Wowza! That high pressure system parked over Michigan just keeps delivering the hits. What a morning it was in Estabrook, and if I were to ask for perfect weather, I don’t know what I would change.
Life on the pond continues with the new normal: a slew of wood ducks, one bright yellow duckling, and no herons, grebes, or mergansers.
The first sight to greet me at the river was this handsome red-tailed hawk on a big log jutting out just over the water, and maybe it had been getting something to drink as I walked up.
At the north end, I was thrilled to see our new guests again. Yesterday, I posted the one picture I had gotten on Wednesday, and I thought it was a brown-headed cowbird. Luckily, diosaalx6 saw it and wrote in to tell me that it was a female rusty blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) instead, which is a new bird for us in Estabrook. Yay! Thanks, diosaalx6!
Well, there were three or four of them back in the same spot today, and here is a male and female together,
Just a male,
And just a female.
A bit further on shore was another white-throated sparrow, and this one seemed to say, “that’s enough with the grey rocks, mud, and dead grass, already. How about including some pretty foliage in the background for a change? It’s autumn for crying out loud!”
Meanwhile, out on the water, a youngish-looking great blue heron had bigger fish to fry.
Oh, and there are still waterthrushes about, but this one wasn’t quite as bold as the one I saw on Wednesday.
On my way south, there were a group of grackles foraging in the woods above the trail, and this one somehow didn’t notice that I was taking its picture.
I had begun to think that we had seen our last warbler, not counting the waterthrush, of course, but look who I saw sampling the buckthorn berries just south of the falls. You can just make out the tell-tail yellow patch on its lower back that makes it a yellow-rumped warbler.
Given that its only got to fly to southern Illinois to reach its wintering grounds, we might be lucky enough to continue seeing them here for a while. Yay!
Finally, when I went out looking for butterflies Wednesday afternoon, I didn’t come home completely empty handed. Here’s a turkey vulture who was circling over the meadow by the river at the north end.
Lastly, when nature only gives us cabbage whites and sulphurs, I guess I’d better take pictures of cabbage whites and sulphurs, eh? Well, in that case, here’s a sulphur from this morning sipping nectar from the pretty little light-purple asters beside the Oak Leaf Trail.
PS. The hourly forecast for the Shorewood Fish & Feather Festival tomorrow is now “mostly cloudy” from 11-12, so if you’re planning on stopping by to say “hi”, and I sure hope you do, you might want to come earlier rather than later, but I’ll be there rain or shine.