A morning of many firsts…

I should go out an buy lottery tickets for lunch because I can’t believe the string of luck I’ve had this morning. The air was cool, but not cold, humid, and calm, and so perfect for bugs and therefore perfect for birds. I hardly got into the park before I happened upon this little ray of sunshine: a Blackburnian warbler (Setophaga fusca), whom I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before, and who must have missed the flight from South American that got in yesterday.

The tree he was in, right beside the southern parking lot, was loaded with birds, and when he hopped out of range, I turned my attention to this understated cutie, a female rose-breasted grosbeak to go with the male we saw just a couple of weeks ago, but whom I don’t believe I’ve seen before.

I didn’t see anybody new at the pond, and on my way to the river, I spotted yet another new arrival, a yellow-throated vireo (Vireo flavifrons), just in from Central America and dispatching a pretty big bug, right behind the branch in the second image.

At the river I headed north and didn’t see anything noteworthy until I reached the north end, where lo and behold, look who is taking their maiden swim, as far as we know. If you’re not sure, yup, that’s a mallard hen with her ducklings, and we’ve seen plenty before, but not yet this season.

They made a beeline for the exposed mudflat beside the northern island, and the little ones, I count 10 of them, acted like they’ve never eaten before in their entire lives.

For the umpteenth time, I started floating home on cloud nine, but had to stop for this picture of a chickadee mining an old tree trunk for a beakfull of fluffy fibers.

A bit further south, I came across this curious sight that I hoped it might be indian pipe, but with more color than I remember. Well, it turns out it does have the same species name as indian pipe, uniflora, and it is parasitic like indian pipe, but it’s not in the same genus or even family, and it doesn’t have such a quaint name. Instead, this delicate little flower is described by The New York Times as “The Flower That Must Not Be Named, or if you want to play it safe, just Orobanche uniflora.

Continuing south, I head a green heron calling and finally spotted it up high up in a tree across the river absolutely rocking it’s Gru imitation.

Finally, I came across two families of geese, both of which appear to have one gosling smaller than the rest. Perhaps such adoptions are more common than I realized.

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.

2 thoughts on “A morning of many firsts…

  1. UNBELIEVABLE morning Andrew!!! Double geese family photo op!!! Mallard mothering! And all new birds! Wow-wee!

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