Natures Notes - September 2011

The light rain experienced overnight and early this morning did not deter our neotropical migrants.  A short walk this morning resulted in the following species:

Tennessee Warbler

Golden-winged Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Palm Warbler

American Redstart 

Black-capped Chickadee

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

White-throated Sparrow

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Wren

Grey Catbird

Downy Woodpecker

Red-eyed Vireo

Northern Flicker

With the approach of a mild cold front in...

On Tuesday of last week I returned to Mayslake Forest Preserve after the Labor Day holiday to find hundreds of small, dead bluegills floating in the east end of May’s Lake.

More than a dozen dead bluegills floating near the edge of the lake.
Dead bluegills at May's Lake

They had been dead for a day or two, and they or possibly other...

Image of more than a dozen dead bluegills floating near the edge of the lake.

This morning, the FullersBird Friday group found a nice-sized mixed flock of primarily warblers.  We were able to sit on this flock for roughly 30 minutes, finding new birds throughout that period.  Here's what we found overall:

Canada goose (6)

mallard (5)

great blue heron

spotted sandpiper

solitary sandpiper (2)

chimney swift (2)

ruby-throated hummingbird (2)

belted kingfisher

red-bellied woodpecker (2)

downy woodpecker

eastern wood-pewee

eastern phoebe

Philadelphia vireo

blue jay (2)

...

This has been an interesting week for damselflies and dragonflies at Mayslake Forest Preserve. Item One: on Monday I photographed this spreadwing damselfly in the south stream corridor prairie.

Most spreadwing species show clear pale undersides. This one had two bars of darker color dividing the pale area. Two of our local damselflies show patterns like this, but one of them is much larger than this average sized individual, so it is a sweetflag spreadwing. This male still is maturing. That’s why the underbelly markings are so pale: they are fading, as a whitish pruinosity covers...

Image of Sweetflag spreadwing damselfly perched on a plant. Great spreadwing damselfly perched on a plant Shadow darner laying eggs on a piece of dead wood.