I searched out Walnut Woods Metro Park because of its conifers, not hardwoods. Walnut Woods has a good stand of spruce trees, creating one of the few habitats to attract stray White Crossbills. Visiting in the transition between winter and spring, I was too late for such irregular visitors.
I did find other birds. The ever faithful Northern Cardinals and Song Sparrows, year-round residents, were found in abundance.
Although this was a frosty March morning, the first migrants had arrived. A Red-winged Blackbird was staking a claim in a wetland. Because they disappear from yards in late summer, it seems like American Robins also migrate. However, they usually quietly slip into nearby woods for the winter, then reappear in early spring. Another year around resident – a Red-tailed Hawk – wheeled above the sections of prairie and marsh.
There was evidence of other animals, but none revealed themselves this chilly morning.
There is no little irony found in the final photo. I went to a walnut grove to find spruce trees and photographed a sycamore. But what I sycamore it was.