Feels like summer again…

Summer appears to be staging a comeback today, it felt like a nice August morning in the park, and the birds appeared to be making the best of it while it lasts.

There were no herons at the pond, finally, but there were ten, yes ten, wood ducks on the water, and here’s one sharp-looking young male.

The mystery thrushes, either hermit or Swainson’s, were just as plentiful as yesterday, and here’s one that was willing to pose for a bit.

I searched pretty good for any other surprises at the pond, but couldn’t find any, so headed to the river, as usual, and look who greeted me as I hiked down the bluff at the north end: a handsome, yellow-shafted male northern flicker. I’ve seen and heard more of them recently than I have in a while, and I’ve even heard their distinctive waka waka song, but haven’t seen their dance yet this year.

I also spotted this blue heron on my way down the bluff, who already has its eye on me, but hasn’t taken off yet. That white stuff floating on the water behind it is feathers, mostly mallard feathers, I believe.

Once I got to the river, the trees were alive with birds flitting here and there, and here’s a female or young male goldfinch showing off the pretty pattern on its wing and tail feathers.

Here’s one of the flycatchers, which have been plentiful lately, wondering if I’m really gonna take another flycatcher picture.

Here’s a cute little wren taking a break from foraging in the remains of the meadow.

Finally, for reasons I cannot explain, I’ve been starting to see hummingbirds at the river’s edge quite often lately, and this is my best picture of one yet. They seem to be attracted to dead trees, with fishing gear or not, and there’s finally enough fidelity in this picture that we can try to identify it. My first guess is a female ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) because the colors are right and they’re the most common hummingbird in these parts. My second guess is a female or immature black-chinned hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri), which would be way out of its range, but which has long, curved primary wing feathers like this one does. This calls for further investigation.

Anyway, as I headed south, I spotted a blue heron out on the water again. It could be the same one as earlier but just in a better spot for loafing.

Meanwhile, back on land, the squirrels continue to eat and hide their full of nuts.

I finally managed to capture a semi-decent image of a northern waterthrush looking for some calories to help it on its long journey to Central America.

Just a bit south of the waterthrush, I came across our first new migrant for the day, this sharp-looking black-and-white warbler (Mniotilta varia), who was up to the same task as the waterthrush for the same reasons.

The woods along the riverbank were also thick with our mystery thrushes, and here’s another one.

Finally, I stopped by the weeds beside the soccer field, and there’s a new, tiny aster open, which looks like awl aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum), that was full of bees and hornets.

I sure enjoyed that gluten-free park beer I found yesterday, and I hope you get to enjoy this summer weather while it lasts!

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 “Feels like summer again…

    1. Tucked up against its body and hiding among the feathers. The night-heron and wood duck in yesterdays post are doing the same thing. I bet it feels nice to finally get the toes up to body temperature for a change.


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