Thursday, May 17, 2018

Birding Bliss

Sunset over the lake at Jones Meadow, a little "pocket park" near our condo in North Aurora, Illinois:

Sunset over lake at Jones Meadow Park 20180509

A bit later, the view of the sky from the adjacent marsh:

Sunset over marsh at Jones Meadow Park 20180509

Mary Lou and I participated with Kane County (Illinois) Audubon in a Global Big Day bird count on May 5. Our assigned territory was Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove, Illinois, a favorite place to visit during migration. 


This also provided one of the few opportunities we had to get out, due to other more pressing obligations. During our two hour early morning watch, we only saw 36 species, but there was lots of color!

Yellow Warblers were singing and courting:

Yellow Warbler 01-20180505

Yellow Warbler 05-20180505

Yellow Warbler 08-20180505

Newly-arrived Baltimore Orioles dashed through the treetops:

Baltimore Oriole 03-20180505

Baltimore Oriole 06-20180505

Baltimore Oriole 04-20180505

A Rose-breasted Grosbeak provided a study in black and white...

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 04-20180505

...and red:

 Rose-breasted Grosbeak 07-20180505

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 06-20180505

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 01-20180505

Mary Lou found another species which continued to carry out the color scheme--

A pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers:

Red-headed Woodpecker 06-20180505

Red-headed Woodpecker 05-20180505

Red-headed Woodpecker 04-20180505

Maintaining two homes and the associated travel has been stressful. Now that we have acquired "two of everything" it is time to let half of them go. We are busy giving away all the furniture in our second home condo. Here are some of the last items being carted off:

Moving furniture 20180512


= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display

________________________________________________

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stretching out Spring in Illinois

We departed from our south Florida home on April 21, just as spring migration was beginning. Our destination was our condo in NE Illinois, just emerging from two weeks of unusually cold and wet weather.  

The next morning we headed to nearby Nelson Lake Marsh/Dick Young Forest Preserve, where we were surprised to find a large flock of migrating American White Pelicans. I counted at least 60.  This is at the eastern edge of their northbound migration from wintering grounds in the Western and Central US. 

American White Pelicans commonly winter in Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico but migrate in a northwesterly direction, generally avoiding the eastern coastal areas. (*See end note)
 
American White Pelicans  01-20180422

During breeding season the adults grow a vertical fibrous plate on their upper mandibles which is shed before they migrate southbound:

American White Pelican 04-20180422

The prairie was just starting to geen up. This is the east entry path, looking towards the viewing platform which overlooks the lake:

Nelson Lake east entry 20180425

On our way back to the condo we stopped at Jones Meadow Park, where the path had been flooded because of rain and snow-melt. The bare trees cast nice reflections:

Jones Meadow flood 20180426

A Tree Swallow defiled the warning sign:

Tree Swallow 3-20180508

Tree Swallow 2-20180508

Seeing an American Robin is quite a thrill. While they migrate into Florida, they rarely appear in our neighborhood:

American Robin male 01-20180422

The next day we visited Lippold Park in Batavia, Illinois. The Canada Geese were nesting. At the end of the boardwalk an especially protective pair guarded their eggs and even attacked some visitors. We steered clear:

Canada Goose guardian 04-20180423

Canada Goose nesting 01-20180423

We observed the incubating female from across the pond:

Canada Goose nesting 03-20180423

Three male Mallards swam in closed ranks:

Mallards 01-20180423

I obtained one of my nicest photos of a male Red-winged Blackbird as it sang "Conk-ra-lee!"

Red-winged Blackbird 02-20180423

In the wooded area, a Brown Creeper was almost invisible against the bark of a tree:

Brown Creeper 02-20180423

I finally obtained a side view:

Brown Creeper 01-20180423

A sweet little Golden-crowned Kinglet posed very briefly:

Golden-crowned Kinglet 01-20180423

We are in the throes of marketing our condo-- so much stuff to move out and donate or give away. Our granddaughters were given two new puppies this week-- so much excitement! They will never forget Siboney but the girls are absolutely thrilled with their pets...

...a tiny (but eventually full-sized) Poodle puppy named Cazador ("Hunter" in Spanish) meets old Tibetan Mastiff Agramonte for the first time:

Cazador & Agramonte

The next day, Moncada (4 month old Tibetan Mastiff, named after General Guillermon Moncada, hero of the Cuban War of Independence and civil rights advocate) arrived-- here napping after having great fun with his new little "brother"...

 Moncada

...and they got along splendidly, even after Cazador jumped on him and woke him up!:

Cazador attacks Moncada

With so much going on I may need to take a break but will try to get out as much as possible while my emails pile up! Sorry if I have not yet gotten back to everyone who have posted such great comments (they get a priority position in my in-box!).

*PS:  We have had them in our local south Florida "Wounded Wetlands," where in 2012,  I documented their cooperative fishing style (pardon my New Jersey accent):





= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy

Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James

Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Our World Tuesday by Lady Fi

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh

 Linking to Fences Around the World by Gosia

________________________________________________

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display

________________________________________________