After checking the forecast for tomorrow, I saw that it would be quite stormy so I decided to get out before classes today. I decided to head somewhere close: Thatcher Woods.
Some mammalian life in my backyard before leaving — Eastern Cottontail, native around here (they are invasive in some parts of the continent):
Eastern Chipmunk — these mammals have, in the last decade, made a huge insurgence into Oak Park.
Upon arriving at Thatcher, I immediately noticed that many birds were around. Here is a HAIRY WOODPECKER:
But, as the title of this post suggests, so many of the birds I saw today only allowed for quick looks! They were busy foraging before the rains arrived this afternoon, I think.
COMMON GRACKLE. Unfortunately I once again failed to find any Rusty Blackbirds.
Many FOX SPARROWS were singing around the preserve, but not a single one allowed for a decent picture! Thatcher Woods is where I remember getting my life bird Fox Sparrow a number of years ago.
Then, all the sudden I flushed a huge GREAT HORNED OWL which flew over the Des Plaines River and into a thick grove of trees, out of sight. Dang! I tried hooting a few times, but it was to no avail — no photos.
There were a few WOOD DUCKS on the river though, nice to see:
Then, I heard a familiar, tingling song and sure enough there was a beautiful BROWN CREEPER!
Another nice singer in the area which was a CAROLINA WREN which was a great surprise since this species is actually quite uncommon this far north in Cook County. This is the first time I’ve ever had this species in Thatcher Woods. Again, no photos — disappointing!
The COOPER’S HAWK is also active on “birdy” mornings of course!
Off to hunt!
Then, I drove over to the northern parking lot where I found my first-of-the-year KILLDEER on the lawn:
In fact, there were three:
Nice DARK-EYED JUNCO. We probably have a little less than a month left of admiring these winter birds now. Bring it on, migration!
One unsettling sight was a couple of young adults for whom I stepped to the side to give a proper “social distance” and they continued to plow through the center of the path, causing me to traipse into some bushes to avoid contact with them. So inconsiderate! Why can’t you just step to the opposite side of the trail to be “better safe than sorry?” Some people just don’t care, unfortunately — that’s why it’s up to us to be as careful as possible with regards to how we lead our lives as to not spread the Coronavirus. Stay safe everyone!
Bird-of-the-day to the Carolina Wren with runner-up to the Great Horned Owl.
Good anti-social birding,
World Life List: 1111 Species