Steve Smith on 4/30 reported via e-mail: Lots of activity along the Fox trail just south of SEBA part this afternoon (4/30/14). Highlight was my FOY Indigo Bunting. Also dozens of Yellow Rumps, lots of Palms, and a single Nashville.

Sue Wagoner on 4/30 reported via e-mail: Pat Prieditis, Gloria Dimoplon, Debbie Wisser and I birded Quarry Park today and saw the following, along with the "usual": Many Yellow Rump Warblers, some Palm Warblers, a Yellow Warbler, Black and White Warbler, Warbling Vireo, Hermit Thrush, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, Grey Catbird, Cooper's Hawk, Blue-Winged Teal, White-Throated Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows.

Later we saw at Fabyan Forest Preserve: Northern Parula (which had been reported earlier), Pine Warbler, Turkey Vulture, Great Blue Heron, House Finches, Double-Crested Cormorant, and of course many Yellow-Rumps.

Earlier Lippold Park was very quiet but we did see 4 Eastern Kingbirds in the field north of the parking lot, perching on the tallest things they could find- short stumps and tall weeds. I also saw a Green Heron by the now domesticated pond and a Swainson's Thrush.

Northern Parula photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Mary Elliot on 4/30 reported via e-mail: Last night while pulling into my garage I saw 2 Baltimore orioles at my hummingbird feeder.

Sue Wagoner on 4/29 reported via e-mail: This morning I had my FOY Rose-Breasted Grosbeak in my backyard. He was singing in response to a distant one also singing.

At Aurora West I had a male and female Eastern Towhee. She appeared to call to him as he sat in a nearby tree and then off they went together. Lots of White-Throated Sparrows, Field Sparrows and a few Ruby-Crowned Kinglets.

Fabyan Forest Preserve had plenty of Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a few Pine Warblers and Palm Warblers, two Forster's Terns and one Grey-Cheeked Thrush. I apparently missed other warblers because I got there after one p.m.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeak photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Eastern Towhee

Eastern Towhee photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Gray-cheeked Thrush photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Paul Bergeson on 4/29 reported via phone: At 7 PM this evening, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird was at his feeder in northwest St. Charles.

Laurie Mesenbring on 4/29 reported via eBird: Hearing an Eastern Whip-poor-will in her backyard at 8:30 in the evening on April 25.

Chris Cudworth on 4/29 reported via IBET: Good start to the warbler waves with a massive group of Yellow-rumped warblers on the north end of Fabyan where the road climbs the hill.

Also found 5 Pine Warblers, Yellow warbler, Blackpoll, Parula, Palm.

Blue gray gnatcatcher, phoebe, tree swallow, wood duck, red-bellied woodpecker, Hairy, downy, robin, grackle, and a few other regulars.

Beautifully dank day for birding. Tried to soak up the reality of spring versus those "paled out" yellow rumps of fall. Tis the season for spring birding!

Andrew Aldrich on 4/27 reported via IBET: Hi, folks! Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora (Kane county) was very birdy this morning with 65 species. Highlights included FOY NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER, NASHVILLE WARBLER, & CLIFF SWALLOW. The amount of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS & HERMIT THRUSHES was impressive. CASPIAN TERN & BANK SWALLOW were patch birds for me. Complete checklist here.

John Heneghan on 4/27 reported via IBET: Had 2 Clay Colored Sparrows in the yard [in Big Rock] today, first at the house.

Marion Miller on 4/27 reported via IBET: Five Caspian Terns at the retention pond behind the Fire station on the corner of Illinois street and Orchard [in Aurora]. Best viewed from Independence St. Also Spotted Sandpiper seen.

Chris Madsen on 4/27 reported: Carla and I birded Fabyan Forest Preserve this morning. Right out of the chute, she spotted a Black-throated Green Warbler flitting around the Japanese Gardens. Northern Parulas continue to buzz a bit further north of the gardens. At the far north end of the preserve, in the scrubby forested area, we chased the sound of a Blue-winged Warbler. Never saw it as it moved away from us toward Route 31. On the way back to the car, we came across maybe not a blanket, but certainly a throw rug, of Pine Warblers feeding on the ground to the east of the gardens. They proved much easier to photograph than the earlier mentioned warblers.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler photo courtesy Chris Madsen

John Sprovieri on 4/26 reported via e-mail: The chimney swifts are back. Or, at least the flock that inhabits the old Cetron factory on Richards Street in Geneva is back. Saw 'em on my evening dog walk. First I've seen or heard them this year.

Walter Lutz on 4/26 reported via e-mail: Cheryl Lutz reports that the Great Horned Owl is still in Wing Park, Elgin

Theresa LeCompte on 4/26 reported via e-mail: The Brown Thrasher was a new yard bird for my West Aurora home yesterday... and today there are two of them!

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher photo courtesy Theresa LeCompte

Margaret Myers on 4/26 reported via e-mail: Got our first glimpse of one of the Batavia Eaglets.

Bald Eagle and eaglet

Bald Eagle and eaglet photo courtesy Steve Myers

Marion Miller on 4/25 reported via e-mail: Rich and I checked out Les Arends this evening for warbler activity. We came up empty but did see lots of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and a FOY Solitary Sandpiper. We enjoyed watching the Sandpiper grabbing worms, dunking them in the water a few times and then swallowing them. Yesterday, thanks to Tim's reports we were able to located the Yellow-headed Blackbirds at the Pingree subdivision wetlands and the Swainson's Hawk in Burlington. It was also nice to meet some new enthusiast birders, Robert Johnson and Diane L. while at Pingree.

Solitary Sandpiper photo courtesy Marion Miller

Chris Madsen on 4/25 reported: Northern Parulas have returned to Fabyan Forest Preserve. They are in their traditional spot, east of the abandoned staff residence and north of the Japanese Gardens.

Eric and Sally Secker on 4/25 reported via IBET: Definitely a new wave of warblers moving through today at Judson University in Elgin. This morning I had a PINE WARBLER on my way to work. This evening we had lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers, one Nashville, a few Palm Warblers and two Solitary Sandpipers along Tyler Creek.

Ben Haberthur on 4/23 reported via e-mail: I saw 5 Ruddy ducks on the south end of Nelson Lake Marsh at lunch today.

Julie Long on 4/23 reported via e-mail: Tim Balassie, Deb Wisser and I saw a pine warbler this morning near the Creek Bend nature center, Leroy Oakes, ST Charles. It was in the grove of oaks between the back of the center and Ferson Creek. Otherwise, we only had yellow rumped warblers in the warbler category. There was a singing field sparrow near the center.

Sue Wagoner on 4/23 reported via e-mail: This Swamp Sparrow gave me some good looks at Bliss Woods today. Others of note were Blue-Grey Gnatcatchers, Swainson's Thrush, Carolina Wren, Eastern Towhee and Field Sparrows. I heard plenty of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers but did not see the "Golden-Morph" previously spotted there.

Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Jeff Andresen on 4/22 reported via e-mail: Thanks to Tim's posting, I had 30 minutes of excellent viewing of a pair of male Yellow-headed Blackbirds this morning at 9 a.m. The marsh is in Pingree Grove at Wester Blvd. and Reinking Rd. The birds were on the south edge of the marsh and west of Reinking Rd. I parked at the Police Station on Reinking Rd. There were also several Ring-necked ducks mixed in with many American Coots.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Yellow-headed Blackbird photo courtesy Jeff Andresen

Diane Hansen on 4/22 reported via e-mail: I spent some time yesterday and today at Burnidge Forest Preserve. Yesterday I was able to get pretty close to a Field Sparrow and got some dark pictures (due to the gloomy weather) of what I think is a Eastern Towhee. Today with abundant sunshine I spotted a Yellow Warbler and my first Brown Thrasher.

Field Sparrow

Field Sparrow photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Joshua Little, Debbie Wisser, and Pete Moxon on 4/22 reported via eBird: Viewing Swainson's Hawk(s) near Burlington. Two of the sightings were on Chapman Road about .4 mile east of Peplow Road, the other on Walker Road, just south of Route 72.

John Heneghan on 4/22 reported via IBET: Yesterday afternoon, I was surprised to see 3 Black Throated Green warblers in the oaks (old oaks) in the back yard [in Big Rock]. First I have seen them in our yard.

Margaret Myers on 4/21 reported via e-mail: Fox River Batavia. Thanks to the wonderful directions of Marion Miller 4/15 we were able to locate this wonderful bird.

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Black-crowned Night-Heron photo courtesy Steve Myers

Kurt Frieders on 4/21 reported via e-mail: Yesterday we discovered a Northern Flicker nesting on our property (in Aurora township). He was very busy preparing a nest hole for his mate. There was dead bark flying everywhere. Our pair of Mallards that we refer to as our "Yard Ducks" are back feeding under our bird feeders for the 4th straight year. They show up every year at about this time. We also have had an excellent selection of ducks over the past week on our pond. We have had Buffleheads, Lesser Scaup, Ring-Necks, Shovelers, Blue-Winged Teal, Redheads, Hooded Mergansers, Mallards, and one hen Canvasback. Oakhurst FP has also been fairly busy lately. There are currently more Ruby-Crowned Kinglets than I have ever seen there. Also many Golden-Crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrush, and Yellow-Rumped Warblers. We have also seen Brown Thrasher, Coopers Hawk, a pair of Barred Owls, and a Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher. Also many of the usual suspects have been in attendance.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker photo courtesy Kurt Frieders

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher photo courtesy Kurt Frieders

Tim Balassie on 4/21 reported via IBET: Just an FYI the Yellow-headed Blackbirds have returned to the Cambridge Lakes subdivision in Pingree Grove. These birds are located in the marsh on the south side of Webster Ave, best accessed via Reinking Rd.

Chris Madsen on 4/19 reported: One of the highlights of this morning's KCA bird walk led by Eric Secker at Tyler Creek FP/Judson University was this Green Heron that was a first-of-year bird for all 13 walk participants.

Green Heron

Green Heron photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Tim Balassie on 4/19 reported via IBET: FYI the [Swainson's Hawks] have returned to their habitual breeding(?) location in Kane Co. I observed two hawks over the oak copse located east of Chapman Rd, southeast of Peplow and north of Ellithorpe Rds. at about 12:30pm today.

Diane Hansen on 4/19 reported via e-mail: Last week I went on my first KCA bird walk which was an amazing experience...thank you again to the Millers! One bird that was a new for me, we saw from a great distance. Lucky for me I was able to find it much closer at the South Elgin dam yesterday, a Northern Rough-Winged Swallow. I also saw a Yellow-Rumped Warbler.

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Northern Rough-winged swallow photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Sue Wagoner on 4/19 reported via e-mail: I took a walk through Aurora West Forest Preserve this morning and saw several Northern Flickers, Northern Cardinals, Song Sparrows, Eastern Meadow Larks, Goldfinches and Blue Jays, and one Brown Thrasher who was vocally establishing quite a large territory. I also heard but did not see Field Sparrows and one Eastern Towhee. Nice to hear them all singing.

Also here is a photo of a Hermit Thrush that Pat Prieditis and I saw at Fabyan Forest Preserve... unfortunately it was our consolation bird as we could not find the Louisiana Waterthrush on Thursday.

Brown Thrasher

Brown Thrasher photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Marion Miller on 4/18 reported via e-mail: A retention pond off Deerpath in Aurora at the former Harley-Davidson construction site is becoming a good “mini” shorebird habitat. I checked the area yesterday and today and the following species were there: 2 Lesser Yellowlegs, 16 Pectoral Sandpipers, and 1 Wilson Snipe. Blue-winged Teal also seem to like the little pond. Driving on Seavey Rd I was surprised by the large quantities of Savannah Sparrows foraging along the shoulders of the road from 47 to Bliss.

Pectoral Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper photo courtesy Marion Miller

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Bill Ahlgren on 4/18 reported via e-mail: Here's a photo of the Louisiana Waterthrush reported at Fabyan East FP in Geneva.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Louisiana Waterthrush photo courtesy Bill Ahlgren

Eric and Sally Secker on 4/18 reported via IBET: I was surprised to find what seems like a rather early LINCOLN'S SPARROW at Judson University in Elgin this morning along Tyler Creek. Other highlights included a SOLITARY SANDPIPER, a good number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Winter Wren, Eastern Towhee, and other early spring birds.

Yesterday there was still a COMMON MERGANSER hanging out on the Fox River.

Full list is below.

2014-04-18 09:30
Judson University
Protocol: Traveling
1.25 Miles
75 Minutes
Observers: 2
All birds reported? Yes

8 Canada Goose
4 Wood Duck
9 Mallard
1 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Solitary Sandpiper
1 Ring-billed Gull
2 Herring Gull
1 Mourning Dove
3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
6 Downy Woodpecker
2 Hairy Woodpecker
4 Northern Flicker
2 Eastern Phoebe
6 Blue Jay
2 American Crow
4 Tree Swallow
5 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Winter Wren
2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
13 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Hermit Thrush
23 American Robin
2 European Starling
8 Yellow-rumped Warbler
1 Eastern Towhee
2 Chipping Sparrow
5 Song Sparrow
1 Lincoln's Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
4 Dark-eyed Junco
2 Northern Cardinal
7 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Common Grackle
2 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 House Finch
4 American Goldfinch
11 House Sparrow

The highlight at Fox River Shores F.P. this morning was a BROAD-WINGED HAWK that was already back on territory near their previous nesting location. We were lucky to get a nice look at him perched in an Oak tree near the parking lot. He was later calling from the woods further to the north. Other highlights included a WINTER WREN and a PINE WARBLER.

In the herps category, there were lots of toads calling from the backwaters of the river. Also the more expected chorus frogs in a couple spots. I forget which kind of toads these are but this is the only spot I ever hear them. We also had a brown snake along the bike path. I get them here fairly regularly.

A couple Red Admirals were out today as well.

Full bird list is below.

2014-04-18 11:45
Carpentersville, Fox River Trail (Algonquin to Aurora)
Protocol: Traveling
2 Miles
90 Minutes
Observers: 2
All birds reported? Yes

12 Canada Goose
2 Wood Duck
14 Mallard
7 Double-crested Cormorant
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Cooper's Hawk
1 Broad-winged Hawk
6 Ring-billed Gull
1 Mourning Dove
1 Belted Kingfisher
6 Red-bellied Woodpecker
14 Downy Woodpecker
7 Hairy Woodpecker
2 Northern Flicker
2 Blue Jay
9 Tree Swallow
13 Black-capped Chickadee
3 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Winter Wren
4 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
16 Golden-crowned Kinglet
6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
5 Hermit Thrush
27 American Robin
4 European Starling
1 Pine Warbler
11 Yellow-rumped Warbler
2 Chipping Sparrow
9 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrow
4 Dark-eyed Junco
9 Northern Cardinal
X Red-winged Blackbird
2 Brown-headed Cowbird
1 House Finch
2 American Goldfinch

Kathy Benedetto on 4/18 reported via e-mail: A Great Horned Owl at Wing Park in Elgin.

Brendon Lake on 4/17 reported via e-mail: This morning I spent over two hours at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve, starting at just a bit after 9 am. I had a total of 39 species, with the best being a Pine Warbler near a stand of pines along the drive in, and an early Black-And-White Warbler near the convergence of the river trail and the bike bridge trail. Other notable species included Yellow-Rumped Warblers in just about every tree, a couple of Winter Wrens, one each Cooper's Hawk, Bald Eagle, Red-Tailed Hawk and Osprey, both Ruby and Golden-Crowned Kinglets, a Purple Martin, an Eastern Towhee, and a White-Throated Sparrow. Also, a stopover at the part of Fabyan Forest Preserve east of Route 25, produced the still-present Louisiana Waterthrush.

Pine Warbler

Pine Warbler photo courtesy Brendon Lake

Bob Romano on 4/17 reported via e-mail: This is a young great horned owl [in Sleepy Hollow], just out of the nest for the first time.

Great Horned Owlet

Great Horned Owlet photo courtesy Bob Romano

John Heneghan on 4/17 reported via IBET: Went to Big Rock Forest Preserve in Kane County this AM. Good to see Yellow Rumped Warblers, Both Kinglets, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, Brown Creeper, Eastern Towhee, Phoebes, White Breasted Nuthatches. Song Sparrows were singing. Saw a pair of Wood Ducks nest hunting. Had a cock Pheasant explode from a brush pile next to my feet, at least I know my heart is healthy.

Did not see Red Headed Woodpeckers nor Turkeys.

Tim Balassie on 4/16 reported via IBET: Could not re-locate the Le Conte's Sparrow seen earlier at Prairie Green Preserve in Geneva, but did encounter many Song, Swamp, Vesper and Savanna Sparrows, as well as Sora.

The primary lake at Sauer Prairie FP in Sugar Grove is getting increasingly encroached upon by cattails with overall lake area shrinking. Just a few Mallards, Northern Shovelers and Blue-winged Teal. The other marsh areas to the west appeared to be completely filled-in. Perhaps an area worth noting for rails, but spring shorebirds are probably out. No Western Meadowlark, but burned prairie encouraged large numbers of Wilson's Snipe, Northern Flicker, Eastern Meadowlark and American Robin.

Marion Miller on 4/16 reported via text message: Hooded warbler and Louisiana Waterthrush at Fabyan east of 25 on path that goes toward houses and hill.

Hooded Warbler

Hooded Warbler photo courtesy Marion Miller

Joshua Little on 4/16 reported via eBird: Spotted a Le Conte's Sparrow at Prairie Green in Geneva.

Marion Miller on 4/15 reported via e-mail: Checked out a few quick spots in Batavia this evening. Highlights: Purple Martins have returned to the Martin houses by the Batavia Riverwalk. Pair of Hooded Mergansers continue at Depot Pond. And a surprise FOY Black-crowned Night-Heron tucked in the small tree branches on the east side of the island above the dam.

Chris Madsen on 4/15 reported: At the Batavia quarry midday, my first-of-year Blue-gray Gnatcatcher along with Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, Northern Flickers, Tree, Rough-winged, and Barn swallows, only a few (6-8) Yellow-rumped Warblers, Eastern Phoebes, White-throated Sparrows, Hermit Thrush, and a very shy Ruby-crowned Kinglet who displayed only a blush of ruby.

Later, at Fabyan Forest Preserve, my FOY Chipping Sparrows were actively courting.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

A reluctantly Ruby-crowned Kinglet photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Barb Rask on 4/14 reported via e-mail: While walking along the Fox River this morning I was treated with a FOY sighting, two Black-crowned Night-herons perched in a tree on the east side of the Fox River just north of Jon Duerr F.P. Other notable birds were large flocks of Yellow-rumped warblers, Tree and Northern Rough-winged Swallows plus one lone Hermit thrush.

Jon Duerr on 4/14 reported via eBird: Cliff, Northern Rough-winged, Tree, and Barn Swallows and a Palm Warbler from the bike path along the river in Batavia.

Ed and Trudy Vedral on 4/14 reported via e-mail: Today we saw a Rufous-sided Towhee and a Brown Thrasher in our yard. A male Ring-Necked Pheasant and (3) females have been around since the fall. We are hoping that they stay the summer and even longer.

Tree Swallows are building a nest already. We are in Campton Hills, just South of Fox Mill.

Vern LaVia on 4/14 reported via IBET: At 12 noon today, had 4 species of swallows from the Benton St. bridge over the Fox River:

(Guess the Cliff have not arrived yet; but after 15 straight years of seeing Cliff Swallows from this bridge, too, I expect them to arrive any day)

ALSO,....hundreds of Tree Swallows were dipping in to the river just north of the Hollywood Casino, easily seen from the west bank parking lots off of River Street.

Good birding!!

eBird Alert reports on 4/12 included: Scott Cohrs with a Spotted Sandpiper at Gunnar Anderson FP, Tim Balassie with a Gray Catbird at Pingree Grove FP, Henrey Deeze with Eastern Wood-Peewee and Eastern Kingbird at Jon Duerr FP.

Matt Wistrand on 4/12 reported via IBET: Inspired by Josh Little's luck with Western Meadowlark and Vesper Sparrow at Aurora Airport, I went out that way this morning for a couple of hours. Notable species include a single MERLIN hunting on the airport grounds north of 30, four VESPER SPARROWs (two seen, two more singing), my FOY BARN SWALLOW, FOY SAVANNAH SPARROW (probably the yellowest I've ever seen), and two singing WESTERN MEADOWLARKS (one seen, one heard only).

Ann Haverstock on 4/12 reported via e-mail: Carson Slough off Denny Rd. During Crane count this AM, I also found a Single Tundra swan.

Chris Madsen on 4/11 reported: Those who attended Wednesday evening's meeting at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center are aware that Purple Martins have returned. Roger Hotham said, that for him, their arrival signals the start of Spring. This photo is from Hickory Knolls.

Purple Martin

Purple Martin photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Diane Hansen on 4/11 reported via e-mail: Yesterday was a lovely day for a walk and we traveled a new to us section of the Fox River Trail from Grand Victoria into South Elgin and back. I got a good look at this pair of Brown Headed Cowbirds.

Brown-headed Cowbirds

Brown-headed Cowbirds photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Suzy Deese on 4/10 reported via eBird: Seeing an Eastern Kingbird at the intersection of Red Gate and Randall roads.

John Janunas on 4/10 reported via e-mail: Meadowlarks have returned to the area. Here's one I saw at Nelson Lake.

Eastern Meadowlark

Eastern Meadowlark photo courtesy John Janunas

Chris Madsen on 4/10 reported: Carla and I visited Red Oak, Les Arends, Fabyan, and Gunnar Anderson today. The first stop, Red Oak, was pretty quiet. Yellow-rumped Warblers were active at the other three sites. First-of-the-year Golden-crowned Kinglets were seen at Arends and Fabyan, FOY Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Hermit Thrush at Fabyan. Wood Ducks, pairing up, were evident everywhere.

Marion Miller on 4/9 reported via e-mail: Rich and I visited Big Rock FP this morning. It was a beautiful day to be in the woods. The Song Sparrows were out in large numbers, along with Field Sparrows, Fox Sparrows and Turkey Vultures. A Common Loon was in the Quarry Lake.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Steve Smith on 4/9 reported via e-mail: 3 or 4 Wilson's Snipe were winnowing over Otter Creek Bend Preserve this morning (4/9).

Margaret Myers on 4/8 reported via e-mail: Spotted this pair of Northern Shovelers in the Tanner Pond North Aurora.

Northern Shovelers

Northern Shovelers photo courtesy Steve Myers

Chris Madsen on 4/8 reported: While out birding yesterday, I saw my first-of-year Yellow-rumped Warblers and female Red-winged Blackbirds at Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve. Slightly downriver at Fabyan Forest Preserve was my FOY Great Egret. Unfortunately, this photo doesn't convey how prominent the nearly neon green lores were.

Great Egret

Great Egret photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Kathy Benedetto on 4/7 reported via e-mail: On 4/6. 100's of turkey vultures soaring overhead. About 6:30 in the evening in elgin near wing st. They show up every year but I have never seen this many.

Turkey Vultures

Turkey Vultures photo courtesy Kathy Benedetto

Roger Amery on 4/7 reported via e-mail: Yesterday at about 5 pm, I saw 3 white winged scoters on the Fox at the Japanese garden side of Fabyans kane county forest preserve.

Vern LaVia on 4/7 reported via IBET: At Oakhurst Forest Preserve on Fifth Ave. in Aurora (just east of Farnsworth Ave.), from 6 pm - 7:30 pm Saturday night had:
1. Barred Owl actively hunting in the woods immediately north east from the brown wooden Staff House
2. First Field Sparrow of the season right behind the dumpster near the Staff House
3. Woodcocks (2) displaying off the main road about 100 feet after you drive in the front gate; one 50 feet in on the left and one 50 feet in on the right.

9:30 am today, just watched a Eurasian Collared Dove building a nest in the pine tree in front of the home at 415 N. Root Street (at the corner of Root & Front). There's also a Robin building a nest in the same tree at the same time.

I watched the Dove make at least 15 trips bee-lining back and forth from the pine tree, flying across Front St., to the grassy strip on the west side of Front Street for nesting material, and back again to the pine tree.
Good birding!

Roger Hotham on 4/6 reported via IBET: Margaret Mechtenberg reported this AM that the Solitaire is still present in the Jon Duerr Kane County Forest Preserve.

Walter Lutz on 4/6 reported via e-mail: Sat 4/5 @ 6:15 pm over west Elgin a kettle of 30-35 Turkey Vultures, some flying quite high.

Tim Kilmowski on 4/6 reported via phone: Four Horned Grebes in breeding plumage on the Fox just south of the St. Charles-Geneva border. Best viewed from the eastside bike trail. Parking available at Riverside Park, St. Charles.

Horned Grebes

Horned Grebes photo courtesy Bob Andrini

The 4/4 sighting of Franklin's Gulls in Batavia has been amended. Upon further photographic evidence the birds are now identified as Bonaparte's Gulls.

Theresa LeCompte on 4/5 reported via phone: A Ross's Goose at Carson Slough.

Ross's Goose

Ross's Goose photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Steve Smith on 4/5 reported via e-mail: I had quick looks at a Northern Shrike at Otter Creek preserve Friday morning. I walk my dog there 4 or 5 days a week and this is the first Shrike of the season.

Roger Amery on 4/5 reported via e-mail: At Nelson lake this afternoon, I observed a pair bond of Sandhill cranes, a flock of lesser scaups, gadwalls, blue and green winged teals, a great horned owl, ring billed gulls, eastern phoebes, Lincoln sparrows, fox sparrows, a rusty blackbird, and many of the common species.

This morning at the train depot museum in Batavia along the fox river, among the scaups, gulls, and eastern phoebes, I saw a pair bond of hooded mergansers.

Brendon Lake on 4/5 reported via IBET: Hi all, after a nice day out birding, I was coming home and while going north on Peplow Road, south of Burlington, a flock of 20-30 shorebirds flew past headed south. They turned east, and so did we to see if we could find them in some fluddles east of where we were that we knew of. We came to a large fluddle on the south side of I C Trail Road in Virgil. This road runs parallel to route 64 just north of 64. It was here where we found about 20 shorebirds, with one being a Pluvialis plover in basic plumage. The features I identified made it an American Golden-Plover. Three Wilson's Snipes were also present and visible, along with Yellowlegs Sp. and additional shorebird sp. that were likely Pectorals, however my scope is not a very good one. A scope is recommended for viewing, and the birds are all visible from the roadside.

Here is a link to a map that shows the exact location of this fluddle. It is private property, but can be viewed from the roadside.

Henrey Deese on 4/5 reported via eBird: An early House Wren at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve.

Chris Mussachio on 4/5 reported via e-mail: Saw 4 Red-Bellied Woodpeckers at Buffalo Park enjoying the warm spring-like weather.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Sue Wagoner on 4/4 reported via e-mail: A walk through Burnidge today was encouraging with sightings of a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, Fox Sparrows, Hairy Woodpecker, and male and female Wood Ducks that flew from tree to tree apparently looking for a place to settle. Also seen were Northern Shovelers and Blue-Winged Teals and a distant sighting of female Purple Finches.

Wood Duck

Female Wood Duck photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Vern LaVia on 4/4 reported via IBET: Just had 1,000+ Tree Swallows migrating north, skimming the Fox River along Rt. 25 between Oswego & Aurora. A magnificent sight to see! Along the 3-4 mile ride, as I drove north on Rt. 25, there were 'swarms' of Tree Swallows along the entire drive.

Kathy and Bob Andrini on 4/4 reported via phone: At 10 AM, two Franklin's Gulls in the inlet of the Fox in Batavia near the Depot Museum.

Becky DeSilva on 4/3 reported via e-mail: On my way to Woodman's grocery in North Aurora, I checked out a pair of ponds Marion Miller directed me to last year. Found 25 American Coots on the larger pond and 50+ Northern Shovelers between the two ponds. There were many Red-Winged Blackbirds in the reeds and one very vocal (sounding very lonely) Sandhill Crane. These ponds are located in the Mirador subdivision in North Aurora.

Kathy and Bob Andrini on 4/2 reported via phone: The Pelican is here! The Pelican is here! As of 6:40 PM, there is ONE American White Pelican at Carson Slough/Denny Road marsh in Sugar Grove.

Chris Madsen on 4/2 reported: Traveled to Batavia's Quarry Park this morning. Given the great weather, I was surprised how quiet things were. The only birds of seasonal interest that I saw were 4-5 Eastern Phoebes and a singing Fox Sparrow.

Then drove to Nelson Lake to check the ice conditions. On Monday morning the lake was at least 75 percent iced over. This morning it was 100 percent ice free. As I had hoped, a year-bird nemesis, the Blue-winged Teal, was found at the north end.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Debbie Wisser on 4/2 reported via e-mail: Yesterday I drove into Burnidge to see if the pond had thawed yet. There was still a fair amount of ice, but it was starting to open up. As I drove in I saw a pair of Red-breasted Mergansers and four Gadwall. Instead of turning around and leaving as I intended, I decided to brave the cold winds and walk the paved loop. I picked up my FOY Hermit Thrush, Eastern Phoebe, and Rusty Blackbird on this short walk. I also spotted 2 female Purple Finch.

After Burnidge, I decided to drive to Rutland FP to check out the rookery there. Nothing was happening in the nests, but I happened upon a flock of about 20 Rusty Blackbirds.

Today I made a couple of quick stops on the river before going on a walk on the Fox River Trail. I saw a Common Loon on the river at Slade Ave. It was headed north toward Judson University when I left and drove down to Gail Borden Library. I saw another Loon at this location, and this one even gave a call. There were also two Horned Grebes behind the library as well.

Rusty Blackbirds

Rusty Blackbirds photo courtesy Debbie Wisser

Brendon Lake on 4/2 reported via IBET and e-mail: Great day to be out and birding, I don't think I'm done just yet! Notable sightings for my local patch inside Burlington Township include a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker, Northern Flicker and Eastern Phoebe all in my back yard this morning. I had another Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker and Northern Flicker at the Burlington Park, plus a Cooper's Hawk and 25-30 American Goldfinches. A walk down Waughon Road produced 10 Northern Shovelers, 6 American Wigeon, 2 Green-Winged Teal and 2 Gadwall. As I was walking back home a quick fly-by by a Sharp-Shinned Hawk gave me a new year bird! Finally, others have mentioned good numbers of Sandhill Cranes, and I would estimate between 500 and 600 flew over Burlington so far today!

...After having a productive time at and around my home, I decided to try Burnidge Forest Preserve. I had 31 species at Burnidge in an hour and 40 minutes of birding. Best sightings were first of year Winter Wren and Brown Thrasher! Other notable sightings included many Northern Flickers, Wood Ducks in trees and water, a Rusty Blackbird, two female Purple Finches, three Hermit Thrushes and three Fox Sparrows.

Winter Wren

Winter Wren photo courtesy Brendon Lake

Diane Hansen on 4/1 reported via e-mail: Sunday we were near Meijer in St. Charles when I saw something land on a light pole. Usually I'd expect a red tail hawk. Clearly this was a smaller bird which turned out to be a Kestrel. We pulled into the parking lot and I photographed and watched the single bird for quite a while. When it took off I was able to see that it went across the road and landed on another pole where a second Kestrel was perched. Yesterday I was able to get shots of tree swallows on the river near Festival Park in Elgin since the wind was slowing them down a bit. Today there were 3 Pied-Billed Grebes above the Carpentersville dam.

American Kestrels

American Kestrels photo courtesy Diane Hansen

This page last updated Saturday May 17, 2014.

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