Sunday 30 March 2014 59 °F
Today was a pretty good day of birding in my neighborhood.
I went on two separate birding bike rides, taking advantage of the relatively warm temps (59 degrees) today, compared to days in the 30s and 40s like I have grown used to since we arrived back from our trip.
My first bike ride was just after lunch. I took my sister to multiple playgrounds and we saw a few good birds including funny little WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES.
The second bike ride, later this afternoon, I took to the nearby Thatcher Woods Forest Preserve. I saw a few good FOY (first of the year) birds there, including TURKEY VULTURES and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS.
I looked for Rusty Blackbirds and saw a flock of 11 COMMON GRACKLES and a few candidates for Rusties, but this one was the closest I got to an actual Rusty B. Do you think this is a Common Grackle or a Rusty Blackbird? I need to know because Rusty Blackbirds are a federally threatened species. ***UPDATE***: I have finally identified this bird as a negative identification between a male Rusty or a male Brewer's Blackbird. Brewer's Blackbirds are as rare in Illinois as Rusties, so it is a great find whatever the species:
I saw many mammals including EASTERN GRAY SQUIRRELS, EASTERN FOX SQUIRRELS, EASTERN CHIPMUNKS, EASTERN COTTONTAIL, RACCOONS, some species of vole, and a gigantic herd of (30+) WHITE-TAILED DEER, including the ones pictured in this photo:
Here are some other bird photos:
FOY (first of the year) YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER:
Stay tuned for a post on an owling trip I will take Tuesday!
World Life List: 641 Species