June 2011

Tom Little just called to report that he and Ruth spotted a Northern Mockingbird at the south end of the Rockford airport along Belt Line Road near the intersection with Kishwaukee Road. It was working east. Tom had seen a mockingbird at this location last night, too, but was going to relocate it this morning. Apparently he could not relocate it until just now.

Yesterday, June 18, I spent 3 hours at Green River Cons. Area south of Dixon. It was a very birdy place. I saw/heard 5 Common Gallinules, 4 Bell's Vireos, 3 YB Chats, 10 Willow Flycatchers (and I didn't walk the interior of the property-the mosquitoes were pretty bad, even though I was using repellant), and 1 Yellow-headed Blackbird (male). Marsh Wrens were very vocal in just about every cattail marsh, and a Pied-billed Grebe was out in full view with 6 chicks in the marsh with the disability parking space on Maytown Road. 2 Gallinules were in view there.

Tree Swallows were very busy bringing food to chicks in nest boxes throughout the area.

I also cruised the road that forms the county line between Whiteside and Lee counties. Foley Sand Prairie, and some marshes, are along that stretch, and there is a grassland along the sand ridge. Bobwhites were calling there. Dickcissels were all along the route, too.

John Longhenry posted to IBET that Lee and Lynda Johnson found an adult YCNH feeding on crayfish on the north side of the swamp loop pond at Sugar River FP in northwestern Winnebago Co. this morning. Lynda may have seen an immature bird fly off from the trees.

From Fred Stillema:

The Unitarian Universalist Church in cooperation with Severson Dells and the National Land Institute is hosting a free screening of "Green Fire". This is the first full-length high definition documentary film ever made about legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his environmental legacy. See highlights of his extraordinary career and how he shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement.

Date: Thursday, June 30th
Time 7.00 PM
Location: In the sanctuary of the UU Church of Rockford
Address: 4848 Turner Street, Rockford
Tickets : FREE

Yesterday, June 14, Tom Little called me to report a Northern Mockingbird on Weldon Road in the vicinity where the Western Kingbird was being seen. He was unable to find the kingbird, though.

The mockingbird is hanging out at the intersection of Weldon Road and the gravel driveway that leads back to the Perks Ranch sheds on the west side of the road.

When I went there at noon today, the mockingbird was calling from the trees and fence on the east side of the road opposite the lane into the Perks Ranch buildings.

On Saturday, Eric Walters and Jeff Donaldson found a Western Kingbird on Weldon Road in Ogle County, just S of the county line with Winnebago Co. and immediately S of Severson Dells FP. The bird was sitting on a wire fence along the farm lane to 12681 Weldon Road, which is on the east side of the road. It is the last driveway to the east before the road enters the woods at Colman Dells.

The bird was still there today, Sunday. First notice of the sighting was relayed to the NCIOS telephone calling network.

This morning, Barbara and I took a long walk around the trails at Sugar River Alder Tract. The parking lot is on Haas Road, the same road on which Colored Sands FP is located. There is a small parking lot on the north side of the road and a trail head that leads north into the property.

We recorded 75 species of birds (including Prothonotary and Yellow-throated Warblers at Sugar River FP on the way). At the sand prairie nature preserve, on the north side of the property, were 3 male Henslow's Sparrows calling on territories, 3 pairs of Lark Sparrows carrying food to nests, 2 Grasshopper Sparrows, 7 pairs of Field Sparrows carrying food, a pair of Song Sparrows carrying food, and a Kentucky Warbler in the oak forest on the east side of the prairie. Other species and numbers of note in the preserve were: 4 Orchard Orioles, 30+ Field Sparrows (total #), 4 male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (all perched in tiny dead sticks holding territories), 4 Chestnut-sided Warblers, a Willow Flycatcher, an Acadian Flycatcher, calling Ovenbirds, a pair of Eastern Wood-pewees building a nest in a Black Walnut tree, a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers excavating a cavity in a dead tree in one of the prairie areas, a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers, and a pair of Cooper's Hawks, and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo (which flew in but was silent). Great Crested Flycatchers, Baltimore Orioles and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks had to compete with many, many Indigo Buntings (which were deafening) to be heard. Turkeys were heard (1 seen by Barbara).