Saturday 11 May 2019 47 °F
Today was my first day back in Chicago! I woke up bright and early to lead an Oak Park Bird Walk since it is prime season to find migratory birds in this area. Fifteen birders showed up and we saw some great things!
Before the walk, I spotted this YELLOW WARBLER:
Male CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
A nice BLUE-WINGED WARBLER started off the walk well:
PINE SISKIN was unexpected and nice:
Male AMERICAN KESTREL near the high school where they nest:
Later another flew over:
A late sighting was this RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
Female BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD:
This male AMERICAN REDSTART put on a show for us, fanning his tail and showing off his brilliant colors:
This male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK posed very nicely for us:
Another with a male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
AMERICAN ROBIN on her nest:
Everyone loved seeing this brilliant SCARLET TANAGER male at eye level:
And a male NASHVILLE WARBLER, one of many today, to end the walk:
What a successful first walk of the year — 38 species, 15 birders, and $115 raised for La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica! Good stuff, thanks to all for their generosity!
Later, I headed over to Grant Park downtown where a Kirtland’s Warbler had been seen this morning! This endangered species breeds only in Michigan and Wisconsin and it is incredibly lucky to find one of these elusive birds in migration. I have only seen this species once before, on its wintering grounds in the Bahamas, so I was really hoping to find it!
And find it I did. As I arrived, a photographer was searching the appropriate row of trees I had read about in the description of the bird and he said he had just had the bird. I started spishing, and sure enough, the lovely, tail-wagging male KIRTLAND’S WARBLER popped out for a brief look:
Ten minutes later, he gave even better looks once multiple people had arrived:
Then, the cold and rain drove me off, but nevertheless, mission accomplished! WHAT A BIRD! Too cool — the only difference is that if this was New York City, there wouldn’t be five people watching the bird, but fifty-five! Somewhat refreshing to get back to Chicago...
Bird-of-the-day to the Kirtland’s Warbler, by far! Stay tuned — tomorrow birder Kim Habel and I will be covering Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary in the morning!
World Life List: 971 Species