Monday, September 20, 2010

Late summer sadness

It was Sunwiggy, my most faithful reader (and my mother, which might explain the fidelity) who pointed out the lapse of time between my last post and this one. Two weeks already and the ever-loquacious Crow still has nothing to say? But all will be rectified now...the Birds of the Heartland brought up to date.

I have had some incredible birding experiences over the past couple of weeks, since Greenturtle and I went to Saint Louis and the Cahokia Mounds, so I'm not sure why I didn't dash away about it as soon as I could. Perhaps because Greenturtle is back in school now, and I have no photographs to accompany. Perhaps, even more to the point, because I don't really like late summer. It depresses me.

September fifth I went to Parklands Merwin Preserve, here in McLean County, in search of warblers. And did I ever find them! Mixed flocks of warblers everywhere, including my first sighting of a Canada warbler, and also a black-throated green warbler bathing in a stream...northern waterthrush, ovenbird, Wilson's warbler, American redstarts, golden-winged warblers, black and white warblers. As I wrote in my Bird Journal, "Probably the most warbler-iffic trip of my entire birding life, a true warberama. At one point admiring mixed warbler flock while all around me the Wren Philharmonic Orchestra performed the Symphony of Scolding."

Yesterday was another superb birding day. I went to Comlara Park and strolled the whole walk from the Visitor's Center, along the shores of Evergreen Lake, across several fields and a couple wooded areas, to the place I call the Swallow Bridge, in honor of the swallows that summer there. I kept walking down to the area I call Cormorant Point (because guess what perches in the trees along the lake at the end of it...hmmm...could it be double-crested cormorants?) Again, there were several nice mixed flocks of warblers, and the lingering summer birds: field sparrows, catbirds (still squalling!), house wrens (still scolding), etc. I got a total of 44 species, a real birding triumph.

And yet.... No dickcissels. No red-winged blackbirds. No meadowlarks. Summer is drawing to a close.

Since I cannot wax eloquent about the birds I've seen, despite how happy they made me at the time, I will instead share some haiku I've composed. Hope you like them.

The blackbirds are gone
And still we did not notice
The moment they left.

Rattling of traffic
Exhaust, motors whining, noise:
Above, pastel skies.

Grasslands in autumn:
A study in yellow, gold--
But no birds singing.

Great blue heron, poised
Mirrored by the lake below:
Finally, a fish!


  1. Thanks for checking my blog! I got so spoiled using "Greenturtle"'s photos that it feels weird just writing about birds.