A Travellerspoint blog

Evening at the Meadow

Miller Meadow Forest Preserve, IL

sunny 70 °F

Last Thursday, I led an evening bird walk for nighthawks and screech owls at Miller Meadow Forest Preserve in Maywood, IL.

We were treated to a beautiful pink sky.
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Buck White-tailed Deer:
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That green speck is the eyes of an EASTERN SCREECH-OWL illuminated by my flashlight! We saw two of these guys on the walk!
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Bird-of-the-day goes to the screech owl with runner-up to the COMMON NIGHTHAWKS which also flew over periodically during the walk.

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 933 Species (no recent life birds)

Posted by skwclar 20:02 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Central Illinois: Day 3!

all seasons in one day 90 °F

Today, Isoo, Jake, Brett, Eddie, and I birded in central Illinois before heading back to Chicago. We first stopped at Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, where it was relatively birdless with only distant shorebirds and many BLUE-WINGED TEAL, including these:
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Assorted "peep" sandpiper species in flight, including a WHITE-RUMPED:
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NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD:
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RED-HEADED WOODPECKER:
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We then headed over to Sand Ridge State Forest for passerine birding, where we picked up the last few new birds of the trip.

BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER:
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Juvenile ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK:
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Cacti:
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Dead juvenile Massasauga Rattlesnake, a very rare species!
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Cool White-tailed Deer fawns:
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Bird-of-the-day for today goes to the Blackburnian Warbler, with runner-up to the Scarlet Tanager. Bird-of-the-day for Eddie goes to the Yellow-throated Warbler he saw. The full list of species, 102 in total, seen by the group over this weekend in total is included below! Stay tuned for posts about bird walks this fall!

Good birding,

Henry
World Life List: 933 Species (no life birds today)

1. Greater White-fronted Goose
2. Canada Goose
3. Gadwall
4. Mallard
5. Blue-winged Teal
6. Northern Shoveler
7. American White Pelican
8. Double-crested Cormorant
9. Great Blue Heron
10. Great Egret
11. Turkey Vulture
12. Osprey
13. Bald Eagle
14. Cooper's Hawk
15. Red-shouldered Hawk
16. Red-tailed Hawk
17. American Kestrel
18. Merlin
19. American Coot
20. American Golden-Plover
21. Semipalmated Plover
22. Killdeer
23. Black-necked Stilt
24. Spotted Sandpiper
25. Greater Yellowlegs
26. Lesser Yellowlegs
27. Hudsonian Godwit
28. Still Sandpiper
29. Sanderling
30. Baird's Sandpiper
31. Least Sandpiper
32. White-rumped Sandpiper
33. Buff-breasted Sandpiper
34. Pectoral Sandpiper
35. Semipalmated Sandpiper
36. Short-billed Dowitcher
37. Long-billed Dowitcher
38. Wilson's Phalarope
39. Red-necked Phalarope
40. Ring-billed Gull
41. Caspian Tern
42. Black Tern
43. Rock Pigeon
44. Eurasian Collared-Dove
45. Mourning Dove
46. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
47. Barred Owl
48. Common Nighthawk
49. Chimney Swift
50. Red-headed Woodpecker
51. Red-bellied Woodpecker
52. Downy Woodpecker
53. Hairy Woodpecker
54. Northern Flicker
55. Eastern Wood-Pewee
56. Eastern Phoebe
57. Eastern Kingbird
58. Yellow-throated Vireo
59. Warbling Vireo
60. Blue Jay
61. American Crow
62. Tree Swallow
63. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
64. Cliff Swallow
65. Barn Swallow
66. Black-capped Chickadee
67. Tufted Titmouse
68. House Wren
69. Carolina Wren
70. American Robin
71. Gray Catbird
72. Brown Thrasher
73. Northern Mockingbird
74. European Starling
75. Cedar Waxwing
76. Black-and-White Warbler
77. Tennessee Warbler
78. Orange-crowned Warbler
79. Nashville Warbler
80. American Redstart
81. Cape May Warbler
82. Northern Parula
83. Magnolia Warbler
84. Bay-breasted Warbler
85. Blackburnian Warbler
86. Yellow Warbler
87. Yellow-throated Warbler
88. Black-throated Green Warbler
89. Chipping Sparrow
90. Savannah Sparrow
91. Song Sparrow
92. Northern Cardinal
93. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
94. Indigo Bunting
95. Red-winged Blackbird
96. Eastern Meadowlark
97. Brown-headed Cowbird
98. House Sparrow
99. Eurasian Tree Sparrow
100. House Finch
101. American Goldfinch
102. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Posted by skwclar 19:25 Archived in USA Comments (2)

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)

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