A Travellerspoint blog

Solo Oak Park Bird Walk

Oak Park, IL

rain 54 °F

Today I walked the usual Oak Park Bird Walk route by myself to see if there were any migrants that moved in with the southerly winds last night. I did happen to run into two bird walkers, Kris G and Kim H, who were so fun to talk to!!


WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, a migrant. Such a beautiful bird!


RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET. I only saw two of these even though on a typical year this should be the peak time for kinglets to be moving through. I believe that the migrants are about one to two weeks late due to the almost constant northerly winds we have had for the past few weeks (and, after tonight, will continue to have). Can you believe I didn’t even see a Sapsucker today?

Nice ruby crown!

HAIRY WOODPECKER, a nice bird for the neighborhood!


One highlight for me was when one of the local COOPER’S HAWKS swooped in out of thin air and scared up a MOURNING DOVE, in hot pursuit of breakfast. Very thrilling to watch!

The local male RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS are back to Taylor Park, busy proclaiming their territory. The females have also arrived. This is the most common native bird in America.

And so has the trusty male MALLARD duck, a beautiful bird, particularly in the sunshine and up close like this fairly tame individual who calls the park home.

One notable visitor was SWAMP SPARROW; I have only previously seen this bird at the Taylor Park wetland once or twice before.

Its cousin the CHIPPING was busy chipping away at the nearby playground:

Eastern Cottontail:

Bird-of-the-day to the Swamp Sparrow with runner-up to the divebombing Cooper’s Hawk. STAY TUNED: in tomorrow’s post, I will cover an exciting trip I have planned for tonight — I am meeting up with a few birding friends (& staying my distance) first at Ford Road in Orland Park to search for owls and Eastern Whip-poor-will, and then we will head to Bartel Grassland in Tinley Park to search for one of the most elusive birds in the world: Yellow Rail. This bird is a “holy grail” species for midwest birders and not only is it rather uncommon, but extremely secretive and so rarely seen that Illinois birders who have actually seen a living Yellow Rail in the wild can very well be considered legends. My friend Isoo put it frankly, we had a “1.21 percent chance of seeing one” — but we figure that if we never try, we will never see.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1112 Species

Posted by skwclar 15:05 Archived in USA

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Thanks for the lovely pics!

by Mary Stevens

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