In the Vicinity

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Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

The weather has turned suddenly hot and it’s hard not to wonder what effect that’s having on spring migration. I sense that to a large degree, no? pun intended, the heat wave has sent those who move farther north packing. I had hoped we would still see a few warblers yesterday on my second time leading a walk at the Portage, but we only heard a couple Yellow Warblers and never saw them. I’ll be back later with a few pictures from yesterday. But this is a more historical post, with a few pictures from the trip two weeks ago to the Portage, and a few more from a walk I took at Ottawa Trail just to see what was going on closer to the Des Plaines River.

Magnolia Warblers move predictably enough to photograph. This time the easiest bird to capture was a female; I caught only glimpses of a male.

 

One bird that I haven’t seen in quite a while appeared toward the end of our walk two weeks ago. It’s a Yellow-Throated Vireo.

 

It’s gotten so hot in the last few days it’s hard to believe that last weekend it was still cool enough to warrant layered clothing in the morning.

The Green Herons were both on site two weeks ago, and the turtles were starting to emerge to soak up what little sunlight was occasionally available.

 

I think this was my last Hermit Thrush of the season.

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Hermit Thrush

I likely won’t see another Lincoln’s Sparrow until fall either.

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Lincoln’s Sparrow

But it looks like I might be seeing a Great Egret from time to time at the Portage this year. We saw it a couple times yesterday.

 

The pictures below are hardly worth sharing, but this is my last Ruby-Crowned Kinglet.

 

I used to see shorebirds more frequently but in the last couple years they have been few and far between, so I was happy we had a Spotted Sandpiper on the left, and the Killdeer on the right. I usually hear or see Killdeer flying, but sandpipers have been generally absent.

 

House Wrens are here to stay for the summer.

HOWR 5-19-18-4292A female American Redstart below.

 

And more shots of a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. Yesterday we heard them constantly but didn’t see one.

 

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White-Tailed Deer at Ottawa Trail

It’s rare to see a Chipmunk sitting still but this one wasn’t self-conscious at all.

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And the surprise two weeks ago was an Orchard Oriole.

 

Often more heard than seen, the Northern Cardinal below, an Eastern Wood-Pewee, and a Song Sparrow, all at Ottawa Trail.

 

The heat may keep me indoors more than I’d like. That could mean more blog posts, however. For the moment it’s time to get out in the yard before the heat of the day takes over. Lots of work to do there. Happy Summer to All…

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More City Visitors Part II

Scarlet Tanager

Daley Bicentennial Plaza, my old haunt, has been as slow as everywhere else with this year’s tepid migration. But it’s still my favorite place to go at lunch, and over the last week or so, I’ve had some nice birds.

Yellow-Throated Vireo

Like this Yellow-Throated Vireo capturing and swallowing a crunchy bug.

A day or two later, there were two male Scarlet Tanagers haunting the ash trees. One of them appears at the beginning of this post.

Today just as I entered the park, I heard a singing Tennessee Warbler. I found him and managed to capture him with my point-and-shoot. Not an easy task, but I have been taking a couple days off from the heavy camera this week, the power of suggestion planted by NATO preparedness. Monday I won’t be able to carry a backpack on the train, so it will be the small camera or nothing.

Tennessee Warbler

Perhaps the birds find the smaller camera less intimidating. This Brown Thrasher was in the park yesterday, and although he was trying to avoid me and preen under this bush, he wasn’t too bothered by my picture-taking.

Brown Thrasher

Then yesterday morning two of my now-buddies from 155 N. Wacker managed to ham it up in the same frame.

Gray Catbird and White-Throated Sparrow

Yesterday was hot and steamy. Today was on the chilly side. Tomorrow is predicted to be sunny and moderate in temperature. The quest continues.