Nothing really comes to mind

Beautiful weather has returned to Estabrook, and it sure was nice to see a little sunshine and not feel as if I’m walking through a sauna for a change. I briefly glimpsed 3 raccoons and 1 beaver but failed to capture an image.

I didn’t see any sandpipers today, at the falls or elsewhere, but I was fascinated to watch a large gaggle of geese negotiate a group decision to go over them. First, they all approached, then most of them headed back up river, and then finally, the yeas carried the day.

This one was quite gung-ho about the idea and pioneered a route.

And these ones held back to see how that was going to work out.

I didn’t see any green herons today, but here’s a blue heron looking all fancy on the river.

And another one on the pond hiding behind some brown muck on a stick.

I did spot a couple of mallard ducklings on the river really starting to look like there mom,

And the quintet of wood duck ducklings on the pond continue to grow up under their mom’s watchful eye.

I can hear juvenile jays begging to be fed and exasperated-sounding adults suggesting perhaps that it’s time for them to start taking care of themselves. The good news for me, though, is that they are both distracted enough to ignore me for a moment.

With the sun out, I thought I’d catch a pretty butterfly on a pretty blossom to show you, but I was disappointed until right at the southern exit to Wilson Drive. There, tucked down low and in the back of the big stand of Canada thistle that grow there, I found this beauty sunning itself while it sipped nectar. Long-time readers may recognize this as a red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), which we saw several times last summer, but not yet this summer until right now.

The Pedia of Wik explains that “most of North America must be recolonized each spring by southern migrants,” so that likely explains the delay and perhaps also why it looks so roughed up.

While I was working on getting that shot, I was standing in the shade of a little oak tree that the village planted near the end of the Wilson Drive reconstruction and whose branches might not yet spread to 12 inches from tip to tip. Then, when I finally walked away, a robin shot from a nearby bush right into that little tree. It turns out that she has a nest in there, about 6 feet off the ground, and was probably waiting for me to wrap things up so she could get back to it. I’ll have to keep an eye out for when she’s not there so I can use my phone camera to peak into the nest. Here’s the best I could do while not disturbing her from it. Those are her tail feathers sticking straight up out of the nest.

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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