More blossoms, birds, and bugs.

What an absolutely fabulous morning it was in Estabrook! Cool temps, calm winds, dry air, and blue skies. What more could you ask for?

On my walk to the pond, I even spotted a flower-of-an-hour (Hibiscus trionum) that was open for a change.

At the pond, there were no herons for a change, just ducks today, so I left them along and headed for the river, which continues to subside, and there I did spot what appears to be an adult blue heron in full plumage up in a willow tree on the northern island. I had heard it squawk a couple of times on my way north, and before I spotted it, I saw a couple of guys in yellow shirts and hard hats in a boat on the river, which must have displeased it. Hopefully they will find that the river has managed to survive the spate of storms we have.

Back on the mainland, I spotted this non-descript little bird, that looks like a young northern cardinal, which I read “are similar to females, but have a grey or black to black bill.

Whoever it is, it soon caught breakfast.

On my way back south along the river, I managed to catch a pair of belted kingfishers, perhaps a parent trying to teach a young one how to avoid having its picture taken.

South of the pond, at the new pollinator garden Friends of Estabrook are trying to plant, I finally found a pollinator enjoying the Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia) they have planted.

At the south end, by the soccer fields, a cedar waxwing posed for this rare portrait.

While a goldfinch was gorging itself on thistle seeds, as usual.

There was another monarch and some Peck’s skippers, but we saw them just yesterday. Instead, here’s a dragonfly, which I believe to be a female twelve-spotted skimmer (Libellula pulchella) with faded stripes along the side of its abdomen.

Finally, the rain has brought out some mushrooms, but I can’t find a match for this one anywhere. Can you? It is about five inches across and maybe a half inch thick at this point and growing on the trunk of a downed cottonwood. The bright orange and crisp white make for a nice contrast.

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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