November 2007

On Nov 24 we birded at Baumann Park in Cherry Valley. Our purpose was to see if there is a trail that connects from Baumann Park to McKiski Forest Preserve (which connects to Deer Run). If anyone knows if there is such a trail please advise . We found one trail that crossed a stream but then ended in a corn field not far from the paved walking path.

We heard two CAROLINA WRENS singing and spotted two YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Also, after hearing some gun shots towards the corn fields a flock of ~1000 Canada Geese flew into the lake at Baumann. Quite a noisy sight!!

Baumann Park is located just south of the railroad crossing in Cherry Valley past a baseball diamond and right at where the road curves east (Cherry Valley Road) It is usually loaded with people but is an all right place to bird in winter.

There are at least 2 Northern Shrikes at Rock Cut State Park this morning. Barbara and I saw them around 10:00 a.m. today. The first was just west of the campground along the main road between the north entrance and the dam, just S of the intersection with the road to the campground. While we watched it, it flew a short distance to the south and perched again. We drove directly toward the north entrance through the prairie restoration. On the way through, we saw a second Northern Shrike perched in small saplings near the pond on the west side of the road. This was in the area where Aaron Boone saw a shrike on Friday.

Barbara discovered a Common Redpoll at our feeder this morning. It is the first one we have had this season, and the first I have seen in Winnebago County this fall.

Barbara and I drove through Greenwood Cemetary this morning to check the conifers for cone abundance this winter. The trees are fairly heavily loaded. This will be a good place to look for winter finches this year, although we did not see or hear any this morning. Greenwood Cemetary is located at the intersection of N. Main and Auburn Streets in Rockford. Please remember that this is private property and act accordingly.

A Northern Shrike at Rock Cut S. P., on the entry road off of Harlem Rd. at the 1st stop sign on Nov.19, also, on Nov 19, Hooded Mergansers on Olson Lake, 5 Pied Bill Grebes on Pierce Lake, Red Shouldered Hawk in the camp ground area, 2 Yellow Rumped Warblers flitting along the road on the East side of park.

The Carolina Wren sang briefly at 0645 this morning from the same area as yesterday. At 0730, a Red-shouldered Hawk called from near the stream just north of the parking lot with wood chips. A single Red Crossbill flew over, and Purple Finches were giving short songs.

A Carolina Wren was calling around 0715 this morning along the creek by the westernmost parking lot (the one with the large pile of wood chips) at Anna Page Park. 2 calling Red Crossbills flew over from further east but didn't stick around and kept going west. Barbara and I tried to find other crossbills in the park around 1100 but failed to do so.

Jeff Donaldson told me that he had 4 Evening Grosbeaks fly over Severson Dells in the past week, but they kept going.

Be careful out there this weekend. It is the opening weekend of deer season.

There is a field trip to Afton Forest Preserve this Saturday, 11/16. We will be meeting at the Alpine Village parking lot (Hilander) at 7:00 AM

Click the maps for a bigger view

Alpine Hilander - Alpine Rd and Harrison Rd

Wilkinson Marsh - Annie Glidden Rd and Highway 64
Wilkinson Marsh

Overview - Afton is located on Crego Rd - Take Highway 23 south out of DeKalb to Perry Rd (East) and then south on Crego Rd
Map Overview

This map also shows Shabbona Lake State Park, another great birding location.

We plan on birding past noon so pack a lunch.

Mary Kisamore reports:

On Tuesday, Nov 13 she spotted a Northern Shrike at Blackhawk Springs FP at the eastern side near Perryville Road.

There were nearly 1000 geese at Howard's late this afternoon. Other than Canada, there were nearly 100 Cackling Geese, 3 Snows (2 immatures) and 1 Ross".

Today I birded Lib Conservation Area for the first time, with Dakota, my dad, and our Doberman.


Rusty Blackbird
Fox Sparrow - 1 dozen
Eastern Bluebird - 6
Hermit Thrush

plus other usual suspects

I was impressed with Lib and it appears to have quite a bit of nice habitat and potential for the winter too.