Thursday, June 29, 2017

Crops & Clips: Birding Bliss (Woods)

After wintering at our permanent home in Florida, we flew to Illinois at the end of April. Our first foray was to Bliss Woods Forest Preserve in Sugar Grove, about a 5 mile drive from our second home. We were scheduled to participate in a spring bird count the next weekend, so it seemed to be a good idea to check out the area. Winds had been from the north for almost a week when we arrived (and continued so for the next week), discouraging migration. 

This is the bridge over Blackberry Creek, undergoing repair when I took this photo last October:

Blackberry Creek HDR 02-20161004

Blackberry Creek HDR 03-20161004

Blackberry Creek HDR 01-20161004

A male Eastern Bluebird welcomed us:

Eastern Bluebird male 4-20170503

Eastern Bluebird male 2-20170503

It was cold and windy, so we did not stay very long. However a male Yellow Warbler watched us as we walked along the path:

Yellow Warbler male 02-20170503

It came out into the open:

Yellow Warbler 05-20170503

The gray sky provided a nice background for this photo:

Yellow Warbler 07-20170503

A tiny House Wren scurried along a branch:

House Wren 2-20170503

A male Northern Flicker seemed proud of his mustache:

Northern Flicker 20170506

The bluebird bade us farewell from the roof of the pavilion:

 Eastern Bluebird 2-20170518

We returned under more favorable skies. This male Rose-breasted Grosbeak sang from overhead:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2-20170518

The female grosbeak was more subdued but nonethless beautiful:

Rose-breasted Grosbeak female 20170518

A Red-tailed Hawk sailed above:

Red-tailed Hawk2- 20170518

Road construction impeded our next visit to Bliss Woods, so we entered Hannaford Woods, part of the same Kane County Forest Preserve. A photogenic barn is sited across the road from the parking lot:

Hannaford Farm HDR 01-20170528

A couple of years ago I obtained a different perspective, and rendered the photo as an oil painting (click on photo to enlarge):

Hannaford Barn OIL 20150824 (View Large)

Resident birds at Hannaford included this White-breasted Nuthatch, inspecting its nest hole:

White-breasted Nuthatch 05-20170528

White-breasted Nuthatch 01-20170528

The highlight of our walk was this pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers. A wind storm had just broken off the top of their nest tree. Luckily their hole was just below the break:

Red-headed Woodpeckers 04-20170528

Red-headed Woodpeckers 05-20170528

Red-headed Woodpecker 07-20170528

I found no other respectable reflections for my meme, so I include this one from back in Florida, of a fisherman who was out of sight across a canal near the heron rookery:

Reflection of unseen fisherman 20170402

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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. Nice reflection photo!
    I love seeing all the birds. The Bluebird photos and Red-headed Woodpeckers are my favorites
    Have a wonderful week-end!

  2. Hello, Mr. Kenneth!
    You do not have roses in Florida, but you have a wonderful flora and fauna. What beautiful pictures and what wonderful birds.

  3. Absolutely stunning bird photography ~ ^_^

  4. Beautiful photography, and I love the barn shot!

  5. such a nice collection of birds. all the images are lovely.

  6. Great collection of birds, and the usual excellent photos!

  7. Love these bird shots, especially that shy Yellow Warbler..what an amazing colour!

  8. Hello, gorgeous birds and photos. I love the Bluebirds, Yellow Warbler and the Red-headed Woodpecker. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  9. Nice pics of the old bridge. Love the birds shots of the warbler and bluebirds. Great pics of the pair of red-headed woodpecker. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Beautiful shots from woods with such lovely birds.

  11. Love the bluebirds! And the red-headed woodpeckers! Great reflection too.

  12. That yellow warbler almost looks like neon yellow! And it's such a treat to see a red headed woodpecker and you saw 2!!! Amazing! Enjoy your weekend!

  13. Great birds! Love the barn. A wonderful place to visit...sorry it was so windy!

  14. Cool reflection! I love the red headed woodpeckers! Now I've got the Woody Woodpecker song stuck in my head. ;-)

  15. ...and the highlight amongst all you have shown us on your walk [by the way, I love the name of the area]...the highlight IS the red headed woodpecker! Wow.

    I'm late getting to visit with you, holiday company from Colorado, but want to wish you a happy week ahead and thank you for joining us birders at I'd Rather B Birdin'

  16. Wow so many colorful birds. I loved them all. The Red-Headed woodpeckers & that Yellow Warbler were my favorites. - Great looking barn/fence scene, so picturesque.

  17. Your bird pictures are remarkable ...I look at each one and think 'I'll say that's my favorite '.. and then the next one is just as amazing or even more .... I guess I'd choose the full frontal shot of the flicker, cause I never see them like that...and the grosbeak because it is so at the top of my wish list. Great collection.

  18. Wonderful captures, Kenneth! So glad the weather cleared for your day of birding. Those red-heads are really spectacular!

  19. Wonderful images here!
    Thanks so much for linking up at

  20. What a beautiful collection of birds! I especially love your scarlet tanager and the red-headed woodpeckers. What a treat to see a pair!

  21. Gorgeous colors! And I like that reflection!

  22. Très belle série ;-) Céline & Philippe


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