Late arrivals…

Earlier this week, I came across an article in the newspaper that featured a nice bird picture, and as I prepared to send it to Anne, I realized it was of a Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus), which I have not yet seen, and not of one if its cousins, the great tit (Parus major), which I’ve managed to photograph here. That got me to wondering if and when I might see a blue tit, and as luck would have it, I didn’t have to wait very long at all.


This little beauty was even kind enough to pose out in the open against a nice blue sky, although it’s a shame the warm morning sun was blocked by clouds at the moment.


It looks quite similar to the great tit, with the same yellow belly black eye stripe, and little beak, but its tail, wings, and cap are blue, and there’s a band of white between its eye stripe and its cap. Here’s a great tit from this morning for comparison.


Another big surprise this morning was this very fresh-looking batch of five Egyptian goose goslings being carefully shepherded by their parents amongst the Canada geese. I’m no ornithologist, but mid-September seems kinda late in the season at 53° north latitude. I thought those coots back in August were pushing it. I wonder who is more surprised: the goose, the gander, or the goslings? The Canada geese are probably thinking “what the heck are these Egyptians up to now?” Perhaps this is just what happens with a species that is “native to Africa south of the Sahara and the Nile Valley.”


The rest of the avian world appears just as stunned as I am. Here’s a slack-jawed grey heron.


A mallard hen doing a double take.


A young blackbird just staring wide-eyed.


A European robin doing the same.


This crow, however, looks more concerned than surprised. Maybe it’s already seen a thing or two.


Anyway, the goslings were pretty far out into a big field, so I couldn’t get very close, but I’ll keep an eye out for them and let you know if there’s any news to report.

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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