A Travellerspoint blog

COOK COUNTY BIG DAY

Cook, IL

all seasons in one day 59 °F

Yesterday, May 12 was arguably my favorite day of birding EVER! My friends Isoo, Eddie, and me drove around Cook County for nearly twenty-four hours in hopes of seeing the greatest number of birds possible in the county, and it was AWESOME! A big thanks to Eddie’s mom and dad for driving part of the day and providing the car.

We started by waking up at Eddie’s house at 11:25pm on Friday after only about an hour of sleep. Our first stop was Miller Meadow Forest Preserve where we started birding at midnight! We searched for the Eastern Screech-Owl for about twenty minutes, playing its call on the edge of the oak woodland there. Not a sound. We did pick up the migration calls of SWAINSON’S THRUSH migration calls and the “peent” of an AMERICAN WOODCOCK which was a great surprise! Then, a SCREECH OWL swooped into view, mission accomplished!

The next stop was Buttonbush Slough where we picked up a few nocturnal birds including SORA and VIRGINIA RAIL. We dipped on Barred Owls nearby in the Palos Preserves, and then after getting lost during an accidental foray into Will County, Plum Creek Forest Preserve in the south suburbs was also quiet.

At nearly five am, only about fifteen species as our total count so far was looking kind of bleak.

The next stop was Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary, which although was slow and windy at first, soon burst open with birds including this male SCARLET TANAGER:
large_E988AEE3-BA8B-4825-9A3C-BB08315E39FB.jpeglarge_A61B2997-A98B-4791-951E-67AD3AD7BE0E.jpeglarge_BE7F0F20-0CED-4106-8514-5EA2992EE255.jpeg

WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW:
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GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH:
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Next, we visited North and South Ponds in Lincoln Park.

SHARP-SHINNED HAWK:
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Male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER:
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We then picked up SNOW GOOSE at Northerly Island near the Museum Campus:
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After that, Jackson Park on the south side for migrants at Wooded Island Bird Sanctuary. It was extremely birdy! Female EASTERN TOWHEE:
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NORTHERN FLICKER:
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Male CANADA WARBLER:
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CANADA GEESE family:
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WARBLING VIREO:
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EASTERN PHOEBE:
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GREAT EGRET:
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After picking up FIELD & GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS as well as MONK PARAKEETS on the far south side, we had our first RED-TAILED HAWK of the day:
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LEAST FLYCATCHER:
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Plum Creek Forest Preserve was great during the day!

NASHVILLE WARBLER:
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BLUE-HEADED VIREO:
large_FCE06F63-5A45-4BB4-B4EA-2FAF0F82558C.jpeg

RED-EYED VIREO:
large_9EEC1F03-FEFA-4C57-82D2-6BC74040F569.jpeg

CASPIAN TERN:
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CLIFF SWALLOW in Palos at one of the sloughs:
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EASTERN WOOD-PEWEES:
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TRUMPETER SWANS, a huge surprise at Bergman Slough in the Palos area!
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Cap Sauer Holding nearby was also fantastic, so much activity there. EASTERN TOWHEE:
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YELLOW-THROATED VIREO, a great bird there!
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PINE SISKINS at Swallow Cliff Preserve:
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RED-HEADED WOODPECKER:
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CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
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EASTERN MEADOWLARK:
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BOBOLINK at Bartel Grassland:
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Female ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:
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LESSER YELLOWLEGS:
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BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER:
large_D64B0EC6-1CFC-4E84-A385-2059D66B2C88.jpeg

EASTERN BLUEBIRD:
large_60A342BF-3FBB-42A5-BC7D-AE2DA311A412.jpeg

CLAY-COLORED SPARROW, bird #140 for the day, OUR GOAL FOR THE DAY!!
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Then, Eddie Kasper pointed out bird #141, a rare COMMON MERGANSER on Maple Lake! What a surprise!
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What an AWESOME day of birding - twenty two hours in total!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 940 Species

Posted by skwclar 18:46 Archived in USA Comments (1)

More May Migrants

Oak Park, IL

rain 56 °F

FIRST OF ALL, tomorrow may just be my most exciting day of birding ever — though the weather looks rather lousy, me and two other young birders Isoo and Eddie will be birding around Cook County on a 24-hour planned big day in hopes of finding the most species possible in the county in one day!! Stay tuned!!

Some nice birds around Oak Park the past couple of days:

Male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT:
large_9E670B62-6435-4949-941F-CCE86232A636.jpeg

GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH, uncommon:
large_4066AF49-54A5-4B33-B473-8454A0E32DC0.jpeglarge_9ED67A69-7773-4C70-A642-BC7C6CE7D48B.jpeglarge_726FEB74-D4EC-4B40-84EC-8C09C5735CF4.jpeglarge_E6894F8A-43F4-41C2-ABD4-976078BDAA29.jpeglarge_6F7952A1-A378-4174-959D-AA83CB3654B5.jpeglarge_8A3BDE71-F53E-4E23-B109-3FAA88902A4D.jpeg

Notice how this look alike SWAINSON’S THRUSH has a more defined eye ring:
large_4C071DE7-37B7-42DC-AC79-BE2E9570C29F.jpeg

Female WHITE-THROATED SPARROW:
large_54596EBD-E6DC-421C-A415-C59FD366BCD8.jpeg

Female SCARLET TANAGER:
large_821EDE00-9CC3-4FB2-AF4E-7CF8072DE85E.jpeg

TENNESSEE WARBLER, a species passing through Oak Park in huge numbers right now:
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Getting-late ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER:
large_A9226AEC-05BA-43DE-9202-7F5559FC2325.jpeg

This PEREGRINE FALCON was an awesome sighting, only the second one I’ve ever seen from my yard. Fastest bird on earth!
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Bird-of-the-day to the Peregrine Falcon with runner-up to the Scarlet Tanager. Stay tuned!!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 940 Species

Posted by skwclar 13:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

...and again!

Chicago, IL

sunny 65 °F

Today, I birded with my mom and my friends Kim and Susie at Montrose Point before school yet again! It was slightly less birdy than yesterday, but still a fun trip!

Male MAGNOLIA WARBLER:
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Female BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER:
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Male BLACKPOLL WARBLER:
large_9EF93E20-B58B-44A2-8E5C-A75FDE789503.jpeg

Male WOOD THRUSH:
large_0AEF7CDD-4925-49AB-A240-A0DE25395B7E.jpeg

Female CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
large_F675B72E-5BE6-4F12-A6E8-0AA5ADBDDD83.jpeg

SAVANNAH SPARROW:
large_B4D8D634-5D35-48B3-AA01-F172D204A532.jpeg

LINCOLN’S SPARROW:
large_A83DF389-7E99-437A-8AD2-E4745B5AE443.jpeg

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 940 Species

Posted by skwclar 13:05 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Montrose Yet Again!

Chicago, IL

all seasons in one day 64 °F

Today before school I birded Montrose Point with my dear friends Mark and Elly. it was awesome with lots of eye-candy birds!!

Male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD, first of the year:
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Male BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER — beautiful and another first of the year!
large_3CEC848C-1F24-49C9-A55B-5FF8F4745E83.jpeglarge_7D2A861B-3543-4057-8932-30D19B1E69A5.jpeglarge_E65FD127-9ED8-472C-ADDC-16031A613D77.jpeg

Male ORCHARD ORIOLE:
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Male YELLOW WARBLER:
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WARBLING VIREO:
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Male BALTIMORE ORIOLE:
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And here’s the female:
large_622DAA42-6FD0-4EE8-8EDF-903585302E84.jpeg

Male SCARLET TANAGER:
large_38572057-0118-42A9-BA70-5865EE03C3BA.jpeg

Female BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER:
large_476F05A3-F3BA-4F4D-B3B5-7DAC82F38530.jpeg

SWAINSON’S THRUSH:
large_56942AB0-D967-4CD2-BC31-79519607D881.jpeg

Female CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER:
large_997AEB5F-6139-405B-9EE2-F07FCE2ACE99.jpeg

WILSON’S WARBLER:
large_43D70D06-1A47-4E03-A3BA-509C5A99934D.jpeg

Female BLACKPOLL WARBLER:
large_0D1702C3-32E4-43D9-84CD-0226225B4768.jpeg

NASHVILLE WARBLER:
large_33D440CA-67B3-4F4C-B1C8-4E4DA7C4BAFC.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Blackburnian Warbler with runner-up to an unphotographed Golden-winged.

Happy birding!
Henry
World Life List: 940 Species

Posted by skwclar 08:02 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Warbler Wonders

Chicago, IL

sunny 84 °F

Today I visited Montrose Point before school yet again, and it did NOT disappoint!

Baby KILLDEER chick:
large_8A045353-2A7E-47BF-9C07-2351B86EAFF3.jpeg

Beautiful sunrise:
large_B070B57C-C40F-4D4C-BA59-37017FE04925.jpeg

BAY-BREASTED WARBLER was a great find!
large_C9D847B3-60E1-40FC-8BF1-EBB7228B8F73.jpeglarge_83AC9634-F730-459F-8877-BB8C1ED74083.jpeg

As was this semi-early male BLACKPOLL WARBLER:
large_4DA78340-C3FB-40C8-A523-F500BB9498E9.jpeg

Male NASHVILLE WARBLER:
large_A44C371D-9AFE-4DFF-A99B-F4C76D17603F.jpeg

Late RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
large_5B3AE782-F0A8-480C-B879-D1DB7321DF11.jpeg

GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH:
large_7D62A27B-C42C-413D-A35A-3FBBF58466EA.jpeg

YELLOW-THROATED VIREO:
large_EF5D68B2-A6BB-4760-A3B9-3F6060B3431C.jpeg

Male BALTIMORE ORIOLE:
large_5E711EEF-8565-43E4-8499-14E0825197BE.jpeg

BROWN THRASHER:
large_6E3795F0-E623-4953-AE8A-F83B93ACED77.jpeg

Male CAPE MAY WARBLER:
large_1D5B7C81-52B7-4988-8FCF-6DF1A710C763.jpeg

Female BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER:
large_BEFCE806-BFCF-4491-BF00-ACADA535371B.jpeg

Male BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER:
large_4F3B385E-A655-4E2E-B63B-A0645FCED5AB.jpeg

Male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER, another great warbler species! I ended up with seventeen different warbler species for the day, a very good total for me.
large_72E11D0C-A5A0-49AE-A0CF-DAFA9E389A27.jpeg

Bird-of-the-day to the Bay-breasted Warbler with runner-up to the Golden-winged.

Happy birding!
Henry
World Life List: 940 Species

Posted by skwclar 14:37 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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