The forecast was inaccurate, for once…

The radar looked worse this morning than Friday morning, but I didn’t want to miss another day, so I went out anyway. Happily, after a couple of short showers early on, the radar forecast turned out to be way off, and it didn’t rain again until after I got home. Ha!

When I arrived at the pond, I found a green heron again, but this might be a different individual from the one we saw yesterday because it has much less yellow between its eye and its beak. Great! The more, the merrier!

I also spotted another palm warbler and my first common yellowthroat of the season, but failed to get pictures of either one, so I headed down to the river. On my way, I spotted another red squirrel from the bridge north of the beer garden.

At the river, as I was checking on the great horned owl, who was “in” this morning, but too deep for a good picture, I saw our first island deer of the season right below it.

At the north end, a green heron perched for a moment at the top of one of the trees on the island, but I don’t know if it was a third individual or one of the previous two, a pair of belted kingfishers were very excited to see each other, and a pair of sandpipers took off for the far shore before I could get a picture.

On my way back south, I finally managed to capture an image, this time of a great blue heron back to fishing at the falls.

Farther south, at the “bottom” below the southern playground, I spotted our first northern waterthrush of the season, who looks a lot like the Louisiana waterthrush we saw a couple of weeks ago.

As I was trying to get a better picture of the waterthrush, there was a big splash at the water’s edge, and this young, male, red-winged blackbird shot up to perch on this branch, preen a bit, and make his call. My guess is that a big catfish made a try for him, and he had to dry off and collect is nerves. Either way, I did not realize that these young ones would be adding to the cacophony. Perhaps he just wanted to let everyone know he was okay and he meant to do that.

So, besides the common yellowthroat picture I didn’t get, and northern waterthrush picture that it’s best you don’t zoom in on, I did manage to get a few presentable images of our first black-and-white warbler of the season, which Charlotte actually spotted first. They winter in Mexico, Central America, or South America, so I bet it was famished after that long flight.

Finally, the bloodroots have blossomed beside the Oak Leaf Trail, perhaps due to the warm weather just yesterday. Yay!

Lastly, we counted nearly 50 white-throated sparrows this morning, hopping around on the grass as if they had just rained down from the sky, which is probably pretty close to what actually happened. Until today, they were rare enough that I was excited to get the picture I had just yesterday, but now they are everywhere, so if you’ve always wanted to see one, this is your big chance!

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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