A few maples, at nearby Lippold Park in Batavia, stood out among the oaks...
...and one accented the pavillion:
Usually our schedule permits us the opportunity, not only to witness the end of fall migration, but to see a variety of other northern "target" land bird species which spend their winters in NE Illinois.
I hoped to see Fox Sparrows which usually arrive late in October, but which have posed for photos as early as October 7. Slate-colored Juncos and Purple Finches become abundant after mid-October. Red-breasted Nuthatches are irregular migrants and may suddenly show up as early as August. American Tree Sparrows, Lapland Longspurs and Snow Buntings usually wait until November, although any of these birds might appear a month or more earlier. So far I had not seen any of the aforementioned species.
We had a lovely walk at Bliss Woods preserve in Sugar Grove, but saw few birds. Blackberry Creek provided a nice fence and reflection:
Rain and family committments limited the opportunities for birding as our departure approached. Rather than focus on failure, let's talk about what we did see in early October. Among the warblers were...
Black-throated Green Warbler:
The arrival of Yellow-rumped Warblers signals that the end of migration is approaching:
As expected, some of the earlier-arriving northern sparrows were present, including the White-throated Sparrow...
...and White-crowned Sparrow. This is an immature:
Speaking of crowns, the highlights of our final week were flocks of two kinglet species. They are very active and tiny and difficult to photograph as they flit among the leaves.
The female Golden-crowned Kinglet has a yellow cap:
Male Golden-crowned Kinglets have varying amounts of red in the center of the patch:
The red feathers may be retracted and become barely visible, as in this male:
Ruby-crowned Kinglets were present among the Golden-crowns. The males erect a red crest when excited or displaying to females or rivals, but they seem to be more placid during fall migration:
Here is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet displaying this May, at almost the same spot in Nelson Lake preserve:
My first photo of the precious ruby crown was taken at Lippold Park in April, 2010:
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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