Thursday, October 5, 2017

Crops & Clips: Flashback to October, 2014

This has become a habit of mine, to look back at photos I took three years ago. It may be boring to some, but it helps me to remember the good times past and anticipate the sights which may greet us this October as we venture out into Illinois parks and back to our south Florida Everglades remnant preserve, our "Wounded Wetland." 

To add some interest to my quest, I will try to include some favorite memes-- wild critters (especially birds), skies, reflections, fences, signs of the season, and scenes which speak for themselves.

We spent the first three weeks of October, 2014 at our second home in NE Illinois, missing the best of south Florida's warbler migration but enjoying the clear weather and cool temperatures. (This year we plan to get back to Florida a week earlier to celebrate the Quinceañera of the daughter of our son-in-law's first cousin in Miami.) 

Lippold Park, in Batavia, IL was adorned in fall colors:

Lippold Park 07-20141017

We got to welcome some winter birds, many of which do not visit south Florida. Yellow-rumped warblers arrived early in the month. In Florida they are among the last to appear and signal the end of warbler migration:

Yellow-rumped Warbler 2-20141007

White-throated Sparrows had arrived from northern breeding grounds:

White-throated Sparrow 20141009

White-throated Sparrow 3-20141009

White-crowned Sparrows visited our daughter's feeders and rested on the deck railing. This is an adult:

White-crowned Sparrow 10-20141010

First-year White-crowned Sparrows have brown and dull gray rather than black and white head stripes:

White-crowned Sparrow 06-20141010

Ruby-crowned Kinglets appeared. In Florida we may see one or two some winters:

Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2-20141009

White-breasted Nuthatches are Illinois residents and are seen all winter, but they do move erratically southward and may be replaced by migrants or wanderers from the north. Few make it into south Florida:

White-breasted Nuthatch 20141016

Black-capped Chickadees were abundant. This is another resident species which may wander about unexpectedly in some winters. A very similar relative, the Carolina Chickadee, ranges into central Florida:

Black-capped Chickadee2 06-20141021

Canada Geese were moving south. Note the similar but much smaller Cackling Geese in the foreground:

Cackling Geese 20141022

On October 22 we encountered our first flock of Purple Finches. This is a female:

Purple Finch 02-20141022

After breeding season, American Goldfinches change from bright yellow into more somber garb:

American Goldfinch 20141009

Before departing for Florida we spent a long weekend of fun with our daughter and family at Sturgeon Bay in Door County, Wisconsin. It is located in far NE Wisconsin and straddles both sides of the inlet between Lake Michigan and Green Bay. Our lodge was on the waterfront and we enjoyed beautiful sunsets:

Sturgeon Bay sunset 3-20141011

Sturgeon Bay Marina:

Sturgeon Bay marina 20141011

Beautiful split-rail fence at "The Farm" in Door County:

Split-rail fence 20141012

It was much colder up in Wisconsin:

Ken and Mary Lou at The Farm 20141012

October 26 found us back in Florida. We were out early the next morning and captured this Great Egret before sunrise as it lifted off:

Great Egret 20141027

While visiting Chapel Trail Nature Preserve I obtained this unusual photo of a pair of Purple (Gray-headed) Swamphens reflecting in the lake: 

Purple Swamphens 03-20141030

A Cattle Egret hunted for insects on a cow's back in the pasture next to Chapel Trail:

Cattle Egret on back of cow 20141030

Sadly, on October 30 I saw our local female Bald Eagle "Joy" for the last time before she disappeared and was never seen again. She was sitting rather deep in the nest, rearranging sticks while her mate "Pride" stood by:

 Bald Eagle pair at nest 02-20141030
= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,


Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


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



  1. Kenneth, your photos are absolutely gorgeous, spectacular and seriously need frames! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Beautiful post, Kenneth! So many great shots here. I'll mention the Great Egret at liftoff as one of my favorites. Very pretty light.

  3. Such great bird pictures! I love the Eagle in your header. And now that I see your camera lens, I can see why.

  4. Great shots! I'm ready for fall colors and temperatures but it's still in the 80s here.

    Yes, the reflection is on the left side but I don't think it was in a window. It was something else but I don't remember what.

  5. That is what photo are for - to remind us. Yours are beautiful.

  6. Hello, Ken

    Gorgeous variety of birds and photos. I love all the different Sparrows and the Swanphens. Cool captures of the eagles. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  7. Wonderful birds from your archives! Then the Florida shots...oh my! Always beautiful. We occasionally saw Quinceniera activities in Tucson. The girls in their gorgeous gowns were a treat to see getting their photos made in various places before the event.

  8. I really enjoyed the narration today....You had me right there with you both as you spotted all of nature and its beauty. I especially liked the cattle egret photo and the eagles today.

    As always, your participation at I'd Rather B Birdin' for the weekend is very much appreciated. Thanks for joining in.

  9. Loved seeing all the bird photos! Never heard of cackling geese but now I wonder if we might have some at our local park.

  10. Beautiful bird closeups. The pumpkin picture fits the time, with Thanksgiving tomorrow for us here in BC. - Margy

  11. Cackling Goose? Now thats a new one to me. Are they unusual?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  12. In answer to Stewart's question, Until 2004 the several forms of Canada Goose were all considered subspecies. Then the four smallest forms were split as Cackling Goose species. They nest on the Aleutian Islands and in the far northern tundra. The westernmost population migrates to the Pacific coastal States, but those from northern Canada migrate through the central US into south Texas and Mexico. They are not too uncommon and small numbers may mix with flocks of the larger Canada Geese, providing a dramatic size comparison. Their necks and bills are proportionately shorter than Canada Geese, and they call out in a high pitched 'cackle."

  13. A marvelous series of photos. Thanks so much for sharing at

  14. white crowned sparrows are my favorite!

  15. All these places I must look up on Google Maps!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

  16. Hello. So beautiful and great serie of photos. Thank you.

  17. The white-crowned sparrow reminds me of Don King, lol. A fantastic collection and look back set. It's a little chilly and very rainy in WI lately. I bet Door County is looking good, we only started getting real color about a week ago down here. The Great Egret photo is haunting.

  18. Nice to see you both at the pumpkin patch, both looking lovely! The warbler is such a pretty shot, and I love the two eagles. Do you think the one in the nest died? Missed you this week, so hope to see you back this week at All Seasons!

  19. Your look-backs are never ever boring. Beautiful pictures and I learn something new about IDing or just about the birds every time I come here.


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