Some surprises despite the rain.

It was a wet and dreary morning in Estabrook, but before we get into that, let me say “thanks” to all the folks who stopped by the Friends of Estabrook Park booth yesterday at the Fish & Feather Festival. We sure had nice weather in Hubbard Park for the event. There are too many names to type here, and even if I did, you can safely bet that I would somehow leave one out, so let me avoid that mistake and thanks again for stopping by to say “hi.” You know who you are.

Now, back to this morning. I woke to the sound of rain, so I didn’t bother hurrying out of bed. Eventually though, there appeared to be a big gap between the showers on the radar, so I put on my raincoat and headed out.

The wood ducks at the pond were nice and friendly this morning, and here are a couple of males looking especially resplendent.

At the river, I was happy to see a sandpiper, of whom we haven’t seen much in a while, land just offshore to forage. The little white flecks on its back lead me to believe that it is a young solitary sandpiper on its way from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and beyond maybe even for the first time. Safe travels, little buddy!

Also out on the water, I was thrilled to spot what I believe is our first migrating blue-winged teal, and a hen to boot!

We’re actually in their breeding range, but we haven’t seen any since the spring, so they must be back on the move now and heading for the Gulf Coast.

This morning was turning out way better than I expected, but it started to sprinkle pretty good, so I headed back south and spotted our obligatory blue heron on the far shore right in front of a log that looks as though beaver have been working on it.

Just south of the falls, I finally started seeing the little birds in the trees, and here’s another golden-crowned kinglet.

At the clearing by where the stream from the pond empties into the river, I got to see the male downy woodpecker to go with the female from yesterday.

A yellow-rumped warbler was busy foraging in the tree above it.

The chickadees are still mining the cutleaf coneflower, and here’s one working on a seed it has carried way and wedged between its foot and the branch.

A stayed along the river to avoid the farmers market crowds and meet this dashing little waterthrush instead.

Finally, right behind the waterthrush, there were still damselfies clinging to the long blades of grass bending over the river, and as best as I can tell, this one is a male American rubyspot (Hetaerina americana)

Lastly, I keep forgetting to include this picture of what might be the last monarch butterfly of the season, which I took Saturday afternoon after whining about not finding monarchs any more.

PS. I have two corrections to make in yesterday’s post.

  1. The raptor I saw was a merlin, not a young peregrine falcon, as I mistakenly thought.
  2. The name of the sparrow is “chipping” sparrow, not “chirping” sparrow, as my hands accidentally typed.

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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