Ron Dickenson on 4/30 reported via e-mail: Ron sent this triptych of a family of Great Horned Owls on Batavia's southeast side.

GHO owlet Great Horned Owl GHO owlet

Great Horned Owl photos courtesy Ron Dickenson

Mark Bowman on 4/30 reported via e-mail: At Fabyan this afternoon, made a 10 minute stop and there was WHITE CROWNED SPARROWS, CATBIRD, RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS. Did not have my camera with me !

Ginny Widrick on 4/30 reported via e-mail: These first-of-year birds made her list of highlights of the 56 birds seen on today's Nelson Lake walk: Spotted Sandpiper, Black-and-White Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Gray Catbird, and Indigo Bunting.

Rich Miller on 4/30 reported via e-mail: A good monthly walk at Nelson lake this morning. it started out cool, blustery and gray. the sun soon came out and it turned out to be a good day. Among the highlights were B/W Warblers, Yellow Warblers, three owlets, and occasional calls of Pheasants off in the field. Glad the rain stopped!

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler photo courtesy Rich Miller

John Janunas on 4/30 reported via e-mail: Here's a picture of an Osprey that has been hanging around Nelson Lake. He has take-out dinner with him.


Osprey photo courtesy John Janunas

Ginny Widrick on 4/29 reported via e-mail: Shortly after I put my hummingbird feeder up today, I had a [Ruby-throated] hummingbird that hung around all afternoon.

Yeanette Johnson on 4/29 reported via IBET: Sue Wagoner and I birded the day away! Here are some the highlights...


Lippold Park:

Fabyan FP

Christopher Cudworth on 4/29 reported via IBET: Last night on a walk at Fabyan Forest Preserve between Geneva and Batavia, there were huge numbers of four species of swallows working the Fox River between the Fabyan Bridge all the way up to the railroad bridge. Through binoculars the birds appeared in swooping clouds just over the water. Most numerous were Tree swallows, then Barn, then Cliff and finally a few lonesome Bank swallows mixed in. Watched the action for more than 10 minutes and studied closely to see if any Rough wing swallows could be found.

Whatever they were feeding on last night either was not present tonight or else the warmth of the day allowed the birds to forage elsewhere. Last night temps were in the mid to high 40s while this evening when I biked by the same stretch of river (about 1/2 mile long) there were just a few swallows versus what must have been nearly 1000 birds. Perhaps the bulk of them continued moving north.

But there have been years when six species of swallows can be seen for instance in Geneva's Island park. On the right night you can add purple martin and rough winged swallows easily. Perhaps just a little too early for those species at this spot?

Cliff swallows breed each year using the main bridge on the east side of the Fox in Fabyan park. A few barn swallows will sometimes join them.

One partly sad note: I noticed the county cut down the snag tree in which bluebirds have been nesting in a hole the last 3 years. The tree was right at the bike trail junctures on the east side of the bridge. Too bad. I should have posted something on the KCFP Facebook page to warn them. But I didn't think they'd chop it down.

Tonight I also spotted a fast-moving osprey over my backyard in Batavia. Again one must assume these are the birds from Fermi Lab 4 miles east. Nice to see such a regal shape above my home in Batavia. Now have seen Osprey, Bald Eagle, Red tailed hawk, Sharp-shinned, Cooper's, Turkey vulture, broad-winged, peregrine falcon and kestrel in my back yard. Still missing a merlin and a golden eagle. Maybe someday...

Ron Dickenson on 4/29 reported via e-mail: Mooseheart's Bald Eagles once again this year are the proud parents of at least two offspring.

Bald Eagle chicks
Bald Eagle parents

Bald Eagle chicks and parents photos courtesy Ron Dickenson

Matthew and Jake Cvetas on 4/29 reported via IBET: Jake and I had the day off so we went to Kane County to look for hawks. Near Huntley we found Red-tailed, Broad-winged, and Turkey Vultures. Further SW we found more Red-tailed, Cooper's and Swainson's Hawks.

Jack Pomatto on 4/29 reported via e-mail: Today, 4/29/11, Jon Duerr and I birded Les Arends F.P. and had the following highlights:
1 Osprey
2 flocks of Pine Warblers ( 7 in one, 3 in the other ), both seen simultaneously 100 yards apart feeding down on the bike trail
2 Orange-crowned Warblers

Marcia Nye on 4/28 reported via e-mail: There was an Osprey flying around the quarry lake at Big Rock Forest Preserve today. We saw the bird around 11am. Also a Spotted Sandpiper was walking along the creek near the entrance to the quarry circle trail.

Bob Meierhans on 4/27 reported via e-mail: This is the fourth consecutive year that sandhill cranes have come to raise chicks near us (Rt. 47 just north of I-88). Last year, the adults and young stayed in the area well into summer. The adults arrived this year on February 28. They feed in a grassy 400-foot strip that runs from the highway west to a creek, covering about 10 acres. As the chicks begin to mature, I'll see the family feeding on insects, worms, amphibians and other findings in the field. They often gather in the shade at the back of our lawn, where the hen preens her young.

The birds also frequent neighborhood gardens. I have photos from last year of one leaving the garden with a potato in its mouth!

Two years ago, the male began walking right up to my office window and knocking on it. (We make no effort to feed nor attract the cranes, and while we have bird feeders, I've not see the cranes pay any special attention to seeds fallen from the feeders.) Because the glass in the door is streaked and/or blocked by a screen, I've not been able to get clear photos of the behavior. I've included a reference photo above to give you and idea of their fearlessness, though. This was taken this afternoon. The second shot shows the bird just off my patio. It was taken with my patio door open.

Has anyone else reported such behavior?

Sandhill Crane
Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane photos courtesy Bob Meierhans

Ginny Widrick on 4/26 reported via e-mail: Jack Pomatto and Valerie Blaine led a ramble at Tekakwitha Forest Preserve this morning. The highlight of the 41 birds seen on the outing was a Blackburnian Warbler.

Mark Bowman on 4/25 reported via e-mail: On my way to work today I stopped at FABYAN PARK, it was not real birdy. There was a few YELLOW RUMPED WARBLERS, some and a BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER.

I made a quick stop at the marsh pond at the north entrance of NELSON LAKE. There, I found SWAMP SPARROWS, COOTS, a SORA, a SANDHILL CRANE and this AMERICAN BITTERN. These guys really know how to hide!

American Bittern

American Bittern photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Chris Madsen on 4/23 reported: Carla and I also visited Nelson Lake. We were on the east side where we located the previously reported Eared Grebe and female Long-tailed Duck at the south end of the lake. Also found in amongst the Bufflehead, Ruddy Ducks, Northern Shovelers, and Coots were an American Wigeon and a Gadwall. We struck out on the Bonaparte's Gulls and Snow Goose. Did spot one overflying Osprey while walking from the observation deck to the parking lot.

Traveled south looking for the Snow Goose. Came across about 5 Pied-billed Grebes and four Blue-winged Teal at the Mirador Subdivision main pond. There was a Sandhill Crane (possibly nesting) at Tanner Road marsh.

Finally, at Carson Slough, we saw the Green-winged Teal (4) that have been eluding us all season.

Marion Miller on 4/23 reported via e-mail: While checking for monitoring posts in the fields on the west side of Nelson Lake, Rich and I were surprised to hear then see a Yellow-headed Blackbird. Also enjoyed views of a Savannah Sparrow, and 2 Horned Larks forging around the burnt vegetation. Meadowlarks were abundant and loudly singing. Sad to say we saw our FOY dandelion. While walking the forest path on the west side of the lake we saw 2 Great Horned Owls, Great Blue Heron, 2 Turkey Vultures, White-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Kestrel as well as many Red-winged Blackbirds and Robins.

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Christopher Cudworth on 4/23 reported via IBET: At 1:00 two soaring ospreys parked themselves over our home on the west side of Batavia.

These could easily be the pair that nested last year in Fermi Lab. We're four miles away as the osprey flies.

Quite a sight. I was able to share the binoculars with the 8-year old neighbor boy who walks our dog. It got a "wow" from him.

Scott Cohrs on 4/22 reported via SMS: Eared Grebe is still present at Nelson L. in far SE Corner of marsh.

Andrew Aldrich on 4/21 reported via IBET: Hello! I birded Nelson Lake this morning for a couple hours. The female LONG-TAILED DUCK is still present in the southwest side of the lake. Also in this area was an EARED GREBE in breeding plumage. There were 2 BONAPARTE'S GULLS in the southeast end of the lake. Blue phase SNOW GOOSE is still present as well.

Overall small numbers, but had 54 species total.

Joyce Schreiber on 4/21 reported via IBET: There were two OSPREY on the Fox River yesterday afternoon, visible from the parking lot [of Fox River Shores FP].


The Osprey was not seen this morning.

Rich Miller on 4/20 reported via e-mail: Our trip started out at Sauer Farm with the hopes of seeing a Yellow Headed Blackbird no luck. We then decided to head over to Carson Sough to try our luck there. As we traveled south on Bliss road, I spotted an Osprey perched at the top of a tall Oak in Bliss woods. Once at the slough we saw MANY RW Blackbirds, Coot, two Sandhill cranes, Mallards, Shovelers, Canada Geese, Robin, American Kestrel and one Great Blue Heron. Still hoping for spring!


Osprey photo courtesy Rich Miller

Kurt Frieders on 4/19 reported via e-mail: Yesterday I was able to add a life bird for me in the Northern Saw-Whet Owl. I was almost out of the woods [at Oakhurst FP] on the way to my car when I saw it in a tree on the other side of the creek. It stayed in the tree long enough for me to get a really good look at it. Having only seen three types of owls before (and them all being large ones) I had never seen an owl so small. It then flew into another nearby tree farther back where I could not view it anymore, but it started calling up a storm. It was making a tooting sound for quite some time. By the time I walked around the creek to where it relocated to it had since moved on...

The usual species were present along with a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flickers, Yellow-Rumpted Warblers, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, and Turkey Vultures.

Jackie Bowman on 4/18 reported via e-mail: After a great tip from Mark Bowman, my husband Chris and I took off to Fabyan Island Park in Geneva. There we found 6 Pine Warblers, 1 Black & White Warbler, 1 Pie-Billed Grebe, and 1 Northern Parula. At one point the Black & White, Northern Parula, and 1 Pine warbler were all on the same tree. I didn't know where to point my camera first. Chris insisted I focus on the Parula - what great advice he gives!

Northern Parula

Northern Parula photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Mark Bowman on 4/18 reported via e-mail: 4-18 At Fabyan Park it was COLD out there. There was some pretty good bird activity. Birds of note were BROWN CREEPER, PINE WARBLER, NORTHERN PARULA, HERMIT THRUSH, RUBY CROWNED KINGLET and PIED-BILLED GREBE. I did get a few pics but the lighting was not great and my shoulder was hurting.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Andrew Aldrich on 4/18 reported via IBET: There was a single male yellow-headed blackbird sticking out like a sore thumb in a sea of red-winged blackbirds, starlings, and brown-headed cowbirds. They are feeding in the fields on lasher rd just east of harter rd at Sauer family fp in sugar grove. I watched with binoculars for about 10 mins from the pull-off on lasher rd.

Dennis Walz on 4/17 reported via e-mail: Saw this Barred Owl at Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve today.

Barred Owl photo courtesy Dennis Walz

John Cebula on 4/17 reported via IBET: Despite the wind, I decided to try my luck today. I think the wind won...

Location: Mill Creek County Forest Preserve [Kane County]
Observation date: 4/17/11
Notes: Went looking for a reported Lapland Longspur. Conditions were very cold and windy.
Number of species: 13

Mallard 11
Great Blue Heron 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Killdeer 2
Ring-billed Gull 1
American Crow 2
Horned Lark 2
Barn Swallow 1
American Robin 10
European Starling 25
Red-winged Blackbird 7
Common Grackle 2
Brown-headed Cowbird 7

Location: Les Arends Forest Preserve (Kane Co.)
Observation date: 4/17/11
Number of species: 22

Canada Goose 17
Wood Duck 4
Mallard 11
Double-crested Cormorant 14
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 5
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Phoebe 2
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 15
Tree Swallow 11
Black-capped Chickadee 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
American Robin 27
Yellow-rumped Warbler 13
Song Sparrow 4
sparrow sp. 2
Northern Cardinal 9
Red-winged Blackbird 5
Common Grackle 10
Brown-headed Cowbird 2
American Goldfinch 2

John Heneghan on 4/17 reported via IBET: Here in Big Rock, we had purple finches, pine siskins, a titmouse and white breasted nuthatches and the usual goldfinches, downy and red bellied woodpeckers at the feeders this AM.

Urs Geiser on 4/16 reported via IBET: After two weeks of non-birding, it was nice to finally go out again on Saturday morning! I even caught a two-hour dry window between the rains.

First I went to Nelson Lake Marsh (aka Dick Young F.P.) in Kane County, in search of the Long-tailed Duck. Unfortunately, I didn't find it -- not sure whether it's gone or just not well visible in the windy conditions. The most interesting bird was an adult BALD EAGLE that flew in from the east (perhaps from the Moosehart territory) and landed in a tall tree SE of the marsh. One BONAPARTE'S GULL was floating on the water.

I caught up with some year birds that nobody else would get excited about anymore, like Barn Swallow, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Savannah Sparrow.

I continued more of the same at Les Arends F.P. (also Kane Co.), where I added Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and a very bright Pine Warbler to my year list. The Yellow-rumps were really thick there!

Mark Bowman on 4/16 reported via e-mail: At my feeder this morning I had many of my usuals but also had female PURPLE FINCHES and a couple of PINE SISKINS

Nolan Lameka on 4/15 reported via IBET: Chris and Mark Bowman alerted me to the Lapland Longspurs in a field north of the Persinger Recreation Center in Geneva Illinois. I went there this morning a found some of the birds, photos of breeding plumaged Laplands has been a goal of mine for a long time.

Ron Dickenson on 4/14 reported via e-mail: Here are some photos of a Great Horned Owl family found south of Aurora near Route 25.

Great Horned owlet Great Horned Owl parent Great Horned owlet

Great Horned Owl parent flanked by two offspring. Photos courtesy Ron Dickenson.

Bill Koch on 4/14 reported via e-mail: For the last three days there have been Caspian Terns flying around the ponds in the West Elgin subdivision I live in. There are at least 2 around and they fly from pond to pond diving for fish. The ponds are relatively small so watching them has been fairly easy and allowing for some OK camera shots. The Spotted Sandpipers I see every year have also returned to 2 of the ponds. A lone male Bufflehead has been sticking around as well as 5 Blue Winged Teal.

Bryan Hix on 4/13 reported via e-mail: I visited a local muddy field in Gilberts this afternoon and saw a Lesser Yellowlegs and three Pectoral Sandpipers. I also saw a Broad-winged Hawk fly overhead at 72 and Tyrell.

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Darrell Shambaugh on 4/13 reported via IBET: A short stop at Nelson Lake around noon today produced a few different species than Tuesday at the same time. Four BONAPARTE'S GULLS were flying around the lake. Several WOOD DUCKS were on the lake. There were far fewer ducks than Tuesday, although still a nice assortment of species: NORTHERN SHOVELER, LESSER SCAUP, RUDDY DUCK, GADWALL, MALLARD, BUFFLEHEAD, and female LONG-TAILED DUCK. The numbers of AMERICAN COOTS and PIED-BILLED GREBES were way down Wednesday too.

Tuesday I spent about 2 hours trying to get a good look at the Long-tailed Duck. It was almost always under water. Finally, it sat on the surface for about 30 seconds right in open water. Today it was on the surface much more, often spending 4 or 5 seconds between dives. No sign of the Red-necked Grebe either day.

Tuesday while walking out to the overlook three, or maybe five EASTERN MEADOWLARKS were in the grasslands. Today a pair of SAVANNAH SPARROWS were chasing each other, but no meadowlarks were present.

Other birds seen Tuesday that I didn't see posted were YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and OSPREY.

Jon Duerr on 4/13 reported via phone: The Long-tailed Duck was still present at Nelson Lake this morning. At Oakhurst FP, 12 Pied-billed Grebes are on the lake.

Barb Rask on 4/13 reported via e-mail: Yesterday, April 12th on the Fox River Bike Path near South Elgin and just north of Jon Duerr F.P. I observed a Northern Parula in two separate locations but it may have been the same bird. Also seen were many Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Yellow Rumped Warblers along the path and two Spotted Sandpipers in the river near the Woodcliff home.

Andrew Aldrich on 4/12 reported via IBET: The female Long-tailed Duck was still present at Nelson Lake as of about 12:30pm today. It was last seen in the center of the lake diving around a group of roughly 30 Ruddy Ducks.

Also had FOY Palm Warblers, Hermit Thrush, and House Wren. Blue phase Snow Goose still present as well. No sign of the Red-necked Grebe.

Also had several American White Pelicans & Sandhill Cranes.

Bryan Hix on 4/12 reported via e-mail: Today I was hoping to see and photograph the Red-Necked Grebe at Nelson Lake, but only found a friendly group of birders on the observation deck looking for the same thing. There were still several small groups of American White Pelicans along with a Snow Goose in the blue phase, 15+ Ruddy Ducks, a couple of Northern Shovelers, Song Sparrows, and many Red-Winged Blackbirds. I left there and headed to Tanner Marsh and only saw some Coots and Canada Geese. My last stop was at Carson Slough where I found a group of 37 American White Pelicans and was able to get some fantastic close looks at them especially when several got up to stretch their wings and soar around the lake. In addition to the Pelicans, there were Pied-billed Grebes, 6 Great Egrets, a Great Blue Heron, 3 Green-Winged Teal, a pair of Blue-Winged Teal, and several Northern Shovelers at the North end of the Slough.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Jack Pomatto on 4/12 reported via e-mail: Here are our highlights for the 4/12/11 ramble at Tekakwitha Woods F.P.
1 very early male Yellow Warbler
2 Swamp Sparrows
3 Broad- winged Hawks
2 Hermit Thrushes
2 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers
Over 30 Yellow-rumped Warblers
1 Brown Thrasher

Mike Baum on 4/12 reported via IBET: On my way to Nelson Lake in Kane Co. I stopped at [Fabyan] West off 31 and on the Fox R. for a little song-birding. At the north edge of the Japanese garden I found a singing PINE WARBLER, and a little north of there a singing PARULA and some siskins. At Nelson no luck on the red-necked grebe but the OLDSQUAW [Long-tailed Duck] made the trip well worth it.

Pete Moxon on 4/12 reported via SMS: As of 10AM the Long-tailed Duck is still present at Nelson Lake, but the Red-necked Grebe has not been relocated.

Kurt Frieders on 4/12 reported via IBET: Yesterday I saw my first ever Eurasian tree sparrow. It was a single bird sitting in one of my maple trees. My wife and I have been seeing a northern flicker and a yellow bellied sapsucker on and off in the yard (Aurora township) for the past week. We have seen each of them 5 of the last 7 days. The northern flicker was pecking at the downspout on the side of my house. It made quite a racket.

Scott Cohrs on 4/11 reported via IBET: ...the Red-necked Grebe was still present at Nelson Lake just before sunset. Thanks to Pete Moxon for keeping tabs on it until I arrived. Even in the fading light it was a nice looking bird. 25 Pelicans flew in at sunset and both Sora and Virginia Rail were calling as we stood on the observation platform.

Pete Moxon on 4/11 reported via SMS: Relocated the Red-necked Grebe at Nelson Lake at 5:40. It's currently sleeping at the south end of the lake - hard to spot.

Diane Hansen on 4/11 reported via e-mail: I saw lots of birds Sunday but this is one that I know the name of. I saw this Great Horned Owl Sunday morning on the west side of the lake.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Jon Duerr on 4/11 reported via e-mail: A beautiful breeding plumage Red-necked Grebe is at Nelson Lake as of 1:30 Monday. Roger ? saw 2 birds around 12:00. No Long-tailed Duck nor Pelicans.

Karen Land on 4/11 reported via IBET: Yesterday we saw about 50 White American pelicans in the Carson Slough off Norris Road in Sugar Grove. They were at the west end of the slough and visible from Norris. There is a paved path along the south to the west but we didn't go down it.

Ed Vedral on 4/10 reported via e-mail: This afternoon, we saw our first Purple Martin of the year. He was perched on top of the martin house in our yard [in Campton Hills]. We hope that he returns with his friends.

Marion Miller on 4/10 reported via e-mail: Rich and I went out to Prairie Green Wetlands in Geneva on Sunday. The highlights were Vesper Sparrows, Savannah Sparrows and an Eastern Towhee.

Vesper Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Ann Haverstock on 4/10 reported via IBET: Long-tailed Duck still being seen at nelson lake. Dick Young f. P. Kane co. 2:30 pm

Linda Padera on 4/10 reported via IBET: Great birding this morning at Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve in Kane County on DuPage Birding Club's field trip. The biggest highlights were a female Long-tailed Duck, a "blue form" Snow Goose, a Sandhill Crane, a Pine Warbler and two Vesper Sparrows. The full report below includes additional significant birds.

Location: Nelson Lake Marsh Nature Preserve/Dick Young FP (Kane Co.)
Observation date: 4/10/11
Notes: DuPage Birding Club field trip. 14 participants.
Number of species: 55

Snow Goose 1 blue form; hanging around with a Canada Goose
Canada Goose
American Wigeon 2
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Long-tailed Duck 1 F emale
Ruddy Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant 1
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Horned Grebe 1
Double-crested Cormorant
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret 1
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk 1
American Kestrel 1 Male
American Coot
Sandhill Crane 1
Killdeer 2
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 1
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow 1
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2
Eastern Bluebird 1
American Robin
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
Pine Warbler 1
Eastern Towhee 1 Male singing
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2

Andrew Aldrich on 4/10 reported via IBET: The Long-tailed Duck was still present around noon today. She was between the Ruddy Ducks & Shovelers on the far southwest side of the lake. Had nice binocular views from the south side of the trail.

Bryan Hix on 4/10 reported via e-mail: I spent some time this morning walking around Burnidge FP and then drove through a couple of nearby subdivisions. I finally saw my first Yellow-Rumped warblers of the year and there were dozens actively feeding. In addition, I saw one Palm Warbler and one Common Yellowthroat. I also saw the following:

Northern Cardinals (several)
Eastern Meadowlark
Song Sparrow
American Kestrel
Red-Tailed Hawk
Wood Duck
Blue-Winged Teal
Spotted Sandpiper
Red-Winged Blackbird
Eastern Towhee
Black-capped Chickadee
Sandhill Crane
Turkey Vulture
Pied-Billed Grebe
Great Egret
Great Blue Heron
Ringed-necked Ducks

Yellow-rumped Warbler photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Eric Secker on 4/10 reported via IBET: Yesterday evening, we took a walk at Fox River Shores F.P. near East Dundee. South of the parking lot where you can view the river, there were about 11 AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS standing on one of the mudflats out in the river. There were also three N. Rough-winged Swallows perched in a tree by the bike path.

Karen Fisher on 4/10 reported via IBET: Karen Lund just called to report a female Long-tailed duck at the west end of Nelson Lake Marsh in Batavia. It is actively diving. It's Sunday morning, 4/10 at 10:00am.

Paul Mayer on 4/8 reported via e-mail: This morning at 10:00AM approximately 25-30 White Pelicans were still at Nelson Lake. In addition the following were also present:

Canada Goose
American Wigeon
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Double-crested Cormorant

Matt Lorenz on 4/7 reported via IBET: This afternoon about 2 p.m. on my way home from Walmart I saw a single Trumpeter Swan in Hampshire at the retention pond at the intersection of Rt72 and Runge Rd. The retention pond is on the Northeast corner of the intersection. The swan was hanging out with a pair of Canada Geese, one of which was on the nest.

Bob Andrini on 4/7 reported via e-mail: We had two 'easterners' in our yard [in St. Charles] today - an Eastern Phoebe and Eastern Towhee. The Phoebe was a first sighting for our yard. Spring migration is beginning for the 'songbirds'.

Kurt Frieders on 4/7 reported via e-mail: Yesterday afternoon my wife and I did a birdwalk at Oakhurst FP. The highlight of our walk was that we saw both yellow-rumped warblers and palm warblers. Those were the first that we have seen this year of both of those species...

Margaret Myers on 4/6 reported via e-mail: Pelicans still remain at Nelson Lake.

Pelicans at Nelson Lake photo courtesy Steve Myers

Darrell Shambaugh on 4/6 reported via IBET: I went for a walk around Lone Grove Forest Preserve, a few miles northwest of Kaneville, about noon today. I was hoping for hawk, owl, or crow nests, but I found none. The highlights were my first of the year BROWN THRASHER and 12 FOX SPARROWS. I saw at least 5 RED-TAILED HAWKS fly over. Three were really high and the other two were at tree top level. Two others flew around the tree tops; I think they were the same two I saw earlier. There was also a BROWN CREEPER at Lone Grove.

Larry Bohlin on 4/6 reported via e-mail: Spotted an Osprey soaring fairly low over Nelson Lake (south east area) on 4/2/11.

Sandra Lucas on 4/6 reported via e-mail: My Eastern Wood Peewee has returned as of yesterday, we see it on the wooded property just west of Garfield Farm in Rural Elburn yearly.

Ron Dickenson on 4/6 reported via e-mail: The American White Pelicans departed the Fox River at Batavia yesterday.

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans photo courtesy Ron Dickenson

Ginny Widrick on 4/6 reported via e-mail: On yesterday's "ramble" to Prairie Green Wetlands in Geneva, the group saw a Short-eared Owl that was unintentionally flushed and 2 Wilson's Snipe.

"Jean" on 4/6 reported via e-mail: Our property backs up to a wonderful marsh. There are six pelicans there this morning. We are in Campton Hills/St. Charles west of Denker Rd and north of Bolcum Rd. What a delight.

Jack Pomatto on 4/5 reported via e-mail: Warblers are starting to return. A Yellow-rumped Warbler was seen this afternoon, 4/5/11 at Tekakwitha F. P.

Kurt Frieders on 4/5 reported via e-mail: Today at my feeders (in Aurora township) we saw our first white-crowned sparrow of the year. It was just a single bird. I'm sure there are many more to come as we had a lot of them last year. Also this morning we had our first two northern flickers ever. They were quite vocal, and hung around for five minutes on two different occasions. We were able to get some really good looks at them as the were exploring a tower structure in my yard.

Walter Lutz on 4/4 reported via e-mail: Spent a blustery hour at Jelke Monday afternoon: Fairly quiet but did see a beautiful pair of bluebirds, a pair of blue-winged teal, a pair of green-winged teal, a group of barn swallows but the most interesting was a very large, dark-all-over, raptor flying very high in extremely difficult, windy conditions. It wasn't soaring because of the conditions but it wasn't flying toward a destination either. It seemed to be hunting in a general W/NW direction. Definitely not a vulture. I can only assume it was a juvenile bald eagle but it was possibly, I repeat possibly, a golden eagle.

Rhonda Nelson on 4/4 reported via phone: Pelicans are still on the river in Batavia north of downtown.

American White Pelicans on the Fox River in Batavia

American White Pelicans on the Fox River in Batavia. Photo courtesy Ron Dickenson.

Kurt Frieders on 4/4 reported via e-mail: Today was the first time I've had yellow-bellied sapsuckers at my feeders (in Aurora township). There was an adult male, and a female. They hung around and pecked at the tree for about five minutes, then they came back ten minutes later and stayed for about ten minutes. The male ate some of the suet. Luckily I was able to snap some pictures. Last Thursday I reported three broad-winged hawks at Oakhurst FP. Today while playing in the yard with my dog one of the broad-winged hawks flew over my property. It turns out I had my binoculars on me, and was able to get some really good looks at him. He hung around for quite some time before diving after something in my creek. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera on me or I could have taken some pictures. Hopefully this hawk and his friends will visit again, as I am only a mile from Oakhurst FP. It ended up being a great birding day without leaving my property.

Chris Weishaar on 4/4 reported via IBET: Good morning all. Was out at Nelson Lake in Batavia yesterday, laet afternoon. Nothing unusal to report, though we did see our first bluebirds of the year.

White pelicans, 50+
Bald eagle
Cardinals, 3 pairs
Song sparrow
Eastern bluebirds, 1 pair
Eastern phoebe, 1 pair
Brown creeper

Heard one ring-necked pheasant call, but did not see it. Also a lot of robins and red winged blackbirds, and couple of other sparrows which went unidentified as they moved off before I could id.

Ginny Widrick on 4/3 reported via e-mail: Eastern Towhees have returned to LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve today. Two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers came back to my feeders [next to LeRoy Oakes] today.

Bob Anrini on 4/3 reported via e-mail: This afternoon there were about 98 White Pelicans out at Nelson's Lake.

Denny Walz on 4/3 reported via e-mail: This Horned Grebe has been hanging around the depot pond in Batavia for at least the last week.

Horned Grebe

Horned Grebe photo courtesy Dennis Walz

Rhonda Nelson on 4/3 reported via phone: There are 40 - 50 American White Pelicans north of the dam in Batavia.

Beau Schaefer on 4/3 reported via IBET: I headed out to Sauer this morning to check for longspurs. I was there from 6:30-7:45 and walked the perimeter of the property around the ponds and next to the ag fields. I didn't see or hear any longspurs. The only highlights were a hunting NORTHERN HARRIER female and good looks at a WESTERN MEADOWLARK singing while perched on a wire.

Bryan Hix on 4/3 reported via e-mail: I visited a local fuddle north of Gilberts and was happy to see about two dozen Least Sandpipers. There were another dozen Kildeer in the mud with them as well. Hopefully some more shorebirds will move in this week.

Joan Norek on 4/2 reported via IBET: In case no one else has posted (don't see one but I am behind in reading), American White Pelicans were at Nelson Lake (in/by Batavia) in major numbers this morning (4/2/11).

One Sandhill Crane viewed out in the open in the grasslands (south of viewing platform) and other cranes heard in the taller grasses.

Farther down the trail watched a Bald Eagle (adult) working the water.

American White Pelicans

American White Pelicans at Nelson Lake on 4/2. Photo courtesy Steve Myers.

Tamara Brenner on 4/2 reported via eBird: Two White-winged Scoters were seen by some of the participants at Scope Day this morning at Nelson Lake.

Scott Cohrs on 4/1 reported via IBET: I had the day off today and spent some of my time slogging through the rain at Sauer Family Prairie Kame FP in Kane County. Really wasn't much of note until I noticed quite a few longspurs foraging in the ag field south of the main pond. I stood on the berm and tried to sort through them, hoping for a Smith's which have occurred here a few times in the past. I got on one bird that was slightly paler than the Laplands. I
was able to watch it for several minutes. It had a distinct facial pattern with a line behind the eye and a separated cheek patch, rufuous nape, dirty white belly and plain throat. It was pretty easily identified amongst the Laplands, and I felt strongly I was watching a winter plumaged Chestnut-collared. I don't have previous experience with Chestnut-collared, so I sent Pete Moxon a text and he spent a few hours out there late this afternoon. I talked to him this evening and he was able to both see and hear what he also felt were Chestnut-collared Longspurs. He thought there could possibly be 3-5 of them in the mass. He also had some Smith's as well, though I forgot to ask him how many.

When I left I estimated around 500 at the location, and Pete felt that there were between 500-700 longspurs total. The best viewing location is probably the berm on the south side of the pond. For those who went to chase the Yellow Rail a few years back, that should make sense. Unfortunately, parking isn't the greatest. There is a lot at the corner of Harter and Lasher Rd. You would then need to hike southwest to the pond/berm. I am not sure of the status of the ag field, but I assume it is private property and ask that people not walk out there. Scope views would be good from that spot. If the birds are further south, you might encounter them on Scott Rd, but I don't think there is any real parking over there.

Otherwise, the day was a little dull. Some waterfowl here and there, but nothing great. Two Snow Geese were at the ponds in the Mirador subdivision off of Deerpath, and 9 Am White Pelicans were at Nelson Lake. More may have arrived before sunset if I heard right. Three Blue-winged Teal, a Black Duck and a Greater Yellowlegs were the only other things of note at Sauer.

Dark or "blue morph" Snow Goose photo courtesy Scott Cohrs

Chris Madsen on 4/1 reported: No joke, 31 pelicans at Nelson at 6:15 PM.

Bob Andrini on 4/1 reported via phone: At 10 AM there were 10 American White Pelicans on Nelson Lake.


This page last updated Tuesday May 03, 2011.

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