Yay! More May!

Thanks to a high-pressure system parked nearby, the weather in Estabrook Park just keeps getting better. More importantly, the trickle of warblers we’ve seen over the past few weeks is turning into enough of a torrent that even I can find some of them.

As I was walking along the top of the bluff on my way to the pond, I heard an unfamiliar call overhead, and it didn’t take me long to spot this little cutie, a black-throated green (Setophaga virens), in the treetops, and freshly arrived from Mexico, an island in the Caribbean, or maybe even South America. “Welcome back, sweetie!”


All the usual suspects were at the pond, including a pair of blue-winged teals, but the most interesting picture, I thought, was of this trio of wood duck drakes sharing their breakfast with a grey squirrel. Huh.


On my way to the river, I heard another call overhead, and this time the singer was one of the eastern bluebirds we’ve been seeing there lately.


Oddly enough, another bird soon flew over, and I thought it was another bluebird, but it turned out to be a house finch instead. Huh.


When I finally reached the river, I was soon greeted by the second beaver of the morning. The first was in the slow water below the falls, and the picture ain’t so great, but this second one, above the falls and near the southern island, was a lot closer and swam right into some water with pretty lighting.


Farther out on the water, but with similar pretty lighting, was a second pair of blue-winged teals.


Back up on the top of the bluff, I found that the warm sun had already brought the butterflies back out again, and here’s a sharp looking red admiral.


Heading back south along the river path, I saw a couple of waterthrushes, three or four palm warblers, and several yellow-rumped warblers, but I didn’t get pictures as nice as those I’ve already shown you. Instead, the star of the morning is this aptly-named yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia), who was also singing away. It might even have flown in on the same flight as the black-throated-green above.


Finally, as I walked past the Benjamin Church House, I caught sight of something tiny zipping past out of the corner of my eye, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found it perched nearby on this dead leaf in the lawn. It’s a hover fly, and although “about 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described”, my best guess is that this handsome devil is a Helophilus hybridus.


The bugs are back big time, baby!

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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