Comings and goings…

The stretch of beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying lately has lasted for one more day, and it was just a perfect morning in Estabrook Park. Plus, with sunrise now at 5:35 am and no clouds to block the sun, I started my journey at 5:30 and enjoyed the park all to my lonesome for nearly an hour. What a treat.

It was nice to see the pair of deer again on the southern soccer fields after a couple-week break.


The toads were singing like crazy again this morning, you can even hear them up on the bluff, and it appears to have already paid off for some of them, like the happy couple below. There were hundreds of them in the river along the banks where the water is mostly still.


There was a notable absence at the pond this morning because the goose and gander must have decided overnight that the goslings were finally ready to make their annual march down to the river. If you’re desperate for a fix, you can still see a few families along the riverbanks, and here’s a picture I took on May 7th, but if you need to see them live at the pond, you’ll have to wait until next year.


Anyway, on my hike across the baseball field toward the river, there was a male northern flicker foraging in the grass along with the grackles and starlings, and as I tried to get a decent picture, it must have taken pity on me and hopped up onto this post for a moment, which really made my job a lot easier. He even showed off his namesake “yellow shafts.” “Thanks, buddy!”


Back at the river, the sun was finally high enough in the sky to really light up this darling blue-headed vireo.


On my way back south and back up on the bluff, I finally hit pay dirt when I spotted our first scarlet tanager of the season. If I had a fake bird with little wire feet that I could wrap around any branch in the park, I don’t think I could have come up with a pose as perfect as this one.


Back by the water, I spotted the trio of ducklings we last saw on May 8th.


There’s a new flower blooming on the slope down from the beer garden. Does anyone recognize it?


Over the swampy bottom at the base of stairway 8, which leads down to the river from the southern playground, I spotted this little flycatcher searching for its next morsel, and it appears to be a yellow-bellied flycatcher. By crazy coincidence, the last time I saw a yellow-bellied flycatcher was on May 11, 2022.


Since there’s a little room left on this page, here’s another look at that chestnut-sided warbler from yesterday.


And here’s another chipmunk from yesterday who stayed in the shade.


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 “Comings and goings…

  1. Just in case, no one told you the flower was a strawberry. This morning I saw a beaver swimming near staircase 9 and the large group of goslings farther south on the river. Yesterday Zi and I visited Klode and there were hundreds of red breasted Mergansers on the lake.

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  2. That flower is a wild strawberry. I picked loads of them as a kid. In about a month you will find sweet, juicy, pea-sized strawberries. Yum!

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