Familiar faces and a new sight or two

The way the beautiful weather has been repeating itself, it almost feels like I should be waking to the sounds of “I’ve got you babe,” but in the last part of the movie when he’s happy to get up and face the day.

Anyway, I beat the other old guys with cameras to the pond today, so I had the green heron all to myself.

Plus, all the young wood ducks…

and this pair of mallards, the likes of whom we haven’t seen on the pond in months.

Luckily, Lisa came along soon enough to point out the young night-heron in a new spot at the north end for a change.

The little birds were quiet, though, so I headed to the river to see if it was still as active as yesterday. Well, it wasn’t quite as energetic, but there were still some faces we haven’t seen in a while and another sight I haven’t seen before.

One new face for the season is this handsome killdeer busily foraging among the stones in the river. It’s only gotta make it to southern Illinois to get through the winter, so it’s got plenty of time to hang out with us.

Another is this white-throated sparrow with just a bit of yellow between its eyes and beak and fresh in from upstate. We’re already in its winter range, so maybe it’ll stick around until it’s gotta head back north in spring.

And here’s the sight I’ve not seen before, a squirrel taking a sip from the river.

I could hear and catch some glimpses of Swainson’s thrushes, but no pictures today, and I don’t think I caught even a glimpse of a warbler or vireo. Maybe the winds were favorable last night, and they all took the train south while the going was good.

Happily for us, some of the coolest sights are stationary, and here’s one of them. These appear to be sulphur shelf or chicken of the woods mushrooms (Laetiporus sulphureus), but please don’t eat them based just on my opinion! They’re big, too. Each semicircle is about six inches across, or more.

Lastly, as you probably realize by now, I’m a sucker for New England aster, and the honeybee on this one made it darn near irresistible.

Well, the forecast is for showers tomorrow morning, so maybe my alarm clock will play a different tune. We’ll see soon enough.

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 “Familiar faces and a new sight or two

  1. Hee hee. I probably would not be in a good mood if I woke up to Sonny Bono every day. Jus sayin.
    Love that the night heron looks like an old soul even in its youth.
    And what beautiful concentric rings on those mushrooms. Have you eaten them? Looks like they might be tricky to prepare.

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