APRIL 2010 SIGHTINGS
Shambaugh on 4/30 reported via IBET: Thursday I went to Fabyan Forest
Preserve in Batavia to bicycle the Fox River Trail. As I was getting out
of my truck a YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER started singing. I found it
in an Oak Tree near the south end of the parking lot by the Japanese
Garden, my first in Kane County. Other interesting birds were a pair of
COMMON MERGANSERS on the sand bar at the south end of the open lawn
area south of the water treatment plant that's under the railroad bridge.
on 4/30 reported by phone: Pete went to Sauer FP to chase Ann
Haverstock's sighting of the Smith's Longspurs. He had no luck until a
Peregrine Falcon flushed a number of birds during a flyby. After
chasing them around a bit, Pete suggests that there are 8 - 10 Smith's
Longspurs at Sauer. In addition he reports the following:
Lastly, Pete cautions that birders be
careful when walking the grassy areas of the preserve: there are nesting
Song, Vesper, and Savannah sparrows underfoot. WATCH YOUR STEP!
John Heneghan on 4/30 reported via IBET: We had a Red Headed Woodpecker at our suet feeder [in Big Rock] today, the first RHW ever at out feeder.
FONH (First of
New House) Rose breasted Grosbeak. We moved at the end of summer
last year. The move was somewhat bittersweet as we had over the years
"developed" a following among Spring Migrants.
Schneider on 4/30 reported via e-mail: At Lippold Park this morning,
had two Yellow Warblers near the south parking area, one
Yellow-rump, but when we got near the east (bicycle path) bridge over
the creek we heard a Louisiana Waterthrush. It was evasive, but I
did confirm its identity with a photo. We heard, but did not see, a second
one on the walk back to the parking area, along the bike path.
Haverstock on 4/30 reported via e-mail: Saw a pair of Smith's
Longspur at Sauer FP in Kane Co. (Harter Rd.) Second Electrical tower
west of outhouse. In field South of second tower.
Jack Pomatto on 4/29 reported via e-mail: A short walk at Jon J. Duerr F. P. this morning ( 4/29/10 ) had one additional spring migrant that I haven't heard about so far in our area, a singing Rose- breasted Grosbeak. The southerly winds overnight may have produced other migrants, but I didn't have time to search any longer.
Ann Haverstock on 4/28 reported via e-mail: 4/28 about 2:30 PM. Saw two Virginia Rails at Ferson Creek Fen (St. Charles Rt31, North of Rt 64) The river side of the boardwalk near the "woodland or wetland" sign.
on 4/28 reported via e-mail: At Nelson, a female turkey came
down to the marsh on the north end, the bittern is not there now.
Cudworth on 4/28 reported via IBET: Birding was slow but a few
noteworthy species present at Elburn Forest Preserve Tuesday Morning. EFP
is on Route 38 1 mile west of Route 47.
John Heneghan on 4/28 reported via IBET: Went to Sauer FP this AM. There were 6 of us there. No Cinnamon Teal seen. Did have a marsh hawk flyover, yellowlegs, dunlin, blue winged teal, one green winged teal. Last night, there were quite a few wood ducks. Pete Moxon heard a bobolink this AM and a western meadowlark was heard last night. A little dissapointing to miss the cinnamon teal, but nice to see other birders this AM.
Ari Shavit on 4/27 reported via IBET: He relocated the Yellow-throated Warbler at Fabyan Forest Preserve. Here's a link to his photos.
Julie Long on 4/27 reported via e-mail: Monday morning, April 26, there was an osprey flying east above and along Ferson Creek. which runs at the edge of my neighborhood, Wild Rose, near St Charles. It seemed to be heading toward the Fox River, which would be less than a mile away.
on 4/27 reported via IBET: Approx. 2:30 PM I observed a beautiful
drake Cinnamon Teal on the large southernmost lake/marsh at Sauer.
It flew off as I backed out, but hopefully just circled around and
returned after I left. Be cautious - the ducks present were very aware of
my presence and spooky. There were also Blue-winged Teal present,
some in the smaller marsh with bulrushes, so the Cinnamon Teal might
return to that marsh also.
Schneider again on 4/27 reported via e-mail: It was a windy and chilly
morning at Nelson Lake. We saw three FOS Palm Warblers-- so nice to
see the the eastern yellow subspecies in contrast to the western form that
is so common all winter in Florida. Several Yellow-rumped Warblers
were in song, and a Common Yellowthroat skulked in a thicket. Many
singing White-throated Sparrows, and one FOS Swainson's Thrush.
The pair of Sandhill Cranes is still at nest at edge of the lake in
front of east viewing platform. Turkey Vulture flew overhead.
Schneider on 4/27 reported via e-mail: The Red-tailed Hawk at
the SW corner of the Mooseheart grounds appears to be tending young in the
nest. Had a singing White-throated Sparrow at Lippold Park
yesterday (4/26), but saw no warblers. An Eastern Meadowlark was
singing near my front door in North Aurora.
on 4/26 reported via e-mail: At Nelson lake there were marsh wrens,
turkey vultures, red tailed hawks, sandhill cranes and an american
Bowman on 4/26 reported via e-mail: What a way to end a long day at
work. At 1:30pm just when I was walking out the door, my husband, Chris,
and his brother, Mark, called to tell me they were waiting for me at
Nelson Lake Marsh. They spotted an American Bittern, and held him
in the sights until I could get there to photograph the moment.
on 4/26 reported via IBET: Despite a pretty good morning on Sunday, I
was still a little bummed about missing the 'big one'. The Black Scoter
was obviously gone yesterday. That is a great county bird; one of very few
records that I am aware of, and none are recent.
A few other new migrants from the weekend include Chimney Swift, Purple Martin, Marsh Wren and Nashville Warbler. Finally, on Saturday, a brief visit to the Japanese Garden area produced a fly-over Peregrine Falcon.
on 4/26 reported via e-mail: I am lucky enough to live in the
Edgewater community off of Bowes road in Elgin. Our house backs up to a
small wetland behind the Cape Cod Circle street. We have only lived here a
year but it is so exciting! The water is about 25 ft behind our deck. At
the end of last summer I was sitting on the deck when a bald eagle landed
not four feet in front of me on the deck railing. My mouth dropped. He
turned to stare at me for about 30 sec before he flew off. The wing span
was spectacular!!! A once in a lifetime experience!
Cudworth on 4/26 reported via IBET: I had not seen any posts on these
two species returning. I'm sure many of you have noticed them in the area.
Also spotted an
EASTERN BLUEBIRD during my run on the west side river trail
Bowman on 4/24 reported via e-mail: Following a tip on the Black
Scoter posted on IBET, Chris and I went to the pond at Gerald Nissan in
North Aurora. Not only did we get pics of the immature Black Scoter
but we also spotted and got pics of a Forster's Tern. While viewing
the birds the tern did fly off to the south at about 5:00 pm.
Doug Stotz on 4/24 reported via IBET: This morning when I was headed out to Kendall Co. to bird, when I got off I-88 at Orchard Rd., there was a BLACK SCOTER in the borrow pit on the north side of the exit ramp (from westbound I-88). A young male I think with yellow-orange knob on its bill, but basically female plumage. Otherwise there were pretty standard things there. Along Orchard Rd, going south there were 20 PECTORAL and a SPOTTED SANDPIPER at Aucutt Rd. (the same place that had the stilt last spring).
Pete Moxon on 4/23 reported via text message: Now for a-- SAUER-- note. A few of both YELLOWLEGS (Lesser and Greater) and PECTORAL, LEAST, and SPOTTED SANDPIPERS, a SOLITARY SANDPIPER, 13 WOOD DUCKS, other ducks, 4 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS, 3 Male VESPER SPARROWS, 1 SORA, and other expected species.
Darrell Shambaugh on 4/21 reported via IBET: There were 7 GREATER YELLOWLEGS and 4 PECTORAL SANDPIPERS on a sand bar island in the Fox River near Quarry Park in Batavia (Kane County) this afternoon. Other birds seen between Route 56 and Batavia included HERRING GULL, RING-BILLED GULL, WOOD DUCK, TREE SWALLOW, and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS.
Dickenson on 4/21 reported via e-mail: The pair of eagles have
been busy bringing fish to feed the newly hatched eaglets.
Schneider on 4/20 reported via e-mail: We heard or saw about 6
Swamp Sparrows at Nelson Lake/Dick Young FP this morning. Had one
Hermit Thrush in the woods south of the observation platform. Also saw
an adult Bald Eagle flying to the south from the lake. No warblers
except for one Yellow-rump. A pair of Sandhill Cranes has a
nest near the lake shore directly in front of the east observation
on 4/20 reported via e-mail: At Sauer Farms today, the LAPLAND
LONGSPURS were abundant and beautiful. Get out and see them, they are
in the fields by the main parking lot. I saw them west of the parking lot
today, you have to go out to flush them to see where they are because they
are not easy to see. There were BW TEALS, SHOVELERS, PECTORAL
SANDPIPERS, LESSER YELLOWLEGS and AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVERS on
Schneider on 4/19 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I walked in
Lippold Park this morning. Seeking warbler and non-robin thrushes, but
none were evident. We did see a White-throated Sparrow in nice
plumage. Then we went on to Jones Meadow Park in Batavia/North Aurora,
where we had two Eastern Bluebirds, our first since getting back to
Illinois two weeks ago. We heard an Eastern Wood-Pewee calling,
and, in the wetlands just off the NW end of the paved trail, heard a
Sora. We have more photos on our
Roland Muts on 4/19 reported via
e-mail: My wife and I spent about 5 hrs walking around Nelson Lake
Park yesterday. Took my camera with my 500mm Sigma lens + 1.4x telezoom;
wasn't expecting any crisp shots of birds, so it was more for ID purposes
Ken Schneider on 4/19 reported via e-mail: At Lippold Park, I saw two Ruby-crowned Kinglets interacting. One was displaying his crown to an extent that I had not seen before.
Pete Moxon on 4/18 reported via phone: Reports from Saturday from around Kane County:
A pair of Swainson's Hawks near Burlington along Chapman Road.
Seen at Elburn Slough (the large fluddle across from the entrance to Elburn Forest Preserve):
At Elburn Forest Preserve, along with the usual passerines, a pair of Brown Thrashers. Not seen, but heard, a possible Northern Mockingbird.
At a fluddle on Dauberman Road where it passes over I-88 Pectoral Sandpipers and Wilson's Snipe.
A Sora at the Kaneland High School fluddle.
Two Bonaparte's Gulls at a fluddle along Meredith Road.
At Sauer Forest Preserve:
Ari Shavit on 4/17 reported via IBET: Went out to [Sauer] prairie kane county and found a flock of lapland longspurs there. There were around 50 or so but getting photos of them was not easy. They blend in with the prairie really good.
Joy Duerr on 4/16 reported via e-mail: Here is the checklist for the Les Arends Ramble on April 15.
Ken Schneider on 4/15 reported via e-mail: This afternoon I visited Hawk's Bluff Park in Batavia. Interesting finds were a Hairy Woodpecker and Cooper's Hawk, now incubating, and a Song Sparrow singing its heart out. Earlier, Mary Lou and I took a mid-morning walk at Dick Young/Nelson Lake FP along the trail that leads north from the platform. We heard two, and possibly three Eastern Screech Owls calling along the path and the northern perimeter of the lake..
Bryan Hix on 4/14 reported via e-mail: Started out at Binnie FP in West Dundee early this morning (6:45am). Saw 42 Cedar Waxwings in one tree! They were everywhere cleaning up left over berries. The highlight of the day was seeing a black and white warbler on a large white oak tree in the Highland Woods Subdivision (West Elgin) around 1pm. The list of birds seen at Binnie FP was:
Mark Bowman on 4/14 reported via
e-mail: There is a pair of pied billed grebes in St charles in
the pond off of fox chase blvd. I believe they nested there last year and
they are there again this year.
Ari Shavit on 4/13 reported via IBET: There was a palm warbler at fabyan f.p this morning.I also saw an osprey and a cormorant flying along the river.
Shambaugh on 4/13 reported via IBET: The highlight of an hour at
Johnson's Mound this afternoon was a flock of RUSTY BLACKBIRDS.
They were along the road that goes to the big tower by the grasslands.
While walking to wth grasslands I heard a BARRED OWL calling from
the west side of the park.. I also heard an EASTERN PHOEBE calling.
At the big tower at the grasslands a couple FIELD SPARROWS were in
the grass. The Rusty Blackbirds were in the flooded areas along the road
to the grassland. A DARK-EYED JUNCO was in one of these "ponds"
Bill Koch on
4/13 reported via e-mail: After reading Scott Cohrs recent report I
headed out to Corron Farm in Campton Township Monday to look for Snipe I
found about 40 Wilsons Snipe in the marsh area towards the back.
Some were out in the open and provided great views. Many regular species
were there with a total of 29 for the location. The tree line by the
prairie area produced 8 singing Vesper Sparrows. Savannah
Sparrows were everywhere. This location should be a great spot for
Grasshopper and Field Sparrows in the coming months. Have been told that
Bobolinks have been viewed there in the past.
Debbie Wisser on 4/13 reported via e-mail: While driving north on Route 31 I noticed a flash of multiple white spots in the sky that then disappeared then reappeared moments later. I had binoculars in the car so I pulled into the Pace garage parking lot, and confirmed that what I saw was a flock of 35-40 American White Pelicans soaring above the Elgin Mental Health Center property. What a surprise! If they had been a couple of mile further north I would have been able to add them to my yard list!
Bryan Hix on 4/13 reported via e-mail: I was out early at Nelson Lake this morning for 2 hours. It was very uneventful. I think the burning has effected some of the ducks and other water birds. There were only a couple pairs of mallards, several geese, a pair of sandhills, lots of RRW Blackbirds, and one pied-billed grebe. There was one yellow-rumped warbler flying around the trees by the deck and that's about it. Next I drove down to Carson Slough. Same story, nothing there but some puddle ducks including a pair of shovelers, and nesting geese. There was one small group of coots. No sign of pelicans. When I pulled in my subdivision in Gilberts, I saw my first great egret of the year. Hopefully the warm front this week will bring some new birds.
Shambaugh on 4/12 reported via IBET: After work this morning I biked
the Virgil Gilman Trail in Aurora from Galena Ave. to the south end of
Randall Road. The best birding is east of Edgelawn, with Aurora Country
Club north of the trail and the BNSF railroad on the south side. Today in
this area there were 3 HERMIT THRUSHES, 2 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS,
1 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, a CHIPPING SPARROW, a SONG
SPARROW, a DARK-EYED JUNCO, a HAIRY WOODPECKER, and
several YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. Aurora Country Club has some great
big Sycamore trees, and a few are on the trail property. This looks like
it may be an excellent warbler spot in a few weeks.
Ginny Widrick on 4/12 reported via e-mail: On Friday and Sunday (April 9 -11th) at LeRoy Oaks F.P. in St. Charles I spotted a dozen yellow rump warblers and two palm warblers. The blue birds are very active, I saw two brown thrashers singing plus a hermit's thrush.
on 4/11 reported via IBET: Though they breed annually (for now) in
Kane County, I have never seen a Swainson's Hawk away from the
known breeding locations near Huntley or Burlington. Therefore I was quite
surprised to see a perched Swainson's in the lone tree at Headwaters CA
near Elburn this morning. I passed it off as a Red-tailed and took a quick
glance thru the binocs for the heck of it. Glad I looked, as I got to
enjoy this bird just sitting there for several minutes. I even got a few
digi-binned photos with my phone, which was a funny process. The bird
eventually took off and soared high and to the west towards Elburn. I am
hoping it is a returning breeder as Burlington is not too terribly far
from this spot as the hawk flies.
on 4/11 reported via e-mail: I had one Ruby-crowned kinglet and
one Hermit thrush in my backyard today, as well as about 16
Cedar waxwings working my neighbor's tree. The Chipping sparrows
have returned to the neighborhood.
Heneghan on 4/10 reported via IBET: After spending most of the day
doing yard work, we grabbed our binnoculars and walked to Big Rock FP.
Among the birds seen were an Eastern Towhee, Thrasher, Song Sparrow,
White Throated Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, Yellow Bellied Sapsucker,
Flickers (quite a few), Downy Woodpecker, Red Headed Woodpecker,
Red Bellied Woodpecker, White Breasted Nuthatch, Tufted Titmouse, Wood
Ducks (heard), Great Horned Owl (heard), Pheasant
(heard), and a Kildeer. Noticeably abscent were waterfowl on the
on 4/10 reported via e-mail: Today was the official spring opener at
Prairie Green. The weather was beautiful and the crowd of 13 was excited.
It was obvious as we entered the grassland across from Heartland Drive
that there would not be the amount of water as last year so we didn't know
what to expect with regards to waterfowl and shorebirds. Sparrows were
among the first to reveal themselves with Song, Savannah, Vesper and
Tree Sparrows. Horned Larks flitted about in the plowed fields
and a variety of ducks showed up on the "pond". Among them were
Mallards, Green-winged and Blue-winged Teal, Shoveler, and a lone
Wood Duck. Only one shore bird was present, a lonely Pectoral
Sandpiper. But, and I say that with a capital "B", Kathy Kershner
spotted a Short-eared Owl as it rose up from the taller grass and
settled about 75 yards to the east. All were able to get good looks at the
bird through scopes. The owl took off again, continuing to hunt to the
north of us when it was mobbed by six crows which drove it high and off to
the east, not to be seen again. Whether it came back or not is anybody's
guess. Ann Haverstock managed to get a digiscoped picture which is
attached to this article. The last really good bird of the day was a pair
of Brewer's Blackbirds that gave some great looks at about 25
yards. The day totaled 35 species listed below. If you get a chance, visit
Prairie Green as the birds start to move through. Send your checklists to
Paul Mayer at
firstname.lastname@example.org as he keeps a running tally of all sightings
throughout the year. Good birding to all.
Schneider on 4/10 reported via e-mail: A Vesper Sparrow was
singing on the roof of our North Aurora condo this morning. I drove down
near where I saw it fly and took this photo, using the car as a blind.
This bird sang softly on the ground a couple of times.
Dickenson on 4/9 reported via e-mail: The owlets have left their nest
in Batavia today. They are about two weeks a head of the ones from last
Jon Duerr on 4/9 reported via IBET: As of 8:45 AM Friday no Pelicans were found at Nelson L nor at Carson Slough, Sugar Grove. However, there was over 330 Ruddy Ducks, 25 Ring-neck Ducks, 20 L. Scaup, 20 Mallards, 10 N.Shovelers and 50 A. Coots. There appears to be 3 pairs of Sandhill Cranes which continue to be very fearless and easy to see.
Jon Duerr on 4/8 reported via e-mail:
Thursday morning at Dick Young/Nelson Lake: F.O.Y. Brown Thrasher
and singing Fox Sparrow at observation deck. 200 ! Ruddy Ducks
on 4/7 reported via e-mail: While Pelican-watching at Carson Slough
April 5 I suddenly looked down about 10 feet in front of me and caught a
full view of a Mink! (An "Oh My God!" moment on both ends!) I quickly
tried to focus on him but was too slow to get a good shot and he scrambled
back into the reeds. I did get his eye, nose, and whickers poking out of
the reeds. Also seen were several Garter Snakes.
A note to Ron Dickerson- On April 2, I could not reproduce your results of Pink Flamingos at Nelson Lake, as they were most likely attracted by the large burn they did there recently and no doubt left when no more burns were scheduled. Perhaps next year.
Dickenson on 4/7 reported via e-mail: These wood ducks were in
a tree in our yard in Batavia Sunday morning. I think they have a nest
Cudworth on 4/6 reported via IBET: Birds seen this evening [at Elburn
Forest Preserve] (along with more than 10 species of early-blooming
That was it.
Just a nice loop walk on the main road.
on 4/5 reported via e-mail: Lots and lots of American White
Pelicans at Carson Slough this morning, with a beautiful blue sky. The
big guys provided me and several other photographers with some good photo
shoots (who knew they have blue eyes?) so I will add my photo
contributions to the others...
Yeanette Johnson on 4/5 reported via IBET: Other than a few YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, LesArends FP was rather slow today. I spent one hour at lunch time birding between Les Arends FP & Quarry Park and was able to spot only the regulars. Still a nice variety of birds present & a most beautiful day to be out & about! I did have one BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON on Sullivan just West of Rt 31 on my way down to the river!
Bob Andrini on 4/5 reported via phone: One hundred pelicans on Nelson lake at 10:30 AM. By 11:00 only 20 remained.
Karen Land on 4/5 reported via IBET: Had to go to Peoria from Batavia for Easter so we stopped by the Carlson Sough in Sugar Grove about 10am to see the American White Pelicans. It was very windy but still clear out and several hundred where hunkered down and spread out throughout the Slough. Today, returning home, we stopped again and there were just as many in the Slough but several flocks of 20 or so each were in the air and circling around. Driving further east on Main Street we saw several flocks in the air in the area of Nelson Lake.
Moseley on 4/4 reported via e-mail: There was a small group of
American White Pelicans at Nelson Lake about 8:30 am. There was a much
larger group of Pelicans at Carson Slough. We counted over 100 spread out
across the lake and many circling in the air during the morning. There was
a small number of Canada Geese, Coots, Mallards, and one flying
Sand Hill Crane on the lake as well. Excellent views of the Pelicans
could be seen from all along the SE shore. The attached photo is a frame
from video I was taking.
Angela A. on
4/2 reported via e-mail: I just wanted to let you know that I spotted
a strange goose hybrid along the Fox River Trail yesterday afternoon. It
was about a half mile north of the Funway on the east side of the river.
Also, just south of Quarry Park, there were 4 male and 3 female wood
Don Lopat on
4/2 reported via IBET: The Pelican trek, Off to Nelson Lake was a big
zero for the AWP's but a feeding Sandhill Crane in the newly burned
field to the left of the viewing platform kept everybody happy.
Eric Secker on 4/1 reported via IBET: I took a walk late this morning through a large portion of the oak woods at Burnidge F.P. and had a nice mix of birds inluding: 1 RUSTY BALCKBIRD, 1 BROWN THRASHER, 1 EASTERN TOWHEE (later in the evening), 1 FIELD SPARROW, 2 SANDHILL CRANES, 2 YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, 2 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, 16 NORTHERN FLICKERS, FOX SPARROWS scattered in many areas but hard to see, 24+ GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, a couple EASTERN BLUEBIRDS, TREE SWALLOWS, BROWN CREEPERS, EASTERN PHOEBES, and other regulars.
on 4/1 reported via IBET: [...] I went out to Sugar Grove today to
find well over 100 pelicans on this beautiful marsh [Carson
Slough]. Well worth the trip from Algonquin. A photo showing a dozen or so
of these bumps on a log is [on
my flickr account]. I passed Nelson Lake on the way home and didn't
see any pelicans there.
Ron Dickenson on 4/1 (note the date) reported via e-mail:
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