Friday 18 April 2014 49 °F
Today, like nearly all of the days since I have been home from my Oceania trip, was a chilly, blustery day with temps ranging from only 42-49 throughout the day. I did, however, manage to get quite a bit of birding done.
I have no photos because the chords to import photos from my camera onto my iPad are already packed in my suitcase...because I am leaving for Europe tomorrow night! My family and I will visit Turkey, Italy, The Vatican City, France, and England, and come back to America just in the nick of time for peak songbird migration.
Anyway, back to today. I led a one hour-fifteen minute bird walk this morning starting at 7:30am from my house. The birding was a little bit slow, with a total of 19 species, but it was a good turn out with seven people joining the walk. The most noteworthy birds seen were RUBY-CROWNED KINLGET, EASTERN PHOEBE, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, and NORTHERN FLICKER.
Here is the schedule of upcoming bird walks I will lead starting from in front of my house. For more information such as meeting location, etc., simply email me at:
Saturday, April 19: 7:30AM
Monday, May 19: 7:00AM
Wednesday, May 21: 7:00AM
Thursday, May 22: 7:00AM
Friday, May 23: 7:00AM
Saturday, May 31: 7:30AM
Sunday, June 1: 7:00AM
After that, I took a walk with my dad and noteworthy birds seen were a fly-over GREAT BLUE HERON and my FOY (first-of-the-year) CHIPPING SPARROW, as well as this SAVANNAH SPARROW:
Then, in the afternoon, I went to Killdeer Wetlands with Dan and Jill Anderson; it was extremely generous of them to take me along with them.
When we arrived, we immediately found multiple Eastern Garter Snakes. I managed to catch this one:
The three of us kept splitting up and searched the wetland/grassland areas north, northeast, and east of the parking lot for the longspurs. The most common species of the trip were RW BLACKBIRDS, COWBIRDS, GRACKLES, RB GULLS, RT HAWKS, MEADOWLARKS, and SONG SPARROWS. Noteworthy sparrows were SWAMP and CHIPPING, waterfowl seen was MALLARD, N. SHOVELER, BW TEAL, C. GOOSE, and shorebirds seen were KILLDEER, SNIPE, and both species of YELLOWLEGS.
One irritating thing is that, yes, I did indeed find 1 SMITH'S LONGSPUR while I was off by myself, but it had flushed by the time Jill and Dan got over to me. I identified the bird by the junco-like amount of white on its tail, the black circular pattern on its face, its fluttery flight unlike a meadowlark, and its rattle-like call notes that were substantially drier and more monotone than a meadowlark.
The Longspur was found near a pond about seventy yards northeast of the parking area.
Lastly, I got my life-bird BROAD-WINGED HAWK migrating over the highway on the ride home.
A BIG thank you to Dan and Jill Anderson for taking me along with them, which was extremely generous because Killdeer Wetlands is a long way away from the Oak Park area.
It was a great day of birding!
World Life List: 645 Species (2 new life birds: Smith's Longspur and Broad-winged Hawk)