Out came the sun…

It was dark and wet at sunrise, so I waited a bit for the forecast “partly cloudy”, and by 9 o’clock, it came. Yay! I hustled out the door and was soon greeted by another batch of juncos foraging on the lawn together. As I walked up the parkway, they retired to a small tree, and I finally captured an image of one with enough light to come out nice and sharp.

A little further up the parkway, by where the park narrows and they put up a guardrail, I could see across to the parking lot above the west side of the river and spotted this bedraggled looking red-tailed hawk trying to dry out on a lamp post. Cheer up, buddy. It’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend.

At the pond, a photographer was already deep into a session with the wood ducks on the west lawn, so I continued around to the north side to see if anyone else was home. Well, well, well, look who finally came out to see the light of day!

A giant, one-eyed, snapping turtle was coming south in the little stream that flows under the bridge and into the pond. The shell was at least a foot wide and maybe 18 inches long. From the top, the head was about the size and shape of the back of my full hand. I sure would not wanna mess with this one.

I didn’t expect to have a lot of time before the skies clouded back up, so I moved on to the river, where I spotted this dapper-looking little bird in a crab apple tree who identity escapes me. Its beak is stout, like a finch or a sparrow, but not as big as a cardinal or a grosbeak. It’s all greyish brown except for two, thin white wing bars and a dark stripe across the eye. If you have any information that could lead to the identity of this bird, please leave a comment!

Meanwhile, out on the river, the water was up a bit from all that rain, and a blue heron was just tall enough to keep its feathers dry.

I couldn’t tell what this bunch of mallard drakes was up to, but it sounded like trouble.

The pair of pintails were still dabbling out in their usual spot.

They sky was starting to cloud back over, so I turned to head home, and on my way back south, a thrush paused to say “hi”.

And just before I turned to climb the bluff, I spotted this empty little turtle shell in about an inch of water. I couldn’t tell there was no turtle inside until I picked it up. It’s only about 2 inches long.

Finally, I stopped by the patch of asters along the Oak Leaf Trail, but they looked about as bedraggled as the hawk, and nobody was visiting them. Instead, here’s another shot of that thirsty sulphur from Wednesday.

That turned out better than I expected, give the soggy start.

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.

3 thoughts on “Out came the sun…

  1. My vote on unknown bird:
    ‘Dressel’ Grey Bunting,
    A newly discovered species!
    Midwest hybrid of Lazuli Bunting.
    The head crest and ‘beard’ confuse me…

    Liked by 1 person

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