What a gorgeous day! We decided to go up to the north end of the park, to avoid the crowds that would be by the lake and pond on a gorgeous summer Saturday. We tried to take the 2/3 to 110th but that failed, and we ended up getting out at 96th and walking over. From there, we headed up to the pool.
There was a little stand of trees right when we got to the pool that had several starlings. They look really different in their winter plumage! These ones might have been a little in between, because their heads were dark dark dark not spotted at all. Anyway, I got to see them from many different angles, and they were definitely starlings (hahahaha, as definite as I can be anyway) and this explains a mystery bird from the Audubon sanctuary. It was a starling! It just reminds me how new I am, that one of the birds I see most often can still surprise me. :-)
Then there was a mystery bird, I didn't get a picture of it. It was about robin sized, mostly grey, grey throat, yellow (but not bright yellow) belly. I didn't get a good look at the beak. Maybe a great crested flycatcher? It's possible I guess.
Anyway, we kept on and went up the loch. The first thing we saw was a big nasty rat! At first just the tail, be then we saw it running along like it belongs there. Yo, it's not the sewer! Ugh.
Shortly after that we saw a beautiful female American redstart who was kind enough to give us a nice view but drew the line at pictures. I guess she didn't feel that she looked her best. She looked quite lovely to me though! Made up for the big nasty rat.
We took a wrong turn and ended up at the baseball fields, and backtracked along the same section of the stream again. This time an oriole blew through! Oh, he was beautiful, but in much too much of a hurry to bother with a quick pose for me. He just flitted off.
At the meer we saw what I thought was a few swallows flying around in a most impressive fashion. Jack thought he saw them perched but it turned out those were sparrows. :-) The only birds I saw perched that looked remotely like them were the kingbirds. It was definitely a kingbird heavy day! So, the question is - did I see the kingbirds flying around like that and mistake them for swallows? Or did I just never find the swallows perched?
Walking around the meer I saw a downy and it just looked odd to me, so I climbed up some really steep rocks to try to get a look at it. My poor knees! Anyway, I did get a look at it, and it looked completely normal. Oh well.
That was about it. There was a ~really~ loud inflatable carnival of some sort over by the conservatory garden, so we skipped that, went back to the west side, and cabbed it home, fairly exhausted. It was great! :-)