A Travellerspoint blog

June 6-15


all seasons in one day

On June 6, Aerin T and I led a Chicago Ornithological Society bird walk at Plum Creek Preserve, my favorite place to bird Cook County.

Anticipating a usual summer midday heat-up, we headed to the grassland first so we could bird in the open area without getting roasted under the hot sun. We did well with the grassland songbirds such as FIELD SPARROW:


A stunning look at GRASSHOPPER SPARROW:

This pair of EASTERN MEADOWLARKS posed very nicely for us:

Afterwards, I headed to a nearby preserve where I heard Kirtland’s Snakes have had a historical population. I knew exactly where their preferred wet prairie habitat was at that preserve so I made a bee-line for that area and after about forty minutes of bushwhacking, found an appropriate area with lots of cover to flip for snakes.

I found about five DeKay’s Brownsnakes and was about to give up when I saw a different-looking snake with an interesting barred pattern: it had to be KIRTLAND’S SNAKE!!! Wow! To give perspective about how exciting a find this was, it took one of my herping friends ten years of specific searching before he found a Kirtland’s. Thorough research and the willing to bushwhack a little bit pays off!

A few days later, I finally convinced Tian to hold a snake since it was a cute Smooth Greensnake, her favorite. They are indeed adorable and strikingly beautiful creatures.

Another foray down to my friend Dave’s property was fruitless but a nearby savanna provided my lifer Glass Lizard…yes believe it or not this a legless lizard, not a snake! A very cool find.

Tian and I spent the last week before we left to our respective music camps, Chautauqua for me and Atlantic Music Fest for her, by sightseeing Chicago. Here we are on front of the Bean, proper Chicago tourists, after visiting the Art Museum.

So now I am here in Chautauqua, NY at music camp until August 8 when I fly out to Sun Valley, ID to join my family for 12 days of hiking, birding, and relaxing. I will probably be able to do a bit of birding out here after July 19 when Marriage of Figaro ends, so stay tuned!

Good birding,
World Life List: 1126 Species

Posted by skwclar 17:10 Archived in USA

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Glad you included the picture of you two and am glad you can be part of the music camp. Hooray! Fun to see all the different sparrows, and the legless lizard.

by Mary Mc

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