A Travellerspoint blog

September 2014

2nd Oak Park Bird Walk of Fall 2014

semi-overcast 47 °F

I apologize for the late post, but last Sunday I led one birder, Ed McDevitt, on the second Oak Park Bird Walk of the season. It was unseasonably cold (47 degrees) but the birds were relatively abundant and active, especially when compared to the first walk of this fall. Before I give the details of the walk, here is a list of more of these upcoming free walks that I will lead and a link to go to the new Oak Park Bird Walk website.

7:00am Sunday, September 21
7:00am Sunday, October 5


Here are some photos from this walk:


SWAINSON'S THRUSH, very common on the walk:

Female CAPE MAY WARBLER, a very nice species for Oak Park:


The walk was overall more productive than the first one with 29 avian species seen in total, including more "good" birds including 7 types of warblers. As always, it was a pleasure to bird with Ed McDevitt.

Good birding,

World Life List: 700 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:06 Archived in USA Comments (1)

1st Free Oak Park Bird Walk of the Autumn Migration!

sunny 60 °F

Today I led one birder on the first Oak Park Bird Walk of this fall. Before I give the details of the trip, let me just say that there are more of these free walks coming up and they are open to any birders, novice or experienced:

7:00am Wednesday, September 10
7:00am Sunday, September 14
7:00am Sunday, September 21
7:00am Sunday, September 28
7:00am Sunday, October 5

Just email me to get the details at:
[email protected]

Today's walk was under perfect weather conditions: totally sunny skies and temperatures around 60 degrees. The avian aspect of the walk, however, was rather slow with only five warbler species: N. WATERTHRUSH, TENNESSEE, NASHVILLE, REDSTART, & MAGNOLIA, which are all common ones except for the waterthrush, which is seen only once or twice every year or so on these walks. One highlight of the walk were an abundance of SWAINSON'S THRUSH, with at least 25 present at various points. Here is a picture of one of the birds, which turned out to to be the only bird species today that was obliging for photographs:

Bird-of-the-day goes to the abundant migrant SWAINSON'S THRUSHES while the runner-up goes to the NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, which while being a "better" species than the Swainson's, did not pose for a photograph.

Good birding and stay tuned for posts on the upcoming bird walks and more!

Good birding,

World Life List: 700 Species (no life birds today)

25 avian species today:

Canada Goose 1
Ring-billed Gull 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 10
Mourning Dove 4
Chimney Swift 25
Downy Woodpecker 2
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 2
Swainson's Thrush 25
American Robin 30
European Starling 1
Cedar Waxwing 15
Northern Waterthrush 1
Tennessee Warbler 3
Nashville Warbler 1
American Redstart 4
Magnolia Warbler 2
Northern Cardinal 5
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Common Grackle 1
Baltimore Oriole 1
House Finch 3
American Goldfinch 1
House Sparrow 40

Posted by skwclar 09:27 Archived in USA Comments (0)

More Exciting News!

Hello everybody and welcome back,

As I have mentioned before, high school is really taking up all of my time (and my sanity), so I haven't been able to bird as much as during this past summer, which was fantastic for birding.

This blog post will cover four topics I have been dying to write about.

First of all, this Labor Day weekend I spent Friday-today (Monday) at the beautiful Warner's Landing Campground on Selkirk Lake in southwest Michigan. This campground has been owned by my family for over 100 years and we visit 3-6 times each summer. This campground is very good for birding in the spring and early summer and it is conveniently located less than 30 minutes away from Yankee Springs State Park, Otis Farm Bird Sanctuary, and Warner Bird Sanctuary, which are all important nesting areas for rare birds including the Cerulean Warbler, and these sites are all included on the annual Cerulean Warbler Weekend. For more information about the campground, please click this link:

Since it is late summer and just before the migrants are starting to come through, the birding was slow this weekend so I only managed two half-decent avian photos:

SPOTTED SANDPIPER, the only shorebird I could find:

GREAT BLUE HERON, my mom's favorite bird:

Secondly, one of my best birding friends, Isoo, is traveling around the world with HIS family THIS year! Oh, nostalgia...
You may have noticed that I labeled this post as being in "Ireland," because he is currently in Ireland with his family. He also plans to cover much more of Europe, many places in Asia, Mexico, and parts of Central and South America! Below is the link to his birding blog for more information on his travels and birding. I have also included the link in my "favourite links" section on the right-hand side of this blog.

Thirdly, since we are beginning to get into fall migration, here is the FREE Oak Park Bird Walk schedule for this autumn. The first walk is next Sunday, so reserve a space soon! All birders and bird photographers of all knowledge levels are welcome, and best of all, these bird walks are FREE OF CHARGE! Oak Park is a suburb ten miles due west of downtown Chicago and I live in a neighborhood with lots of trees, so the birding is quite productive in the spring and fall.

7:00am Sunday, September 7
7:00am Wednesday, September 10
7:00am Sunday, September 14
7:00am Sunday, September 21
7:00am Sunday, September 28
7:00am Sunday, October 5

For more information, check out the new Oak Park Bird Walks website:

Or contact me via email:
[email protected]

Well, I guess with that, summer is officially over. :-( Anyway, below are my highlights of this past amazing, bird-packed summer season. You can find my blog posts about them and more just by clicking the appropriate links on the right-hand side of your screen!

Saturday, June 7: First day of Thatcher/GAR Woods Breeding Bird Surveys
Saturday, June 14-Sunday, June 15: Mississippi River Young Birders Weekend, 4 life birds
Sunday, June 22: I find my life bird Curve-billed Thrasher, a rarity for Illinois, at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
Monday, June 30: I find my life bird Bobolink and photograph two Red-headed Woodpeckers in the same picture at Fort Sheridan Preserve
Wednesday, July 2-Sunday, July 13: My trip to western & northern Wisconsin is fun and I find 7 life birds
Friday, July 18: I find my life bird King Rail in Lake County, another rarity for Illinois
Thursday, July 31: I find two lifers at Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve along with a plethora of other shorebirds and prairie species
Friday, August 1-Sunday, August 17: My fantastic trip to Idaho, boosting my life list over 700 species
Saturday, August 23: I find another life bird-rarity at Montrose, this time a Red Knot

Wow, what a year!

Good birding, and as always, stay tuned!


Posted by skwclar 20:19 Archived in Ireland Comments (1)

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