Is seventeen enough?

Wow! It sure was foggy in Estabrook Park this morning. When I arrived, just a little after “sunrise”, I could barely see across the soccer fields. Happily, I could see well enough to spot our first wild turkey of the year, if not capture a very clear image. I’ve only ever seen one in the park twice before, and I sure hope she sticks around.


Meanwhile, on the river, a pair of Canada geese must have heard about the “crèche of thirteen goslings and said, “hold my beer!” Here they are with seventeen (17!) and even conveniently stretched out into a row to facilitate counting.


As I approached the pond, I heard a new call that sounded for all the world to me like an old guy snoring. I kid you not. Go ahead and click on the link to take a listen. I’ll wait.

I wasn’t kidding, was I? Anyway, the generator of the amazing sound was none other than this tiny blue-winged warbler (Vermivora cyanoptera), and it’s the very first one I’ve ever seen.


There wasn’t much new at the pond, and the lighting was bad anyway, so I continued on to the north end, where conditions were pretty much the same. On my way back south, however, the fog finally drifted away, the sun came out, and the sky turned bright blue. That’s when I spotted our first American redstart of the season. I haven’t seen one since last May.


That lone catbird, who had arrived just a month ago, has finally been joined by many others, and you can now hear them singing or meowing throughout the park. This one was meowing when I walked by.


As luck would have it, I soon spotted a second bird for my very first time, and this little darling is a black-throated blue warbler (Setophaga caerulescens). It was quite a hopper, but it stayed mostly in the same tree, and I ended up tooking 90 pictures in an effort to get this one portrait.


After all that excitement, this palm warbler must have thought, “Fine, just take your pictures and then move along.”


The warm sun soon brought out the butterflies, and here’s another red admiral soaking up some rays.


The heavy fog also coated the spider webs, and here’s one by the pond glistening in the sun.


Finally, I met long-time reader Jeff Bentoff in the park yesterday morning, and he agreed to send me a copy of the amazing screech owl picture he took in the Shorewood Nature Preserve last Sunday. Smart Alecs may recall that last Sunday is also when I visited the Shorewood Nature Preserve, but I didn’t come away with such a prize, and that’s why nobody likes smart Alecs.

Screech owl by Jeff Bentoff

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.

2 thoughts on “Is seventeen enough?

  1. I saw a rose-breasted grosbeak for the first time (ever) below my feeder this morning. (Been filling the feeder every day for at least ten years.)

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