A Travellerspoint blog

A Morning at Fort Sheridan

semi-overcast 80 °F

This morning I visited a beautiful forest preserve in Lake County, Illinois called Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve. I was there from 7:50am-11:00am, enjoying the beautiful scenery, overall nature, and best of all, the amazing birds! Fort Sheridan is known to be one of the premier birding locations in northeast Illinois and it did not let me down today because I saw fifty-three avian species including a life bird and a federally threatened bird.

It is situated on the shores of Lake Michigan:

Most of the preserve is a large expanse of grassland blanketed with wildflowers. There were so many flowers around that you could actually smell it in the air. It has to be the best-maintained forest preserve I have ever visited.

SAVANNAH SPARROWS, small brown birds in the new world sparrow family with an attractive yellow eyebrow, are one of the most common birds in the preserve:

American Toads are also very common there and can be seen hopping away from you into the tall grasses:

I gained one life bird today: BOBOLINK, a species of bird in the family that includes blackbirds, meadowlarks, and orioles, that lives exclusively in grassland areas, such as the large grassland at Fort Sheridan:



A beautiful male ORCHARD ORIOLE:

Subtly beautiful female ORCHARD ORIOLE:

"Hey, you found my nest hole!"

Yes, I did see a nesting hole of endangered RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS, which was easily visible from one of the trails at Fort Sheridan. Then, I managed to capture this extremely lucky shot of two adult RH Woodpeckers near the nest hole:

It was a superb outing on a fine summer morning. Bird-of-the-day to the BOBOLINK and runners-up to the cooperative, beautiful nesting pair of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS. The full bird list for today is attached below my signature.

Good birding,

World Life List: 672 Species (1 life bird today: Bobolink)

53 species:

Canada Goose X
Double-crested Cormorant 60
Great Blue Heron 1
Cooper's Hawk 1 being chased by blackbirds
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Killdeer 1
Ring-billed Gull 10
Herring Gull 10
Rock (Feral) Pigeon 2
Mourning Dove 4
CUCKOO SP. 1 too short and too distant of a look to determine the species
Chimney Swift 1
RED-HEADED WOODPECKER 2 Pair utilizing a tree cavity
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 4
Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Eastern Phoebe 2
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Eastern Kingbird 2
Warbling Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo X
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 2
Tree Swallow X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow X
Bank Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
Black-capped Chickadee 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
House Wren 1
American Robin X
Gray Catbird 2
Cedar Waxwing 9
Common Yellowthroat 1
Eastern Towhee 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
Field Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 40
Song Sparrow 10
Northern Cardinal 1
Indigo Bunting 2
BOBOLINK 7 life bird!
Red-winged Blackbird X
Eastern Meadowlark 2
Common Grackle X
Brown-headed Cowbird X
Baltimore Oriole 3
House Sparrow 2
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 10
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1

Posted by skwclar 14:07 Archived in USA

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