June 2008

A White-eyed Vireo was calling from the scrubby tree line at the east edge of the picnic table area, near the lake, at the Bay View picnic area at Rock Cut SP this afternoon around 12:00 as I was having lunch with my daughter and grandson.

There is a field trip on Saturday to Deer Run and Oak Ridge Forest Preserves. Jack Armstrong will be leading the event. Hope to see everyone there!

Killdeer and Young
Killdeer Crossing

I took my nieces and son out to Deer Run Forest Preserve on Tuesday. The Dickcissels are back!! We saw Grasshopper Sparrows, Field Sparrows (nesting), and Henslow's Sparrows. We also found a Baltimore Oriole, lots of Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Yellowthroats, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Savanna Sparrow, Eastern Kingbirds, and Tree Swallows.

Dickcissel {Spiza americana}

A few more highlights were Eastern Meadowlarks carrying food, a calling Eastern Wood-pewee and the most exciting for the kids was an entire family of Killdeer right near the entrance. The Killdeer was not so happy to see us, so we grabbed a couple of photos and left them alone.

Young Killdeer
Young Killdeer

The only problem? A lot of ticks, creating hysteria and the bird-scattering sound of "Get it off! Get it off!" We are working on this fear . Good birding everyone!

A calm, tick-free Sammie
Sammie with Bins

Was surprised to discover a White-throated Sparrow in an Elderberry bush along our driveway as I went out to get the paper this morning. It is very late for one of those to still be around.

Barbara and I went to Nieman Marsh on Telegraph Road to survey birds for NLI. Had a Virginia Rail and 3 Soras respond, but did not hear a King Rail, either bittern, or a Marsh Wren. Surprised about the Marsh Wren-maybe it was the weather. Will try again in a few days.

The Bell's Vireo is still nw of the dam at Anna Page Park, the pair of E. Phoebes nesting on the nest platform under our eave have produced at least 3 pretty healthy looking chicks.

I took a drive through Rock Cut over the lunch hour today to see what I could see or hear. It was an interesting hour. A Yellow-breasted Chat was calling from the thicket on the north side of Hart Road at its junction with the driveway to the Equestrian Campground and parking lot.

I heard or saw 10 species of warblers, the most notable being a Connecticut at the intersection of the loop road and the entry drive to Red Oak picnic area. A Northern Parula was calling at the intersection of the loop road and the entry drive to the Bay View picnic area. A Yellow-throated Warbler was calling from the pines on the south side of the loop road across from the concession building and boat launch parking lot. Ceruleans are in their usual places, and a couple of Blue-winged Warblers were calling from the honeysuckle scrub thickets on both sides of the Plum Grove nature preserve.

Willow Flycatchers are in several places (with or near willows) and 2 Alder Flycatchers were calling from the honeysuckle and scrub thickets.

Visited 3 spots in DeKalb County from mid-morning to mid-afternoon: Lake Shabbona SP, Afton FP, and Wilkinson-Renwick Marsh. Lake Shabbona has a very active and noisy colony of Purple Martins in their nest boxes. Orchard Orioles and Willow Flycatchers were active and vocal. DNR did a lot of prescribed burning on their prairies and Bobolinks are taking advantage.

At Afton, migrating shorebirds were still on the mudflats along Crego Road south of the entrance to the preserve. Found Least, Semipalmated, 5 White-rumped and 1 Western Sandpiper and 4 Dunlins. 2 Great Egrets were in the marsh.

At Wilkinson-Renwick Marsh, Soras were pretty vocal, even around 2:15 p.m., and a Virginia Rail was calling loudly, then walked into open view just south of, and below, the observation deck. Coots are raising a racket, too.

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