A Travellerspoint blog

COOK COUNTY BIG DAY

Cook, IL

all seasons in one day 59 °F

Yesterday, May 12 was arguably my favorite day of birding EVER! My friends Isoo, Eddie, and me drove around Cook County for nearly twenty-four hours in hopes of seeing the greatest number of birds possible in the county, and it was AWESOME! A big thanks to Eddie’s mom and dad for driving part of the day and providing the car.

We started by waking up at Eddie’s house at 11:25pm on Friday after only about an hour of sleep. Our first stop was Miller Meadow Forest Preserve where we started birding at midnight! We searched for the Eastern Screech-Owl for about twenty minutes, playing its call on the edge of the oak woodland there. Not a sound. We did pick up the migration calls of SWAINSON’S THRUSH migration calls and the “peent” of an AMERICAN WOODCOCK which was a great surprise! Then, a SCREECH OWL swooped into view, mission accomplished!

The next stop was Buttonbush Slough where we picked up a few nocturnal birds including SORA and VIRGINIA RAIL. We dipped on Barred Owls nearby in the Palos Preserves, and then after getting lost during an accidental foray into Will County, Plum Creek Forest Preserve in the south suburbs was also quiet.

At nearly five am, only about fifteen species as our total count so far was looking kind of bleak.

The next stop was Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, which although was slow and windy at first, soon burst open with birds including this male SCARLET TANAGER:
large_E988AEE3-BA8B-4825-9A3C-BB08315E39FB.jpeglarge_A61B2997-A98B-4791-951E-67AD3AD7BE0E.jpeglarge_BE7F0F20-0CED-4106-8514-5EA2992EE255.jpeg

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW:
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GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH:
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Next, we visited North and South Ponds in Lincoln Park.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK:
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Male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER:
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We then picked up SNOW GOOSE at Northerly Island near the Museum Campus:
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After that, Jackson Park on the south side for migrants at Wooded Island Bird Sanctuary. It was extremely birdy! Female EASTERN TOWHEE:
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NORTHERN FLICKER:
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Male CANADA WARBLER:
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CANADA GEESE family:
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WARBLING VIREO:
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EASTERN PHOEBE:
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GREAT EGRET:
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After picking up FIELD & GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS as well as MONK PARAKEETS on the far south side, we had our first RED-TAILED HAWK of the day:
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LEAST FLYCATCHER:
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Plum Creek Forest Preserve was great during the day!

NASHVILLE WARBLER:
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BLUE-HEADED VIREO:
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RED-EYED VIREO:
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CASPIAN TERN:
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CLIFF SWALLOW in Palos at one of the sloughs:
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EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES:
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TRUMPETER SWANS, a huge surprise at Bergman Slough in the Palos area!
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Cap Sauer Holding nearby was also fantastic, so much activity there. EASTERN TOWHEE:
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YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, a great bird there!
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PINE SISKINS at Swallow Cliff Preserve:
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RED-HEADED WOODPECKER:
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CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
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EASTERN MEADOWLARK:
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BOBOLINK at Bartel Grassland:
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Female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:
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LESSER YELLOWLEGS:
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BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER:
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EASTERN BLUEBIRD:
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CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, bird #140 for the day, OUR GOAL FOR THE DAY!!
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Then, Eddie Kasper pointed out bird #141, a rare COMMON MERGANSER on Maple Lake! What a surprise!
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What an AWESOME day of birding - twenty two hours in total!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 940 Species

Posted by skwclar 18:46 Archived in USA

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Comments

Nice post Henry! Definitely the best birding day I've had also! Looking forward to doing that again sometime.

by Isoo

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