A Travellerspoint blog

Central Illinois: Day 2!

all seasons in one day 85 °F

Yesterday, my friends and I birded Chatauqua National Wildlife Refuge and Emiquon Conservation Area in search of migrant shorebirds! It was awesome! I gained three lifer shorebirds, those being Long-billed Dowitcher, Hudsonian Godwit, and White-rumped Sandpiper.

All of the shorebirds were hundreds of meters away on expansive mudflats, but I did manage to snap a few pics of the more interesting ones! First, here is one of the many ID photos I took of the area to give one an idea of just how far away these birds were:
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Panorama of the first birding point at Chautauqua: (coming soon)

MERLIN, a falcon which chased the shorebirds:
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Flyover RED-HEADED WOODPECKER:
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American Toad:
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Spider:
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When it got hot and relatively birdless, we had fun chucking rocks into the mud:
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Life bird HUDSONIAN GODWIT:
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BLACK-NECKED STILT:
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AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS:
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Cool grasshopper:
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Life bird LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS:
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Pretty insect:
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A nice BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER to end the day:
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It was an AMAZINGGGG day of shorebirding! Bird-of-the-day to the Hudsonian Godwit and Long-billed Dowitchers, with runner-up to the White-rumped Sandpiper!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 933 Species
life birds: Hudsonian Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher, White-rumped Sandpiper

Posted by skwclar 19:18 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Central Illinois: Day 1!

all seasons in one day 75 °F

Two days ago, my friends Isoo, Jake, Eddie, Brett, and I were graciously driven down to the Peoria area by Isoo's dad for a weekend trip in search of shorebirds at Chatauqua National Wildlife Refuge in central Illinois. We visited there today, but the big-ticket location we visited yesterday was El Paso Sewage Ponds, where we had multiple highlights.

Clouded Sulphur Butterflies:
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LESSER YELLOWLEGS:
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GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE:
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Head of a Common Snapping Turtle:
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EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVES, a fairly notable species in central Illinois:
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BAIRD'S, SEMIPALMATED, & LEAST SANDPIPERS:
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This BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER, which allowed us to get twenty-five feet away from it, was the highlight of our day! I haven't seen this species for years!
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A great day! Bird-of-the-day for yesterday goes to Buff-breasted Sandpiper, with runner-up to Greater White-fronted Goose. Stay tuned for more from this weekend!

Good birding,

Henry Griffin
World Life List: 931 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 19:10 Archived in USA Comments (0)

First Fall Bird Walk!

Oak Park, IL

sunny 79 °F

On Saturday, I led the first Oak Park Bird Walk of autumn, which was a success!

Juvenile COOPER'S HAWK:
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Beautiful squirrel in the morning sun:
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Male NORTHERN CARDINAL:
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Male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
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Trumpet Vine:
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MOURNING DOVE:
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The highlight of the walk was seeing this male CAPE MAY WARBLER!
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Good birding! Stay tuned, because next weekend I will travel down to central Illinois with fellow young birders Isoo, Eddie, Brett, Jake, and Colin for shorebirding!

Henry Griffin
World Life List: 931 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 15:55 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The 2017 Solar Eclipse!

Eddyville, KY

all seasons in one day 92 °F

Last day of summer! :( Today, my family and I (as well as nearly all of the country, it seemed) drove almost eight hours down to the small rural town of Eddyville, Kentucky in hopes of having stellar views of the solar eclipse in totality. Southern Illinois would have been a shorter drive; however, a cloudier forecast there spurred our extra jaunt into the state of Kentucky.

We found a nice spot on a hill to have views of the event! I did not take photos of the eclipse because I figure so many people do and I just wanted to enjoy the moment.
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There were even a few birds around, including this BLACK VULTURE which is the first I have ever seen in the United States:
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A few EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES, including this individual, also graced the area:
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It was an amazing experience! Relishing in the beauty and irony of a total solar eclipse is a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
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After dinner later today, we had amazing views of this wall cloud before driving through quite a rainstorm:
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the Black Vulture.

Good birding, and stay tuned! Email me at trumpetswan@comcast.net to sign up for bird walks this fall!

Henry
World Life List: 931 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:43 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Indiana Young Birders Symposium

Carmel, IN

semi-overcast 89 °F

Indiana Young Birders Symposium

Cool Creek Nature Preserve, Carmen, IN

On Saturday I was honored to be the keynote speaker at the Indiana Young Birders' Symposium to speak about my Oak Park Bird Walk series (email me at trumpetswan@comcast.net to make a reservation for a walk this fall) and the underlying conservation initiatives of the bird walks. Thank you to Jonathan Bontrager and his family for putting me in contact with the Indiana Young Birders about this.

We kicked off the morning with a bird walk through Cool Creek Nature Preserve!
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The only noteworthy bird seen was this unidentified Empidonax species flycatcher:
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Reflection in Cool Creek:
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The symposium was a success! Stay tuned for Oak Park Bird Walks which start next weekend, and then the following weekend over Labor Day, I will be traveling downstate with my friends Isoo, Eddie, Brett, and Jake to pursue migrant shorebirds at Chatauqua Nature Preserve. It will be a blast!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 931 Species (no life birds recently)

Posted by skwclar 20:32 Archived in USA Comments (1)

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