A Travellerspoint blog

April 2015

Thatcher Woods Walk

sunny 51 °F

Taking advantage of my late-start Wednesday today (school starting at 9:45am), I decided to take a walk in the nearby Thatcher Woods Forest Preserve with Ellen and Dave H.

Before I give the trip report on our walk, however, here are some photos from yesterday:

Male HOUSE FINCH:
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MOURNING DOVE:
3686FE81AF32ADF3DD51B3D0C30253ED.jpg

Male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
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Seen but not photographed yesterday was a BROWN THRASHER and my FOY (first of the year) CHIMMEY SWIFT.

We were on the trail in Thatcher by 7:15am, and were soon seeing some quality birds, including this NORTHERN FLICKER:
3682B5E50FDDAC73CA50080E756635A1.jpg

This male WOOD DUCK with its beautiful facial pattern:
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HERMIT THRUSH was a common species throughout the walk, a nice early migration specialty:
3683F925C65843178D45F964508C4B28.jpg

As well as WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS:
368493F2A0DE2F5929CED4AE4C736FA2.jpg3685621AB83468F1C025DB12AAD801A2.jpg

There were even YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS about, including this individual which was almost directly above us!
3685EAB501745990F8413AF026E77833.jpg

Heard but not seen was a BLUE-HEADED VIREO, the most uncommon bird today, as well as a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER.

Overall it was a pleasant early migration walk! Stay tuned, because I have some nice birding activities planned such as visiting Volo Bog in Lake County tomorrow for a school field trip (in which I will surreptitiously sneak in some birding), possibly visiting Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary after my choir rehearsal on Saturday, and leading an Oak Park Bird Walk next Wednesday. Migration is definitely accelerating!

  • ***ADULT BIRD WALKS FOR SPRING 2015 ARE COMPLETELY BOOKED - THE ONLY BIRD WALK REMAINING IS AN OAK PARK KID'S BIRD WALK ON SUNDAY, JUNE 14***

I hope to see you and your kids there! Email me to reserve a space at the kids walk at: trumpetswan@comcast.net

For more information, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 751 Species (no recent life birds)

26 species on the walk in Thatcher Woods:

Canada Goose 6
Wood Duck 6
Mallard 3
Ring-billed Gull 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Blue Jay 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Brown Creeper 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3
Hermit Thrush 10
American Robin 20
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Chipping Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 5
Northern Cardinal 5
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
House Finch 1
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 1

Posted by skwclar 07:08 Archived in USA Comments (1)

A Week of Early Spring Migrants

semi-overcast 54 °F

A bit of intermittent birding this week in mid April yielded some classic early spring migrants, the best unpictured bird being a FIELD SPARROW, the first record of that species for my yard.

As previously mentioned, the highlight of my week was having an article about Oak Park Bird Walks on the front page of the Chicago Tribune, which can be found here:
http://eedition.chicagotribune.com/Olive/ODE/ChicagoTribune2/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=Q1RDLzIwMTUvMDQvMjU.&pageno=MQ..&entity=QXIwMDEwMg..&view=ZW50aXR5

Here are some bird photos from the few times I managed to get out this week:

HERMIT THRUSH:
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RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET:
B7D5E835DF7BD5CEA6D5E32B49EC0C63.jpg

HERMIT THRUSH:
B7D6DEA3F941D3E605A3D42AC4BD5971.jpg

HAIRY WOODPECKER, uncommon for my backyard:
B7D7BBF9DF0268CEE3707721D69C2F23.jpg

Male NORTHERN CARDINAL:
B7D89756E2EB3782C35CB969939CF39A.jpg

Male CHIPPING SPARROW, a nice relief from the many ubiquitous, nonnative House Sparrows:
B7D98FBF9CC8D16C81DA0D5B8A9048C3.jpg

Male YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, "Myrtle" subspecies because of the white throat:
B7DA5007A324B2A46DD276BCC9D92AA5.jpg

Male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH sitting at our thistle feeder:
B7DB5A68C3FBE3FFD11CCC1763DCD92E.jpg

A nice view of one in a tree:
B7DC4838EB785461CCEA81C5932CC107.jpg

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE:
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I have many FREE Oak Park Bird Walks scheduled for May, prime warbler season, and you are all invited! Walks with availability are:

Sunday, May 17 @ 8:00am
Wednesday, May 20 @ 7:00am
Sunday, May 31 @ 8:00am
Sunday, June 14 @ 8:00am Kids Bird Walk

Email me at trumpetswan@comcast.net to reserve a space(s) on these walks!

For further information, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

I hope to see you there!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 751 Species (no life birds recently)

Posted by skwclar 19:49 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Oak Park Bird Walks on the Chicago Tribune!

rain 49 °F

Today, Saturday, April 12, Oak Park Bird Walks were featured on a front-page article on the Chicago Tribune!!! Check it out here:

http://eedition.chicagotribune.com/Olive/ODE/ChicagoTribune2/LandingPage/LandingPage.aspx?href=Q1RDLzIwMTUvMDQvMjU.&pageno=MQ..&entity=QXIwMDEwMg..&view=ZW50aXR5

Here are the upcoming Oak Park Bird Walks:

Wednesday, May 6 @ 7:00am
Saturday, May 9 @ 7:00am Global Big Day Walk
Sunday, May 10 @ 8:00am
Sunday, May 17 @ 8:00am
Wednesday, May 20 @ 7:00am
Sunday, May 31 @ 8:00am
Sunday, June 14 @ 8:00am Kids Bird Walk

To reserve a spot, email me at: trumpetswan@comcast.net

For more information, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 751 Species (no life birds recently)

Posted by skwclar 19:34 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Spring Migration Progresses!

semi-overcast 65 °F

A bit of birding in my backyard this morning on this much more relaxed Sunday brought in some nice migrants, especially GOLDEN- and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, PINE and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS; all classic (but interesting) early spring migrants.

PINE WARBLER:
3B26E5C1DCC534704F1416B0F4BC1ED7.jpg

Female YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER:
3B27C4EEDB851B72CCAB998B3530AEBE.jpg

Male NORTHERN CARDINAL:
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Male YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, "Myrtle" subspecies because of its white throat:
3B28C3E0C96106285F79D9B1F0668B34.jpg

Fly-over hunting COOPER'S HAWK:
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Bird-of-the-day today goes to the cooperative YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and runner-up to the nice female YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. A great day of continued migrant birds!

Email me to sign up for one of this spring's FREE Oak Park Bird Walks (see below) at: trumpetswan@comcast.net

Wednesday, May 6 @ 7:00am
Saturday, May 9 @ 7:00am ***Global Big Day Bird Walk***
Sunday, May 10 @ 8:00am
Sunday, May 17 @ 8:00am
Wednesday, May 20 @ 7:00am
Sunday, May 31 @ 8:00am

For more information, visit: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 751 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 13:19 Archived in USA Comments (1)

My First Illinois Warblers of 2015!

semi-overcast 58 °F

Today was an extremely busy day for me - I was in my choir concert as well as a composition competition in the afternoon, both on opposite sides of Chicago. The commute was a bit streesful but luckily the concerts went very well!

Just before I left my house in Oak Park during the morning, however, I thought I could here the ringing song of a Pine Warbler outside of the window.

I quickly grabbed my shoes and camera, went outside, and started scanning the trees. Soon, I found my first warbler of Illinois this year, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, in an elm tree, but it was not the one for which I was looking.
1ABE7926930D60EFDC9A7AF028F4A35D.jpg

I turned to my left and suddenly I was staring at a gorgeous male PINE WARBLER sitting in our apple tree! Although this is not a life bird, it is the first Pine Warbler I have ever seen in my yard before! What a great bird!
1ABA3762E962742CA329F9C50C545AA8.jpg1ABAC3B70D260F93497127775896BD3D.jpg1ABB45C0E49CC12447F96224A2DD8A09.jpg

Bird-of-the-day, of course, goes to the male PINE WARBLER with runner-up to the YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER.

Bring on the warblers!

Here is the Oak Park Bird Walk schedule for the remainder of spring 2015:

Wednesday, May 6 @ 7:00am
Sunday, May 10 @ 8:00am
Sunday, May 17 @ 8:00am
Wednesday, May 20 @ 7:00am
Sunday, May 31 @ 8:00am

They all start from my house; email me for my address: trumpetswan@comcast.net

For more information: https://sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Hope to see you there!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 751 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 19:12 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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