Autumn has arrived!

I needed a coat and hat this morning because Autumn is not messing around. Yikes!

There was a wood duck drake in full plumage on the pond again, trying to fit in with the regulars and perhaps get to know a nice hen.

Meanwhile our resident male wood duck ducklings are still going through some things.

Our sleepy, young night-heron was still in residence and trying to keep its eyes open, per usual.

And a ruby-crowned kinglet was back to foraging in the bushes at the north end.

I looked for our young sora, now that several folks have confirmed my ID, but didn’t see a sign of it this morning, so I hoped it was doing fine, and I headed to the river.

I was sure surprised to spot some dame’s rocket there still in bloom. I thought they’d all been replaced by asters by now.

Meanwhile, a cormorant was back to chillin’ out among the mallards on one of the “sand” bars.

A killdeer was back to foraging on the rocks and mud.

A hooded merganser was back to snoozing on a log.

And the mallards on the water are starting to pair off.

Back on shore, where they planted flowers to restore the riverbank after taking out the Estabrook dam, the birds were going crazy. Usually, when I stumble upon a spot like this, where a few birds are chirping and flitting about, I have about 5 minutes, tops, before they have all drifted away, and I find myself enjoying the silence all alone. Today, however, I must have enjoyed their company for a full 30 minutes, and they were still at it when I had to head back home. Therefore, I simply have too many pictures to include today, so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the rest. Sorry! But here’s a sample, a white-throated sparrow in “tan striped” form posing perfectly on a birch tree branch, just to whet your appetite.

Before I go, though, don’t forget to mark your calendars for the Shorewood Fish & Feather Festival in Hubbard Park on Saturday, October 2 from 11 to 3. I’ll be manning the Friends of Estabrook Park booth, and I’d love to see you there.

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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