A banner day in the park!

Yikes! I thought yesterday morning was good for birds, but I hadn’t seen nothing yet! Let’s start with the new ones, shall we?

These two, a pair of bay-breasted warblers (Setophaga castanea), really made me work for it.

Breeding male
Non breeding female/immature

An olive-sided flycatcher (Contopus cooperi) is new to me and very similar to the eastern wood-pewee, who has a smaller beak, and the great crested flycatcher, who has a brown coat, yellow belly, and white throat, and whom we have seen before.

An eastern phoebe (Sayornis phoebe), whom we’ve seen before, even already this season, was also hunting flies over the river.

We’ve seen one indigo bunting already this season, but now there is a slew of them around the wildflower meadow at the north end, and this guy was willing to sit for a portrait today between takes of his pretty song.

Also at the meadow, and new for this season, is this handsome red-eyed vireo (Vireo olivaceus) who was singing up a storm, and who has a more-pronounced face pattern than the warbling vireo we saw last week.

A bit south of the meadow, a Baltimore oriole was also belting out his song in a nicely photogenic spot.

Speaking of singing on the river, the toads are back at congregating and making a racket, so if you missed it a couple weeks ago, now’s your second chance! It must be a temperature thing.

Speaking of making rackets. At one point, I was trying to decide which of three singing birds to concentrate on, with the toads singing in the background, when some squirrels started wrestling on a nearby tree. I almost wanted to shout and tell everyone to pipe down for just a second. Luckily, I kept my thoughts to myself and glanced at the squirrels anyway. It turns out they were red squirrels, who tend to be much shyer than their larger, grey cousins, and this little cutie just kept striking a pose, each one cuter than the next.

How can I not take those pictures?

Okay. I think that’s finally it for the river. On to the pond! A great blue heron was there again this morning, and this one was a prolific hunter. It had downed two goldfish before I could even get clear of the bushes to get a clean shot. I can’t quite make out what is the green fish it has, but that was its third catch in less than five minutes!

Then it heard someone mucking around on that far shore, and off to the river it went.

After all that excitement, I checked on the goslings, and the new little one seems to be making the move the the neighbors permanent. I can’t tell for sure who is who, but there is a third pair of adults handing around, and if they are the folks, I hope the are just relieved.

The half-pint is right in the middle, surrounded by the much-bigger neighbor kids.

Okay, okay, enough already, but just one more. The wild geraniums are thick as thieves in spots along the river, and I just couldn’t help but take another picture. Funny thing is, there are at least 3 photobombers in it that I couldn’t see until I got home.

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.

5 thoughts on “A banner day in the park!

  1. Just stunning. One gorgeous pic after another.
    And my cats appreciated the Oriole song recording.


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