Travelers!

I’ve gotta go to school today, so no time to visit the park, but I was lucky enough to have too many pictures for yesterday’s post, so here are the rest now. You may recall that I had reached the north end of the parky, by the river where they planted flowers to restore the riverbank after taking out the Estabrook dam, and the birds were going crazy.

Usually, when I stumble upon a spot like that, where a few birds are chirping and flitting about, I have about 5 minutes, tops, before they have all magically drifted away, and I find myself alone with the empty trees. Yesterday, however, I must have enjoyed their company for a full 30 minutes, and they were still at it, hopping and flying from branch to branch and tree to tree, when I just couldn’t stay any longer and had to head back home. It was just incredible.

First up is this hungry red-eyed vireo, whom we’ve seen recently, and who is on its way perhaps from the southern shores of Hudson Bay all the way to the Amazon basin in South America. No wonder it was hungry!

Please, eat all the bugs you want and take some with you!

Next is a brand new bird for us, yay! It’s a blue-headed vireo (Vireo solitarius) with its blue-gray head, thick bill, “bold” white “spectacles”, olive-green back, yellow flanks, and white belly. That’s our fifth vireo, and it’s on its way from breeding grounds around Lake Superior to wintering along the Gulf Coast.

That’s it for the vireos. Now the warblers. First is this pretty little female or immature male magnolia warbler with gray head with white eye ring, yellow chin, faint gray band across its neck, dark streaks in a yellow breast, and two, narrow, white wing bars. It’s on its way from breeding grounds around Lake Superior to wintering in southern Central America or the Caribbean.

Say something funny here because you are boring them with all these details!

Here’s a non-breeding adult palm warbler looking relatively subdued and on its way from breeding grounds around Lake Superior to wintering along the Gulf Coast.

Here’s an immature male northern parula (Setophaga americana) with yellow chest, yellow-olive back patch, white eye crescents, and small, white wing bands. He’s on his way from breeding grounds around Lake Superior to wintering in Mexico, Central America, or the Caribbean. That’s our 17th warbler!

Here’s a pine warbler (Setophaga pinus), probably an adult female with pale yellow, a broken yellow eye ring, and two white wing bars. She’s also on her way from her summer breeding grounds around Lake Superior but only to the southern states along the Gulf of Mexico. That’s our 18th warbler!

Here’s a non-breeding male indigo bunting showing hints of his bright blue future and on his way perhaps from right around here to wintering areas from southern Florida to northern South America.

Finally, here’s an immature American goldfinch, who are often at that spot and who might stay right here with us through the entire winter.

Lastly, there are a bunch of new mushrooms up, and this one is at least three inches tall already.

Here’s a dryad’s saddle, aka pheasant back, mushroom that’s big as a dinner plate!

Phew! That’s a lot.

Before I go, here’s an announcement from Harold Schmidt, president of Friends of Estabrook Park.

FOE has a Buckthorn Weedout scheduled for this Saturday morning [, September 25] from 9 to 12.  We meet in the maintenance yard parking lot.  We need your help.  Attendees should wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy footwear.  If you have favorite work gloves or a tool bring them.  Otherwise we can provide them.  Bring water.  Let me know if you will attend so that I can plan.

You don’t need to be a member to volunteer for the weedout, you can let Harold know at schmidhd @ yahoo dot com, and if you don’t manage to send Harold a message, I am sure it would be fine if you just showed up. I hope to see you at the weedout or at the Shorewood Fish & Feather Fest the following Saturday.

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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