A day to enjoy it while it lasts…

It was another wonderful morning in Estabrook Park today. The sky had a little white in it, but it wasn’t cloudy, the winds were light, and the air was 10°F warmer than yesterday morning. The birds responded in kind and were singing while they foraged in droves throughout the park.

As I was listening for warblers down the bluff from where the park gets narrow and there’s a guardrail between the parkway and the path, I spotted this perfectly perched olive-sided flycatcher waiting for the next fly to snatch out of the air.


I reached the river just in time to watch this quartet of gangly-looking goslings, probably tweens, steam by while carefully guarded by their mom and dad.


Farther north along the river, the great horned owl was not quite as well hidden as it has been lately. “Great to see ya, Sweetie!”


The river water is getting low enough again to expose rocks and tree trunks around the northern island, and this green heron was taking the opportunity to fish in a new spot.


Back on shore, I saw a trio of rose-breasted grosbeaks, and two of them weren’t “feeling it this morning”, but this female gave me a stare just long enough for one picture.


I’d gotten a tip about bird density along the river north of the islands, so I continued on up the trail to check it out, and holy moly, that was one hot tip. The trees were literally crawling with birds (especially if you consider the black-and-white warblers who forage along trunks and branches like creepers or nuthatches). Anyway, here’s a blackburnian warbler searching oak tree blossoms for something tasty to eat.


Then a small flock of about 4 birds shot overhead to join the mix, and at first, I thought they looked just like Eurpean goldfinches, with white bellies, dark faces, and bay-colored sides. They didn’t have finch beaks, however, because they are bay-breasted warblers instead, and this is only the second image I’ve ever managed to capture of a bay-breasted warbler. They sure are elusive little devils!


Finally, on my way south, as I passed a beautiful apple tree in full blossom and thought what pretty a picture that could make, a cedar waxwing flew in and began feasting on the blossoms. “Thanks!”


I’ve got some more pictures for you, but tomorrow is a travel day, so I’ve saved a few to show you then. It’s supposed to be a lot cooler tomorrow, anyway, after our pneumonia front comes through.

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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