Saturday 16 April 2016 61 °F
This week has been a busy one for me...preparing for a piano exam, studying for the AP psych test...I have to say I can't wait until summer's here when I don't have to worry about school!
On Thursday while waiting for my sister to get out of her piano lesson, I found and hurriedly photographed this BROAD-WINGED HAWK, the rarest I hawk I have ever seen in the Oak Park/River Forest area! Please excuse the terrible photo quality, the light was harsh and I didn't have much time to take photos before it soared away. Note the white band on the tail that is a major identifying field mark of this species.
Today (Saturday, April 16), I led the first bird walk of the year and I have to say it was the most enjoyable and productive first-of-the-season bird walk I have ever had! Six birders were in attendance and we had a blast.
At one point, I was showing everyone my photos of the Pine Warbler (see last week's post), and then just 30 seconds later, an uncommon PINE WARBLER popped into few just a few feet away from the group! What a coincidence, and it is always a marvelous bird to see!
Suddenly, a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT flew over too quickly to photograph but was an awesome find for Oak Park nevertheless!
Then, I showed the group the local COOPER'S HAWK nest. One adult hawk was in attendance:
My FOY (first-of-the-season) HERMIT THRUSH:
FOY male EASTERN TOWHEE:
Although an invasive species, this EUROPEAN STARLING's iridescence was strangely beautiful:
Male MALLARD at the Taylor Park wetland:
Male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS:
Female MOURNING DOVE on her nest:
Male CHIPPING SPARROW, singing away just a few feet above our heads!
It was a fantastic first walk of the season! Thanks to everyone for coming out, both the birds and the birders! Bird-of-the-day to the male PINE WARBLER and runner-up to the even more uncommon but unphotographed DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. The full species list for the walk is attached below.
I still have spaces left in many Oak Park Bird Walks this spring! The next one is TOMORROW (Sunday, April 17) at 9:00am starting from the Trailside Museum in River Forest, with a focus on young birders. To visit the bird walk website, click here: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/
To make a reservation(s), email me at: trumpetswan (@) comcast.net
World Life List: 884 Species (no recent life birds)
29 species (+1 other taxa) today:
Mallard 3 At Taylor Park fen.
Double-crested Cormorant 1 Flyover, huge surprise.
Cooper's Hawk 1 Probably 2, but only seen one-at-a-time.
Ring-billed Gull 3
Mourning Dove 3
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 2
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 2 Up to 4 birds, but only seen one-at-a-time.
American Crow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 4
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Brown Creeper 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 25
European Starling 2
Pine Warbler 1 In pines along Augusta between Elmwood and Fair Oaks.
Chipping Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 3
White-throated Sparrow 2
Eastern Towhee 1 At Taylor Park.
Northern Cardinal 9
Red-winged Blackbird 3
Common Grackle 6
Brown-headed Cowbird 8
blackbird sp. 17
House Finch 4
American Goldfinch 6
House Sparrow 24