Thursday, September 27, 2018

Crops & Clips: In and around Batavia, Illinois

We just returned from a two week stay in northeastern Illinois. Surprisingly, we had a spell of hot weather with some temperatures higher than those back home in south Florida.

Although we were busy with volleyball games and preparations for a charity gala with 100 guests at our daughter's home, we found time to get out and walk in the nearby parks and forest preserves. We saw many more warblers than we were able to identify, as they tended to forage high in the trees against the very bright sky. 

At Les Arends Forest Preserve in their home town of Batavia, we encountered a mixed flock which included American Redstarts. I was only able to get a decent photo of a female:

American Redstart 01-20180912

There were quite a few Bay-breasted and Blackpoll Warblers, which are quite similar in their dull fall plumage.

The Blackpoll shows some streaking of its underparts and has a more greenish cast to its head and neck, so this most likely is one here:

Blackpoll Warbler 03-20180912

Bay-breasted Warbler? It should have dark legs but these appear to be light as in Blackpoll:

Bay-breasted Warbler 02-20180912

Bay-breasted Warbler 01-20180912

This is a dull female Chestnut-sided Warbler:

Chestnut-sided Warbler 04-20180912

Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove has very nice walking trails and a wooden bridge over Blackberry Creek, where Mary Lou is looking at a goldfinch:

Bliss Woods 02-20180911

Bliss Woods 03-20180911

A Wilson's Warbler brightened our morning:

Wilson's Warbler 03-20190911

We saw migrating Swainson's Thrushes...

Swainson's Thrush 01-20180911

...and a pair of Red-eyed Vireos:

Red-eyed Vireos two 20180911

A favorite spot is Nelson Lake/Dick Young Marsh Kane County Forest Preserve: 

Tree at Nelson Lake 20180920

Northwest prairie Nelson Lake 20180920

I caught sight of an early migratory Red-breasted Nuthatch, but had to wait a few days before getting one of these little acrobats in my camera viewfinder. It was foraging in this grand oak:

Grand Oak 20180920

Red-breasted Nuthatch 06-20180920

Red-breasted Nuthatch 05-20180920

Red-breasted Nuthatch 08-20180920

The male American Goldfinches were in various stages of molting into their somber winter coats:

American Goldfinch 02-20180913

A Mourning Dove struck a nice pose:

Mourning Dove 20180914

A Cedar Waxwing had a regal appearance:

Cedar Waxwing 20180909

Canada Geese were numerous...

Canada Geese 02-20180909 were butterflies, including this Pearl Crescent...

Pearl Crescent 02-20180920

...a Red-spotted Purple...

Red-spotted Purple butterfly 01-20180913

...a Cabbage White...

Cabbage White butterfly 20180920

...and many beautiful Monarchs:

Monarch  butterfly 02-20180914

Colorful Milkweed Bugs clustered on the pods of their favorite plant, also host to the Monarch caterpillar:

Milkweed Bugs 01-20180920

A view of the upper reaches of the marsh at Nelson Lake is framed by tree branches:

Nelson Lake Marsh view 02-20180909

Back home at our daughter's house, their oldest and youngest pets rested on their patio. Tibetan Mastiff Agramonte is eleven years old and Standard Poodle Cazador is 6 months of age:

Agramonte and Casador 20180920

Casador 29180920

In their back yard, a Silver-spotted Skipper visited a Rose of Sharon:

Silver-sppotted Skipper 01-20180913

Upon returning to Florida, I captured this iPhone panorama of the western sky opposite the rising sun (click on image for full view):

Pano to west at sunrise 20180923

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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 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



  1. It looks like you had a birdy trip and the butterflies and pups are great too!

  2. What a great collection of birds, and bugs, and trees, and dogs. I love your daughter’s dogs!

  3. Beautiful! I like the butterfly photos, and I didn't realize the milkweed bugs have such vivid coloring!

  4. Hello Ken, wonderful variety of birds. I love all of them but I have a few favorites too like the Red-breasted Nuthatch. The butterflies are lovely. Cute photos of the dogs. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend. PS, thanks for the comment on my post.

  5. Some super looking warblers, but my favourites are the Nuthach.

  6. Thank you for this restorative visit!

  7. Thanks Ken for sharing your stunning pics. Great to see the warblers, I'm always fascinated to see pics of them. I enjoyed the Red-breasted nuthatch. I mostly see the white--breasted but will keep my eye open for the red-breasted over the winter they visit us.

  8. Great looking bird sightings (Loved especially the Swainson's Thrush) and the photos of the trees and butterflies were awesome.

  9. LOVE that panoramic sky!! And what a treasure of warblers & migrants we see here in Winter only. You definitely hit the jackpot! Beautiful butterflies too. Your contribution this week was awesome, as always. Thanks for joining us at I'd Rather B Birdin'

  10. Looks like wonderful place to enjoy nature. You sure found some beautiful birds. The tree is a stunner! And those butterflies! WOW!

  11. Am enjoying your post so much - I love butterflies. My head spins when you're trying to determine which bird it is. Your daughter knows how to give a party, wow! Many thanks for linking up at All Seasons so we can enjoy what you see - am thankful and feel privileged!

  12. Those warblers must be a real challenge when you start birding! I think its good to find time to bird - even when volley-ball calls!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  13. What a beautiful area to walk about in and take such fantastic photos.

  14. Only you can capture such a stunning variety of birds when you're 'just out walking' on a visit!!! Thanks for sharing these warblers and other birds … I felt a little sorry for the male goldfinch, who does look like he woke up on the wrong side of the roost!


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