Lots of critters enjoying the weather…

It was another stunningly beautiful early autumn morning in Estabrook Park, and for reasons that it’s best I don’t get into, I skipped the pond and went straight to the river.

I didn’t even make it to the water before this chipper looking flycatcher, probably an eastern wood-pewee, caught my eye as it soaked up the morning sun.

Right below the pee-wee, so that I barely had to take a step, this female rose-breasted grosbeak helpfully showed us both sides to aid with our identification. What a sweetheart, eh?

Just around the corner, this chickadee was at it again.

And as I was trying to capture the full extent of the chickadee’s acrobatic prowess, this little chipmunk seemed to say, “sure, but who’s cuter?”

As I pondered that question, a movement caught my eye. Can you see who it was? Click here if you’re stumped.

Meanwhile, this bright red cardinal with a contrasting black ring around its beak scoffed, “disguises are for wusses!”

Phew! That’s a lot of action for 20 feet of trail. Luckily for me, things were pretty quiet from then on until I reached the north end. There, as I was trying to keep track of some darty little bird in a tree up ahead, I could hear something making a big ruckus on the water, and I turned just in time to catch this gorgeous sight.

When I mentioned big fish splashing in the water a week or so ago, long-time reader, Drew, wrote in to suggest salmon, so that’s my guess for today.

I had hardly returned my attention to the little bird in the tree when this majestic creature, who appears to be a red-tailed hawk, soared overhead.

I never did get a decent look at that little bird in the tree, but by then things had warmed up enough on the ground for the asters to be full of bumblebees…

and butterflies, like this green-eyed sulphur of some type. The two circles on its wings and hints of pink around the edges makes me wanna go with pink-edged sulphur.

On my way back south, the water below the falls was full of fly-fishing people, and so I was quite surprised to see this, usually very shy, great blue heron just above the falls and seeming to yawn in their direction.

I did want to check in on our new, yellow duckling, so I hiked over to the pond to find it alive, well, and sound asleep on the far shore.

While right offshore another blue heron stretched one of its huge wings.

By then the farmers market was in full swing, so I headed down the Oak Leaf Trail to avoid the crowds, and I spotted another soaring raptor just across Wilson Dr. The picture’s not as good, so I’m including it just for completeness, but the prominent banding on its wings and tail, which you can still make out despite the blur, make me think that it’s a Cooper’s hawk.

Meanwhile, right at my feet, this tiny blue butterfly, which appears to be an eastern tailed-blue with its wing tails warn off, spread its wings to catch some sun.

Once again, I didn’t have to take a step to find another striking blue creature, this damselfly, who I believe is a common blue damselfly, aka common bluet, or northern bluet (Enallagma cyathigerum)

I know that’s a lot of pictures, but the forecast is for nice weather again tomorrow, so I expect even more pictures, and I’ve gotta get these out the door to make room. Plus, Tom assured me that I “never post too many pictures!” So here we are.

Oh yeah, before I forget again, one of my followers on instagram, chimed in on that sparrow I showed you on Friday and claims that it is an adult Lincoln’s sparrow, and sure enough, the pattern of gray, brown, and black stripes on its head matches. It ain’t from around here, and is just passing through on its way from the UP or Canada to the states along the Gulf of Mexico. Here’s our picture again, just to over do it, but remember what Tom said.

How you like them apples?

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.

4 thoughts on “Lots of critters enjoying the weather…

    1. Could be, but the folks at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology make a point of mentioning “brown wrists” visible on the underside of a flying Osprey (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/photo-gallery/60320591), which the Cooper’s hawk does not have (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Coopers_Hawk/photo-gallery/60324881). As much as I would love to have seen an Osprey, I’m afraid that blurry picture isn’t it. Thanks for reminding me that they’ve been spotted in the vicinity, though. I will redouble my efforts to see one for myself.


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