Thursday, May 10, 2018

Stretching out Spring in Illinois

We departed from our south Florida home on April 21, just as spring migration was beginning. Our destination was our condo in NE Illinois, just emerging from two weeks of unusually cold and wet weather.  

The next morning we headed to nearby Nelson Lake Marsh/Dick Young Forest Preserve, where we were surprised to find a large flock of migrating American White Pelicans. I counted at least 60.  This is at the eastern edge of their northbound migration from wintering grounds in the Western and Central US. 

American White Pelicans commonly winter in Florida and along the Gulf of Mexico but migrate in a northwesterly direction, generally avoiding the eastern coastal areas. (*See end note)
American White Pelicans  01-20180422

During breeding season the adults grow a vertical fibrous plate on their upper mandibles which is shed before they migrate southbound:

American White Pelican 04-20180422

The prairie was just starting to geen up. This is the east entry path, looking towards the viewing platform which overlooks the lake:

Nelson Lake east entry 20180425

On our way back to the condo we stopped at Jones Meadow Park, where the path had been flooded because of rain and snow-melt. The bare trees cast nice reflections:

Jones Meadow flood 20180426

A Tree Swallow defiled the warning sign:

Tree Swallow 3-20180508

Tree Swallow 2-20180508

Seeing an American Robin is quite a thrill. While they migrate into Florida, they rarely appear in our neighborhood:

American Robin male 01-20180422

The next day we visited Lippold Park in Batavia, Illinois. The Canada Geese were nesting. At the end of the boardwalk an especially protective pair guarded their eggs and even attacked some visitors. We steered clear:

Canada Goose guardian 04-20180423

Canada Goose nesting 01-20180423

We observed the incubating female from across the pond:

Canada Goose nesting 03-20180423

Three male Mallards swam in closed ranks:

Mallards 01-20180423

I obtained one of my nicest photos of a male Red-winged Blackbird as it sang "Conk-ra-lee!"

Red-winged Blackbird 02-20180423

In the wooded area, a Brown Creeper was almost invisible against the bark of a tree:

Brown Creeper 02-20180423

I finally obtained a side view:

Brown Creeper 01-20180423

A sweet little Golden-crowned Kinglet posed very briefly:

Golden-crowned Kinglet 01-20180423

We are in the throes of marketing our condo-- so much stuff to move out and donate or give away. Our granddaughters were given two new puppies this week-- so much excitement! They will never forget Siboney but the girls are absolutely thrilled with their pets...

...a tiny (but eventually full-sized) Poodle puppy named Cazador ("Hunter" in Spanish) meets old Tibetan Mastiff Agramonte for the first time:

Cazador & Agramonte

The next day, Moncada (4 month old Tibetan Mastiff, named after General Guillermon Moncada, hero of the Cuban War of Independence and civil rights advocate) arrived-- here napping after having great fun with his new little "brother"...


...and they got along splendidly, even after Cazador jumped on him and woke him up!:

Cazador attacks Moncada

With so much going on I may need to take a break but will try to get out as much as possible while my emails pile up! Sorry if I have not yet gotten back to everyone who have posted such great comments (they get a priority position in my in-box!).

*PS:  We have had them in our local south Florida "Wounded Wetlands," where in 2012,  I documented their cooperative fishing style (pardon my New Jersey accent):

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

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. You're right. The shot of the red wing rocks.

  2. Great captures, and as usual well described.

  3. The short video as well!
    Thanks for it.

  4. Lovely set of photos, love them all but the red wing is spectacular. Take care Diane

  5. Beautiful photos. I like the shot of the swallow on the sign!

  6. Hello, beautiful photos as always! The white pelicans are a favorite. I love the dogs too. I missed seeing the Brown Creeper this past winter, they are cute. Thank you so much for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend.

  7. Gorgeous white pelicans, redwinged blackbird, golden crowned kinglet and creepers! All of your shots are as amazing as always. Beautiful mastiff pup! Interesting name, too. Hope you are getting settled in your summer digs!

  8. Wonderful birds, and that bright blue sky over the!
    Thanks for sharing.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  9. Ken...I understand completely that there is only so much time in a day and life as you are having right now in your selling/moving takes over your priorities. If someone else doesn't like it...that's a personal oroblem they need to deal with! Don't fret over your absense or lateness...we'll be here when you can find time.

    LOVE YOUR POST...from the birds (I've yet to find a tree swallow) to the new puppy.

    Thank you, for sharing with I'd Rather B Birdin' today...your time is always appreciated!

  10. Well, we have quite a bit in common this week … our feeders are being mobbed by red-winged blackbirds, and their calls predominate the sound waves … We have numerous robins around here … and a nesting pair of tree swallows trying to fight off an invading squirrel … thanks for all the terrific shots!

  11. The profile of the the brown creeper is beautiful! Don't feel guilty about your emails piling up - family and new doggies come first:):) Thank you for sharing the happy busyness with All Seasons! have a great week:)

  12. I'm ba-a-ack...I forgot about the puppy. Who could forget about a puppy? It only happened because our dog just jumped up onto my husband's lap. And Cazador jumped onto Moncada. Doesn't get much cuter than that.
    Thanks for sharing.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  13. You did well to get a side view of that creeper.

  14. Your feathered friends photography is marvelous but your'doggies' steal the show! love them!

    Wishing you a happy week ahead,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  15. Lovely bird shots and the doggies are so cute.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  16. Simply beautiful birds and I could cuddle those adorable dogs.

  17. Great shots! Love the birds and cute doggies!

  18. Great series of bird shots. The red-wing blackbird is a beauty.

  19. The sign on the dock of warning of aggressive
    On one of the trails in my area they hiss at you but do not attack.

  20. Adorable shot of the red-wing blackbird, and excellent photography throughout!
    Thanks for sharing at

  21. I am somewhat near your neck-of-the-woods this week. My granddaughter is graduating high school in the Peoria area. Love the pelicans. You sure took a lot of bird pics, but my favorite is the red-winged blackbird. Awesome shot!

  22. You are such a busy guy....always so much happening photo wise and in life itself.... lovely photos ...


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