I had a lot of other photographs I was going to post from previous visits but they will have to wait. In spite of the rainy forecast Saturday morning, I went to the Portage and even though it was overcast, it was magical. Within a minute or two I had heard 10 bird species. I saw most of them and many more.
Perhaps the first bird I saw and heard was a Baltimore Oriole. There were easily half a dozen males staking out territories. This was the only one sitting out in the open.
I encountered a small flock of warblers fairly early. I was lucky to be able to sit on a big fallen log that has become permanent enough to attract graffiti. The opportunity to sit and look up into the trees was welcome. Below, couple Yellow-rumped Warblers.
I encountered small groups of White-Crowned Sparrows. They were delightful to see, but they weren’t singing. I have had them in my yard for a couple weeks and they have always started singing the minute I open the door. It was nice enough of these guys to pose for pictures.
I’ve been hearing Yellow Warblers for a couple weeks but hadn’t seen one yet at the Portage. But I found this one in my photos.
And then, of course, the Indigo Buntings. I underestimated their ability to look gorgeous even in poor light.
Below is a series of Black-and-White Warblers. There have been times I haven’t been able to capture these guys and girls, so this was a real treat for me.
I think I’ve decided Hackberries are my favorite trees. The birds like them a lot, and the Portage now seems to be full of them. They are in the elm family and I suspect were planted to fill the gaps left by all the elms we lost over the years to Dutch Elm Disease.
Here’s a Black-capped Chickadee demonstrating why he likes Hackberries. They seem to attract good worms.
A few birds I would expect to see all summer…
There were at least 30 swallows over the water. I had three species – Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. They are all represented in the slide show below.
I looked up and saw this Scarlet Tanager. I’m going back to see if I can find another.
I always hear at least one White-Breasted Nuthatch but I haven’t seen any for quite a while. This one made up for all the ones I missed.
Here’s what a Magnolia Warbler might look like straight above you. Below I have grouped several views of the “Maggies” who always seem to engage with the camera.
There were some barely-there birds…
With one more Magnolia Warbler photo, I am done with this post. We are going to get warm over the next few days. I wish I didn’t have to work, it would be ideal weather to see more birds. But the somewhat crummy weather this morning created conditions for some nice encounters with beautiful birds. I really can’t complain.