As our summer sojourn in NE Illinois drew to a close, we enjoyed two weeks of nearly perfect weather. The cool nights permitted us to sleep with the windows open, and days were fair with high temperatures in the mid 70s F ( ~24 C).
Almost every morning we got out to visit local parks and preserves, especially Nelson Lake/Dick Young Marsh Forest Preserve in nearby Batavia. The entry path begins at this old silo:
The path leads to a platform which overlooks the lake:
A Mute Swan swam along the opposite shore:
A Red-tailed hawk wheeled overhead:
A migrating Broad-winged Hawk passed high in the sky:
Black-capped Chickadees scolded from the treetops:
A Chestnut-sided Warbler unexpectedly lingered for several photos:
Bumblebees gathered pollen:
A Nashville Warbler foraged for insects in a daisy patch:
Tennessee Warblers were hard to follow as they weaved through the foliage:
Other migrants passing through included a Swainson's Thrush,...
...flocks of Cedar Waxwings, such as these posted next to the observation deck,...
...and this handsome immature waxwing:
The arrival of Yellow-rumped Warblers from the north is a sign the warbler migration has passed its peak, and we can therefore expect that back home in Florida the best is yet to come:
Resident male Eastern Goldfinches were trading their brilliant yellow for somber winter garb:
Late breeders, the goldfinches were still feeding their fledglings:
At Lippold Park across the Fox River from our home, the small boardwalk provided an excellent vantage point for warbler-watching,...
...as a family of Wood Ducks in eclipse plumage dabbled in the duckweed-coated pond:
This Blackburnian Warbler perched next to the pond, ...
...followed by a somewhat similar Black-throated Green Warbler:
A Ruby-throated Humnmingbird sipped nectar from the flower of a pond-side Pickerelweed:
A pair of Northern Flickers (the male has the mustache) acted as if it were six months earlier. Perhaps the autumnal equinox triggered a "second spring:"
Back home in Florida, the uniform white FENCES pierced the pre-dawn darkness along the 196th Avenue Canal:
On the still waters of the canal, the lily pads seemed to float in the air amid the REFLECTIONS of the clouds: