Thursday, October 12, 2017

Illinois birds and landscapes

With our stay in NE Illinois drawing to a close, we have spent limited time in the field. Badly needed rain showers also "dampened" our plans. 

A visit to Hannaford Woods preserve in Sugar Grove yielded a sought-after Red-headed Woodpecker, though it was not very cooperative. It spent all its time high in the treetops looking down at us:

Red-headed Woodpecker 03-20170925

Red-headed Woodpecker 04-20170925

A Magnolia Warbler posed nicely in a natural halo of bokeh created by a break in the canopy:

Magnolia Warbler 04-20170925

The barn at Hannaford is such an interesting subject. I rendered its image as an oil painting (Click on image for more detail):

Hannaford Barn OIL 01-20170925

At nearby Nelson Lake preserve... 

Nelson Lake east entry sign 20170926

...a Black-capped Chickadee welcomed us:

Black-capped Chickadee 01-20170926

A male Eastern Bluebird stood guard near the entrance path:

Eastern Bluebird 20171005

Autumn colors were subdued, but the play of shapes and colors along the entrance path begged for an impressionistic interpretation (Again, click to see the painterly effect)...

Nelson Lake east entry OIL 20170917 did a bright patch of goldenrod under a lone tree on the prairie:

Nelson Lake prairie OIL 20170917

An Orange-crowned Warbler foraged among weed stems...

Orange-crowned Warbler 04-20171005

...and then flew to a small tree to get a better look at us:

Orange-crowned Warbler 07-20171005

A Tennessee Warbler posed in good light:

Tennessee Warbler 01-20171005

A  foot bridge, dedicated to Audubon, spans the creek at Nelson Lake...

Audubon Bridge 03-20171001

...but two months without rainfall have left it dry. Animal tracks punctuate the muddy course:

Dry creek with deer tracks 06-20171001

A Sandhill Crane hunted in a field near the preserve:

Sandhill Crane 01-20171005

A small flock of bluebirds included this young male, not quite adorned in full adult plumage:

Eastern Bluebird 03-20171001

We walked in Jones Meadow, the "pocket park" only a few blocks from our condo in North Aurora. Homes reflect on the surface of its pond:

Jones Meadow Park pond reflections 20170924

A Great Blue Heron roosted in a tree nearby:

Great Blue Heron 20170924

At Hawk's Bluff, another small park just doors from our daughter's home in Batavia, we found more chickadees:

Black-capped Chickadee 3-20170928

Black-capped Chickadee 2-20170928

A White-breasted Nuthatch followed its upside-down instincts:

White-breasted Nuthatch 01-20170928

It was rewarded with a juicy titbit hidden in the bark under a crooked branch-- maybe it was a nut stored there by a squirrel or jay:

White-breasted Nuthatch 03-20170928

White-throated Sparrows had arrived from northern breeding grounds:

White-throated Sparrow 20171002

A resident Song Sparrow even sang a few notes:

Song Sparrow 01-20171002

A Cooper's Hawk kept the small birds in hiding at Lippold Park in Batavia:

Cooper's Hawk 01-20171002

Gathering clouds cluttered the sky over the twin oaks at Nelson Lake. Much-needed rain was indeed on the way!

Twin Oaks at Nelson Lake 20171005

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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. I said, awwww, over and over. Love the little lovelies. (And I love trees too)

  2. What an amazing place, Kenneth! The birds and views are wonderful! I feel as though I took this walk myself. I love the light, colours and effects in your photos!

  3. So many lovely birds! More than i can keep straight, although i do love to see them.

  4. Lovely shots! The place is really beautiful.

  5. Lovely pics! That's a very beautiful place.

  6. Some wonderful bird photos here, thanks for sharing :)

  7. Wow, a series of fabulous photos. I love all the birds but am partial to landscapes and your last photo is simply amazing.

  8. Another great series of photos! The Cooper's Hawk is one of my favorites. Have a nice weekend!

  9. Nice shots! The oil painting effects are beautifully done.

  10. Any sightings of woodpeckers - not matter how fleeting or high up - will cause great jealousy in an Australian birder I know!

    Nice shots.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  11. Hello Ken, wonderful captures of the birds. They are all awesome, one of my favorite is the Red-headed Woodpecker. The nature center and trail looks like a great place for birding. Awesome sky capture. I appreciate you joining in with my 200th Critter Party. Thanks for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

  12. I love the oil painting effect you gave your landscapes! And of course the variety of birds you've seen is impressive! We hiked today finally...even though it was hot! lol Enjoy your afternoon!

  13. Thanks for linking in & sharing this. Your participation at I'd rather b birdin' is always a welcomed addition!

    Wonderful birds! Each and all. I especially LOVED the Magnolia Warbler with the sunlight on its pretty color!

  14. Your birds are gorgeous! I like the impressionistic landscapes too.

  15. Impressive images! Amazed at all the variety of birds in one locations. Great job in capturing these images.

  16. I remember distinctly I saw your pics before Sunday and commented on the Sandhill Crane, but I don't see my comment here - did you see it, or not?
    By the way, I love the blue bird too - very pretty! Rain comes at times an inconvenient time, eh?
    This Thursday there's rain in the forecast here - good for fighting the Santa Rosa and Sonoma fires! Thank you Ken for linking up with All Seasons. Have a great week!

  17. Beautiful birds. And I always like a red barn.

  18. Lovely collection of images!
    Thanks for linking up at

  19. I like the effect you used to give your photos a painting aspects. The result is nice. You are so talented capturing birds. I have taken some nice shots but have to practice more.

  20. Thank you Ken for answering my question about the comments, so I don't have to wonder about it anymore. I live at 3000 feet near an little town, so sometimes the internet connection is not too good - what happened at your blog (not getting my comments)happened at other blogs too. I wonder if the fires N. of San Francisco right now may have to do with it too (I live not far from there).

  21. Gorgeous birds, and such wonderful countryside. Great post! The painterly images are so lovely, too.


Thank you for visiting Rosyfinch Ramblings! I will enjoy a visit to your page just as soon as possible. Some anonymous comments and some containing active links may not be accepted.