A wealth of warblers

First, the basics. The kids that I saw seemed to be all right on this cool and cloudy morning. The park was relatively empty, and I spotted a couple of wood ducks on the pond, so I sat on the bench to see if they would pay me a visit. It appears they have been well conditioned by the folks that feed them, and it didn’t take them long to swim on over.

The goslings and their folks were not far behind.

There were also four mallard drakes and even this red-winged blackbird couple. She seemed to be signaling to him quite energetically, but he was more interested at the moment in finding some breakfast in the grass.

For a few minutes, it was like a bird circus on the lawn.

Heck, even a belted kingfisher stopped by and let everyone know while he was doing so. He kept to the far shore, but it was a treat even to be allowed to gaze upon him. They are often shyer than that.

The party eventually wound down, since I had brought no food, and when the goslings left, so did I.

At the river, the water was up at least a foot from all the rain last night, but the toads were still singing like crazy, among other things, and more were still just arriving. I did a quick chick check, and things still seem to be progressing with our robins. Mom still keeps them warm, and I think they or their feathers are starting to fill up the nest.

Further north along the river, both the spotted and solitary sandpipers were busy foraging.

I didn’t see any of the river goslings, but there were still plenty of geese, mallards, and even a few blue-winged teals at the north end.

Some surprise visitors, whom we haven’t seen in months, were the four deer, done with their drab grey winter coats and sporting their warm cinnamon summer colors. I only took pictures of this young buck with antlers starting to come in, but I caught a glimpse of three more.

Another new sight, which I only discovered because of the sound, are the tail feathers of somebody hard at work excavating a new nesting cavity. I tried and tried to capture the feathers deep in that dark hole, and whoever it was never stopped chipping at the wood nor came out to show its face.

Okay, with all the preliminaries finally out of the way, on to the main event, the warblers.

First, there were a slew of these sharp-looking palm warblers (Setophaga palmarum) up and down the riverbank.

A few black-and-white warblers (Mniotilta varia) gave me another photo opportunity, which I tried my best to make better use of.

I did also see, but fail to capture, at least one yellow-rumped warbler (Setophaga coronata), and possibly a pine warbler. One little critter that I was surprised to capture is this ever acrobatic blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

Finally, the Baltimore orioles (Icterus galbula) have just arrived, all the way from Florida, the Caribbean, or Central America. I kept hearing their call, but kept thinking I was hearing the “Exsqueeze Me!“, which I believe chickadees make. Then, while I was focusing on something else, my brain finally supplied the correct lyrics, which are “Stop Right There!“, and I finally realized who I was listening to. Ha!

Oh, and speaking of bird calls, I also recognized the call of a wren, tracked it down a bit, and this was my reward.

Lastly, these trilliums were up right beside the trail, and they looked so nice that I couldn’t just walk on by.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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