Back in 2014, we started the month at our permanent home in Florida but in mid-month returned to our second home, a condo in Illinois. A little after sunrise on September 1, the winds were calm and the skies fair over the lake in our local wetlands.
Later in the morning we stopped by the neighborhood Bald Eagle nest and found that both adults were at the nest and bringing in sticks to renovate it. Usually this activity begins later in the month or in early October. The female, whom the eagle watchers had named "Joy," perched atop a Melaleuca snag and spread her wings (click on photo for more and larger views):
This is the male, Pride (no, he is not really that close to the tree!):
Joy, whom we had been following for six years, was known to have produced at least 13 eaglets (11 of which survived to fly freely). Sadly, she would disappear at the end of October. We were never sure of her fate.
Pride was left without a partner. In early December a new and younger female appeared at the nest. Courtship and mating followed, but if "Jewel" deposited any eggs she never sat on the nest. For the first time since 2007 the entire breeding season would pass without any new eaglets.
Two days later I caught a much smaller bird in the act of spreading his wings, a Prairie Warbler:
On September 5 a small flock of White Ibises roosted on a neighbor's fence:
A Black Vulture posed for a portrait. Maybe he heard me say that he is not so ugly after all!
On September 15, just before we were to depart for Illinois, migrating Ovenbirds passed through:
On the same day, parting shots at a pair of Florida butterflies, a male Julia longwing...
...and a White Peacock:
The Chicago skyline on the approach to Midway Airport on September 17:
In Illinois, the air was crisp and the light a bit different. Though not a "field guide" illustration of the species, I liked the way this Nashville Warbler fit the frame:
In a classic pose, a White-breasted Nuthatch took a different view of the world:
In a small marsh not far from our condo, I enjoyed the natural sepia tones of a Swamp Sparrow...
..and a Marsh Wren, ...
...but a Nelson's Sparrow was more elusive:
On the last day of September, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees. Hundreds of American Robins seemed to appear out of nowhere. Some bathed in a small stream:
On the way home we stopped by a Bald Eagle nest only a mile away from our Illinois condo. As was the case with the one near our Florida home, it was the first in the county, having been established on the grounds of a residential boys' school only about 4 years previously.
The nest was built in a dying pine tree the middle of a sport stadium parking lot. I fear that the tree will need to be removed, as now, three years later, it is entirely dead and may present a hazard to public safety:
This cameo portrait was captured from a distance:
Agramonte, our daughter's Tibetan Mastiff, kept an eye on me as I barbecued steaks on their back deck:
An old barnyard:
I prepared this post in advance as the ferocious Hurricane Irma appeared to be on a collision course with south Florida. We shuttered our home and evacuated on short notice. Right now (September 6) Mary Lou and I are seeking refuge three time zones away in mile-high Albuquerque, New Mexico.
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Linking to Misty's CAMERA CRITTERS,
Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,
Linking to FENCES AROUND THE WORLD by Gosia
Linking to WEEKEND REFLECTIONS by James
Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni
Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart
Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue
Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh
Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display