April eases its grip…

This morning in Estabrook Park the weather turned out to be nicer than the forecast had led me to expect. It was cold enough overnight for radiation frost to form on any grass that was exposed to the sky, but the air was nearly still, and the clouds really thinned out for a while, so the sun warmed things up pretty quickly, and it became quite pleasant.

As I hiked north along the river toward the pond, I was greeted by this red squirrel as it ate its vegetables: likely fresh seeds from a cottonwood tree.


At the pond, I was happy to see this surprise visitor, a hooded merganser hen, swimming with the wood ducks.


Meanwhile, mom had her goslings all in a row up on the west lawn.


But that didn’t last long when sibling rivalries inevitably bubbled to the surface.


Dad tried to focus on his yoga instead, with hopes of keeping his stress levels under control.


As I headed across the softball field on my way back to the river, I encountered another trio of northern flickers. Here you can see two females doing a little dance together as a male watches from afar. Looks like high school, right?


Once one of the females flew his way, however, he seemed to get into the swing of things.


Back at the river, it was still cold enough to keep the bugs low, so this yellow-rumped warbler was foraging right at the water’s edge.


The great horned owl was up and not quite as deep in the sticks as it has been lately.


On the lawn at the north end, I found a bird that looks like a hermit thrush but was acting a little differently. My best guess is that’s because it’s actually a veery instead, with “uniformly bright cinnamon brown above” and “indistinct spotting on the chest and pale under parts.” If so, then it is fresh in from wintering grounds in South America. “Welcome back, little buddy!”


On my way back south, I found this yellow-bellied sapsucker sipping breakfast out of three fresh looking holes.


Finally, the blue-gray gnatcatchers have also returned from the south, but only from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico or Mexico proper. I spotted two, and this little puffball was kind enough to strike a pose against that pretty blue sky.


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 “April eases its grip…

  1. Loove that OWL PICTURE thats my very fav. Tho all qere full of wonder.Thank you. love the flicker commentary😊🪶

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