to try visiting this place a bit more often than once a year. Tomorrow I am getting up very early to go all the way up to the other Goose Lake in McHenry County, where I think they have had more rain and it is a few degrees cooler. I hope to get a better look at the Yellow-headed Blackbirds, but whatever I see, it should be a beautiful morning. The abundance of summer continues.