Sunday, October 30, 2016

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Butternut Squash Soup

For a gloomy Sunday, I made butternut squash soup for the first time. Butternut squash, sweet potato, onion, garlic, ginger, tumeric, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and coconut milk. Cooked in the slower cooker for 2 hours and then blended. It tasted delicious with focaccia bread!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Saw this beautiful creature Wednesday evening at Montrose Point, the Magic Hedge no less!

I am so gorgeous!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

American Kestrel

What a gorgeous bird! I sighted and properly identified a female American Kestrel this morning! Several Northern Flickers were pestering it to leave. The American Kestrel is our country's smallest falcon. Being able to identify a new bird is such a cool feeling. It's kind of like making a cool diagnosis in medicine, but even more cool because I haven't received any training in birding, everything I know is self-taught, and no sickness involved!

Alluring American Kestrel -copyright Audubon

Monday, October 3, 2016

5 New Lifers!

Chicago during fall migration is the happiest place on earth! Unless you are the rabbit that I saw a juvenile Cooper's Hawk eating right outside the gates of Lincoln Park Zoo... I added FIVE species to my life list this morning. I know if you are an experienced birder, you are rolling your eyes at me, since most of these birds are pretty common. But to me, this is super cool!

Killer Cooper's Hawk

Dark-eyed Junco in the shrubs on the edge of North Pond.

Dreamy Dark-eyed Junco

About a dozen Northern Flickers, a type of woodpecker that pecks at ants on the ground near North Pond Restaurant. Absolutely beautiful colors and pattern!

Northern Flicker

A teeny tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet, cousin of the Golden-crowned Kinglet I saw over the weekend.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

A White-throated Sparrow. So many sparrows today, this little guy as well as more white-crowned sparrows and house sparrows.

White-throated Sparrow

Thanks to pinterest and all the birding websites for these fabulous photos. My blurry pics are not worth posting... Quincy was patient during my two hour birding walk this morning. He even found a nice place to perch.

Quincy the happy Husky. :)


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Golden Crowned Kinglet

Explored Illinois Beach State Park this morning, and saw my very first kinglet - a golden crowned kinglet.  Right next to the sandy beach bluffs, within perfect view. The bold yellow crest on a cute little bird is unforgettable. Apparently this little guy can withstand -40 degree F winters! We will definitely be returning to this State Park, it has a mix of habitats including marsh, dune, swale, oak
woods, beach and Lake Michigan, which make it an ideal birding location. Plus Quincy loved it. :)

Look at that glorious golden crown! Thanks Pinterest

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Winter Wren

Like the chickadee, the winter wren is a CUTE bird. I found him on the ground, looking for insects most likely, near the North Pond restaurant yesterday morning.

 Fun fact: "On a per-pound basis, the winter wren generates more song for its weight than any other North American songbird". It is one of the smallest birds around, the size of kinglets (I saw a few of these as well but couldn't ID the exact species). The winter wren differs from the house wren with it's stubbly upright tail. 

The wonderful winter wren!