by Carl Strang
The area with the greatest diversity of birds at Mayslake Forest Preserve, now that the breeding season is well underway, has been the stream corridor with its adjacent marsh. The corridor itself is wooded, attracting Baltimore orioles, warbling vireos, yellow warblers, common yellowthroats, indigo buntings and downy woodpeckers.
The marsh itself has been a place of interest. During the earlier part of the migration it held a pair of buffleheads for two weeks. More recently I saw one of the most unusual birds of the year there, the preserve’s first least bittern (gone before I could get the camera up; I wasn’t going to pursue and harass it just for a photo).
On Friday the marsh had a trio of herons. I didn’t get a photo of the great blue heron, which nervously departed as soon as I came into view. I had better luck with the green heron.
The third heron visits Mayslake less often than the others.
I have been most fond of another little group of birds, a momma wood duck and her young.
With the diversity of birds, plants and insects around that marsh, it has been my favorite part of the Mayslake preserve this year.