And then there were none…

Just like last year, almost to the day, all the geese and goslings were suddenly gone from the pond this morning. I felt just like Chuckie in the final scene of Good Will Hunting, a mix of hope and bittersweet. There were some likely looking candidates down on the river, so just like last year, let’s hope they all hiked down the nice little path from the pond in the night and are making their way to Hubbard Park right now.

A gaggle of goslings, seen here explaining to Mom and Dad that they don’t want to go swimming now.

Happily, the stream of new arrivals continues in the park, and we’ve got a couple of handsome ones today. First, there were at least four of these dapper-lookig eastern kingbirds (Tyrannus tyrannus), fresh in from “winter along the Amazon” and hunting flying insects over the river.

Speaking of hunting flying insects, there were these sharp-dressed great crested flycatchers (Myiarchus crinitus) almost everywhere I looked in Estabrook and fresh in from the Yucatan Peninsula.

As luck would have it, Charles, yes the famous expert Charles, claims that the non-breeding female/immature bay-breasted warbler from yesterday is actually a great crested flycatcher, and he might be correct, but I’m pressing him for details. I’ll keep you posted as this developing story unfolds.

Okay, back to positive IDs. After the display of fishing prowess by the great blue hearing yesterday, this green heron on the river wanted to show me how it’s done.

Okay, so they’re pretty tiny fish, compared to the whales Ol’ Blue was hauling in, but Gru made it look like he caught a dozen of them. They’re actually so small, it’s a little hard to tell when he caught one and when he just missed.

He even had his eye on a flying insect at one point, but never did pull the trigger.

Speaking of flying insects, the dragonflies are back, and maybe that’s the signal the geese use to know when checkout is. Anyway, there is a particular big blue and green dragonfly that seemingly never lands and that I seemingly spent forever last summer trying in vain to capture. Well, well, well, look who was too preoccupied to avoid my lens this morning. “A complex, precisely choreographed process” indeed. Ha!

It’s not the greatest picture for a positive ID, but I’m gonna go with common green darner (Anax junius), which I read means “Lord of June”. The bug lady explains that they are “a genuine, though tentative, sign of spring,” and I have been spotting them on warm days for weeks. The Pedia of Wik reports that they are “well known for [their] great migration distance from the northern United States south into Texas and Mexico.” Yup. They migrate from Mexico just like the monarch butterflies and the great crested flycatchers. Ha!

Well, that’s it for the critters, but I do have a couple pretty flowers to show you. First, the forget-me-nots are opening everywhere now, and this one shows the buds for a pretty little curl.

Lastly, this is a blossom that I don’t believe I noticed last summer, the striking garden star-of-Bethlehem, grass lily, nap-at-noon, or even eleven-o’clock lady (Ornithogalum umbellatum) from “the asparagus family (Asparagaceae),” if you can believe it!

Well that’s it for today, and who knows what tomorrow will bring. Seriously, who knows, and if you do, give me a heads-up, would you?

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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