Grey skies return

The blue sky is gone, but the cool temps remain, so not the worst day to visit the park. I was greeted at the pond by this languid cedar waxwing lolling at the top of one of the crab apple trees along the west shore. They have been much more shy than this all summer, but here it is glancing my way.

And here it is returning its gaze to the western horizon.

No back-to-school worries for this one, it seems.

Meanwhile, our young night heron was closer to the water than usual, as if it might actually be fishing for a change. I looked it up, and they “forage both during the day and at night.” “Their diet leans heavily on crabs and crayfish” “along the crustacean-rich southern Atlantic coast.” And they “can also breed inland by feeding on crayfish in streams.” It sure would be great to catch this one with a crayfish, eh?

This green heron, who we have seen make a catch several times before, was done with fishing for the moment.

The wood ducks still on the pond were down to just these three.

There was also an elusive kingfisher and two friendly mallards who couldn’t find a pretty background to pose in front of.

At the river, a mature blue heron was in the water again, maybe the same one we saw yesterday, but it wasn’t having as much luck this time. It’s just as well because the light was no good.

There were also plenty of mallards, wood ducks, and even a few geese, but the surprise on the river was this young yellow-crowned night-heron, which looks just like the one we saw on the pond minutes ago. Could there be two? Maybe they’re siblings.

Speaking of bad light, here’s a wood thrush, whom we haven’t seen much of in months, helpfully posing in the shade against a bright white sky. Come on, Buddy. Help a guy out.

Luckily for us, there is a new splash of color coming to the park, and it appears to be New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) on the slope from the beer garden down to the river. Yay! It is even helpfully blooming right in front of some black-eyed Susans, which makes for a pretty contrast in the background. I just wish there was a bee or butterfly on it, but sometimes we have to take what we can get, right?

And that’s the way it is as August comes to a close. See you in September!

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.

One thought on “Grey skies return

  1. If you get the quarterly magazine, Shorewood Today, read the article featuring Andrew’s daily trip to Estabrook Park!!

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