Better than expected…

We got a good soaking this morning, but as noon approached it appeared that there was going to be a gap in the rain, so I hustled home from school, and on my way, I spotted a big flock of cedar waxwings, maybe 3 dozen birds, beside the Oak Leaf Trail. I put on my park clothes, grabbed my camera and binoculars, and headed right back out again to see if I could spot them from afar, but they had followed me to the north side of Capitol Drive, so I was able to get this nice close-up of this shy one instead. What a nice way to start an outing, eh?

On my way north through the park, I found this eastern towhee deep in a thicket, and just as I had given up hope of getting a picture of more than just his backside, he turned to give us a look. Thanks, little Buddy!

Common yellowthroats were plentiful today, and this one by the river let me take this nice portrait.

This spotted sandpiper was working the waterline almost directly below the yellowthroat.

And as if that wasn’t enough, this marsh wren began to sing from a pile of brush between me and the river. Sheesh, guys, pace yourselves! I’ve got room on the chip in my camera for pictures of all of you.

The biggest surprise of the afternoon, however, was finding this prairie warbler at the north end. You may recall me telling you that one had created quite a hubbub last week, but I had thought it had finally moved on. Well, either it never left, it came back, or we’ve got another one.

At first, it was pretty high overhead, and all I could see was the black stripes on a yellow bird, so I couldn’t even tell for sure that it wasn’t “just” a magnolia warbler. Then the little feller did me a solid and came down to eye level so I could get a better look. I couldn’t believe my luck.

Finally, as I made my way back south in hopes of beating the rain, I came across a great blue heron fishing on our side of the river for a change.

That’s not a bad outing, considering the weather, even if I do say so myself. Not bad at all.

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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