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Gillson Park Lakewatch

overcast 42 °F

This past Sunday afternoon, my friend Isoo an I met up in Gillson Park on the Lake Michigan shoreline of Wilmette (north of Chicago) to watch migrating waterfowl, gulls, and possibly other water birds. Although the diversity of the birds isn't quite what we expected, the sheer numbers of birds flying by were extremely impressive with an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 ducks migrating southward while we were there!

I am still reviewing many of many photos which are mainly distant, blurry images of migrating ducks so I will only post a fraction of these photos.

Here is a sampling of what the sky looked like at one time, although this doesn't even come close to what the experience was like in real life. In this picture, there are REDHEADS as well as GREATER and LESSER SCAUP:
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This is a nonbreeding-plumage FRANKLIN'S GULL which was among the best finds of the day, as this is an uncommon species that only passes through during fall in very small numbers:
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This group of migrating ducks has 6 LESSER SCAUP as well as 9 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS, a very uncommon species for fall and our best duck species of the day!
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Back on land, an agitated group of chickadees and robins brought my attention to this immature SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, the best views I have ever attained of this species:
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When I got home, my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I heard a GREAT HORNED OWL calling from behind my backyard, the first owl I have ever had in Oak Park! My family and even some neighbors got to see this guy as he called multiple times from his perch:
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It was a fantastic day! Thanks so much to Isoo and his dad, Chris, for driving me to Gillson Park!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 867 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 06:00 Archived in USA

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Thanks for sharing; that is a lot of ducks! I went birding Sunday morning with Indiana YBC. Although not in huge numbers, we saw several cool waterfowl species, including a White-winged Scoter that unfortunately flew away before I could get a look at it.

by Jonathan

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