Chicago Parks Foundation is sponsoring “Walk with a Future Doc” at a couple of parks, including Promontory Point. The inaugural walk had three future doctors (in the middle). The sky threatened rain, and when it began to thunder it was time to hightail it home. We got probably a half mile in and information about sleep health as well as a great photo. I missed the next one (every two weeks) as I’m forgetful and it was too hot for me, but maybe later this month I’ll try it again.
Earlier, I had posted my Google Maps photos that had been viewed 10,000 or more times. In many cases, that milestone took awhile, months or even years. For this photo, however, reaching 10,000 views took about a week. This is Sherman Park in Chicago, designed by John Charles Olmsted, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., and Daniel Burnham — any of those names sound familiar? History of Sherman Park here. Canada geese love the lagoon, which was open in places and icy in others.
This late afternoon, we didn’t see as many different birds as on the previous visit. I suspect the migrants had moved on, many to the great boreal forests of Canada.
A great blue heron was fishing, catching and swallowing a meal as I watched.
As on the previous visit, I saw Canada geese with neck bands. One led her family into the lagoon and swam back and forth. I joked that she was trying to lose her entourage, which stuck to her no matter which way she went.
Another goose rested on one leg, then limped off. I assumed she was injured (and was calculating what I could do to help) when I realized she’s missing her left foot. There’s no way to know how it happened, but I would not be surprised if her leg had been entangled in fishing line at some point. The careless non-disposal of fishing line is a common problem in some forest preserves and could be one in the parks too.
I missed getting a decent shot of a great white egret that flew off in front of me, but I’m also fond of robins. With his dark head, this looks like a male.
Finally, here are the certificates for the geese I reported.
When European starlings and American robins would descend on the field next to us to feast on the stirred-up insects and invertebrates after a rain, my dad would say, “There aren’t as many robins as there used to be when I was growing up.”
On this day in Washington Park, I saw more warblers than robins, but I did spot this handsome fellow. More bird photos to follow.
When I go to Washington Park, I may find a few guys fishing and a few walkers or cyclists, but usually there aren’t many people around. It’s a shame because the Fountain of Time is a masterpiece, and the lagoons are gorgeous.
In this time of plague, though, Washington Park, which has remained open, is suddenly popular. When J. and I went in the late afternoon, people were barbecuing (couples and single families only), cycling, walking, dog walking, and, in some cases, peering at the trees with binoculars or cameras. No guys fishing that I recall.
Sometimes we see a great blue heron or a white egret, but this time I got my first good look at a different heron — the black-crowned night heron with its chunky build, stooped posture, and distinctive red eyes. They’re found in several places in Chicago — someone took a photo of one atop a bus shelter! — but they’re endangered in Illinois.
All by myself I managed to spot a few warblers, including several male yellowthroats, a palm warbler pretending to be a dandelion, and the back side of a magnolia warbler (plus the front side, but the photo is blurry). When I posed an ID question on the Chicago Audubon Society group page on Facebook, someone commented, “We have a warbler book that has, what I call, the underwear section. They call it the undertail patterns : ).” My warbler was sporting magnolia “underwear.”
A couple tried to tell me about a warbler they’d spotted that must have been rare or unusual, but I missed it and don’t even remember the name.
None of my wood duck platoon photos turned out, unfortunately, but here’s a striking pair.
Canada geese are ubiquitous in Hyde Park, especially near the lagoons. In this group, a few sported easily read neck bands. I reported the bands and got a few details back from the U.S. Geological Survey, of all organizations. Like teenagers, geese apparently stick with their friends.
Washington Park may not be the Magic Hedge or beach at Montrose Harbor, but it wasn’t a bad day after all.
I’m behind in keeping up my personal account of summer 2019, so here’s a common green darner to tide me over. They were swarming at Perennial Garden today, where one posed for me despite the winds whipping the plants to pieces and photos into blurs.