AUGUST 2008 Sightings

Darrell Shambaugh on 8/31 reported via IBET: Friday morning I bicycled the Fox River trail (Kane County) from North Auroraís Red Oak Nature Center south to route 56 and then north to Batavia on the west side of the river. Even with the cave at the Red Oak Nature Center were 38 GREAT EGRETS, ~8 GREAT BLUE HERONS, ~14 DOUBLE CRESTED CORMORANTS in the river. Perched above the river was an OSPREY, and a COOPERíS HAWK flew in and landed. I had hoped to see some warblers, but I didnít see any on the 7 Ĺ mile ride. I did have two BLACK-BILLED CUCKOOS at the Les Arends park. Les Arends also had WARBLING VIREOS, RED-EYED VIREOS, a GRAY CATBIRD, and several CEDAR WAXWINGS. Several EASTERN PEEWEES were calling. I checked all the mudflats and gravel bars in the river for shorebirds but the only ones there were KILLDEER.

I found some shorebirds in the Fox River along Route 25 south of Route 30 at
Boulder Hill. About a dozen LESSER YELLOWLEGS and a SOLITARY SANDPIPER were in the rapids. A BELTED KINGFISHER was on a tree branch. At the Kane/Kendall County Line, north or Route 30, the cormorants were back in their customary dead trees.

In the grasslands of the Fox prairie restoration at Silver Springs Fox Sparrows were singing. As I was driving out of the parking lot, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK flew over.

I checked Duntemanís Sod Farm in Kaneville several time this week, but had only Killdeer (lots of them) and Horned Larks.

Pete Moxon on 8/29 reported via phone: Sauer FP remains slow although he did see a Stilt Sandpiper, 22 Green-winged Teal, 2 Northern Shovelers, and Vesper Sparrows and Boblinks, both with juveniles.

Rebecca Paul on 8/29 reported via e-mail: On August 26th, 2008 - on Keslinger Road, just east of Peck Road - north side of road - around 12pm - wetlands - I saw 21 white egrets and 1 blue heron in a little pond. I wasn't able to get a picture....I really wanted to! But seeing this sight, seems like a once in a life-time sighting! I feel blessed to see this.

I've been an avid bird watcher since I was a child (34 years) and continue to teach my own children. I currently live across the street from wetlands and get to enjoy wonderful bird sightings. I see blue herons and white egrets on a daily basis. I've been able to identify quite a few interesting birds....such as a sora. Fascinating!

Bob Andrini on 8/29 reported via e-mail: Today (Friday) Kath and I went out to do our monthly count at Delnor Woods (St. Charles) and much to our pleasant surprise, we identified 7 different species of warblers. We saw many others but the leaves are still good hiding places for them. They also were in a feeding frenzy and didn't hold still very long. In all, for the 1 1/2 hours we were there we identified 27 different species of birds. It was a great morning.
Its time to get out there and be 'in the right place at the right time'. If you don't get out, you won't find them. Take the time this Labor Day weekend, to get out birding.

Christopher Cudworth on 8/29 reported via IBET: On my run this morning there was a singing OLIVE SIDED FLYCATCHER on the west side of the West Side Fox River Bike trail 1/4 mile south of the Fabyan Bridge between Geneva and Batavia, Kane County.
Coming through!

Pete Moxon on 8/25 reported via phone: Numbers of shorebirds at Sauer FP are down significantly from this weekend. However, Pete reports an adult and 2 juvenile Soras at one pond and an adult at another; an adult and a juvenile Least Bittern; and two groups of 14 total Rusty Blackbirds amongst two groups of about 60 Red-winged Blackbirds.

Pete Moxon on 8/23 reported via phone: During a two and one-half hour visit to Sauer Forest Preserve today, Pete saw more than 150 shorebirds. A Peregrine Falcon made 5 - 6 passes over the ponds scattering the migrants and making counting difficult, but following is his report:

One Hudsonian Godwit at the duck pond (the south pond). Pete reports getting a good look at the bird's tail and bill but the bird was flushed by the falcon and flew off to the south not to be seen again.

One (possibly two) Baird's Sandpiper. One Sanderling. Two Stilt Sandpipers. Four Short-billed Dowitchers. At least 56 Lesser Yellowlegs and 8 - 10 Greater Yellowlegs. At least 87 Pectoral Sandpipers. 36 or more Semi-palmated Sandpipers. 25 - 30 Least Sandpipers. Four Spotted Sandpipers. A couple of Solitary Sandpipers. One Upland Sandpiper on the north-south berm spotted while walking back to the car.

One Golden Plover near the shore of the NW corner of the north pond foraging in the vegetation. 2 Semi-palmated Plovers.

Lots of Blue-winged Teal, some Green-winged Teal, and 2- 3 Northern Shovelers.

Of the field birds: many Killdeer; 1 Western and 2 Eastern Meadowlark; one family of 6 Bobolinks possibly nesting; 2 Vesper Sparrows; adult and juveniles of Savannah, Song, and Grasshopper sparrows and a couple of Dickcissel families.

Finally, a coyote flushed 200 of the maybe 400 Mourning Doves on the property.

Heidi Hohman on 8/23 reported via e-mail: Friday Aug 22 at 9:30am 1 adult (Red-headed Woodpecker) in tree on east side of Fox River right south of train trestle bridge across river from bike path in South Elgin

Bob Andrini on 8/19 reported via e-mail: Today Kath noticed a small bird splashing in our waterfall, and upon closer inspection it turned out to be a Tennessee Warbler in fall plumage. Keep your eyes open, this is the start of the fall migration.

Scott Cohrs on 8/18 reported via IBET: At the Sauer Preserve Sunday morning, there were at least 14 shorebird species present. I had 13, and Jon and Joy Duerr had a Semipalmated Plover which I could never track down. Highlights included Upland Sandpiper, Wilson's Phalarope, White-rumped Sandpiper, Stilt Sandpiper and a juvenile Sanderling. The Upland was on the far south mud flat for a bit before walking back into the grass and disappearing. The others tended to stick to the western portion of the shorebird area. I am not sure if the Uplands have been there all summer or not, but they were reported into early June and have been reported the last week or two at both the main fluddle and the large field to the south of Sauer. That field was mowed in June, so I assumed that breeding did not take place.

The Stilt Sandpiper and the Sanderling were new for me at Sauer this year. By my count, that is at least 22 species of shorebird that have been reported from Sauer, with possible Western (spring) and Long-billed Dowitchers also reported. Undoubtedly, there have been or will be a couple more species as well. Not too shabby for this relatively new preserve.

On the way home, I had at least one Buff-breasted Sandpiper at the sod farm directly south of Johnson's Mound. There may have been more, but some of the other birds in the field were just too far out to identify. This sod farm is probably not as well known as the farm in Kaneville or those further north by Burlington and Marengo, but it is always worth checking. Buffies and both plovers have been seen here fairly regularly over the years.

Pete Moxon on 8/17 reported via phone: The Elburn shorebird location on Friday yielded 10 Greater Yellowlegs. They weren't seen on Saturday but a Wilson's Phalarope (possibly two) was present. On Sunday Pete reported that the water level had dropped to about half what it had been on Saturday and the shorebird numbers were down, although he did spot 2 Dunlins.

In a survey of Kane County sod farms, only Killdeer and a few Horned Larks were seen. And the very dependable pair of Swainson's Hawks were observed at the intersection of Peplow and Chapman roads south of Burlington.

Urs Geiser on 8/17 reported via IBET: The Fishers and I stopped at this spot near Elburn (about 200 yards west of the entrance to Elburn Forest Preserve) on Saturday late afternoon. There were a lot of birds there, but only common species (both Yellowlegs, Spotted, Solitary, Pectoral, Least, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Killdeer, 1 Semipalmated Plover; also lots of immature Starlings mixed in). A scope is essential, as the distance from the road across private property is considerable.

A lone Greater Yellowlegs was in the pond right at the intersection of 47 and 38 (NW corner) in Elburn.

We struck out at every sod farm that we visited in McHenry and Kane Cos. during the day. Killdeer only...

Debbie Wisser on 8/16 reported via e-mail: One adult Red-headed Woodpecker at the far north end of the Jon Duerr forest preserve just off the Fox River bike trail.

Debbie Wisser on 8/14 reported via e-mail: I saw an Osprey soaring/fishing over the Fox River this evening in South Elgin just north of where the railroad tracks cross the river. Beautiful!

Chris Bowman on 8/11 reported via e-mail: Male Smith's Longspur in sharp breeding colors, seen today (8/11) at Peck Farm at about 3 P.M.. Inspected him for about one minute as he sat at the edge of a dead tree branch, clearly in view. He was on the east side of the lake.

Michael Hogg on 8/11 reported via IBET: Jerry Rosenband and I birded the sod farms in Kane and McHenry yesterday and the previous Sunday.

Last Sunday it was KILLDEER everywhere, a few HORNED LARKS, a large flock of COWBIRDS and a family party of TURKEY VULTURES sitting on the sod for no apparent reason.

Yesterday there were still 100's of KILLDEER, the usual HORNED LARKs, a few COWBIRDS, plus 2 GOLDEN PLOVER, a scattering of PECTORAL, LEAST and SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER, and a BAIRD'S SANDPIPER sharing a puddle with a EURASIAN COLLARED DOVE which flew in for a drink at the Coon Creek sod farm on Allen Rd.

Pete Moxon on 8/10 reported via phone: In an update on the fluddle location near Elburn Forest Preserve, this morning saw 2 Wilson's Phalaropes in juvenile plumage. The phalaropes and the dowitchers reported earlier were moving through the vegetation on the near (south) shore of the fluddle. Pete also reported a possible Red-necked Phalarope and a possible Buff-breasted Sandpiper.

Pete Moxon on 8/9 reported via phone: At a fluddle about 200 yards west of the entrance to Elburn Forest Preserve on the north side of Route 38, he saw 12 Lesser Yellowlegs, 5 Greater Yellowlegs, 3 Short-billed Dowitchers, 2 Bairds Sandpipers, along with Semipalmated, Pectoral, Solitary, and Spotted sandpipers. Also seen, Killdeer and Blue- and Green-winged Teal.

Pete reported that Sauer Family Forest Preserve was slow although he did hear an Upland Sandpiper. He also saw Vesper Sparrows and a couple of Bobolinks.

Heidi Hohman on 8/9 reported via e-mail: 2 adults and 1 juvenile (Red-headed Woodpecker) on the bike path between South Elgin and Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve on Fri. Aug. 8.

Mark Bowman on 8/8 reported via e-mail: Saw a peregrine falcon at Sauer 8-7, it actually landed on shore and stood there for quite a while. I got some pics. Solitary sandpiper and a few other shore birds seen until the falcon showed up and then they all left. Lots of grasshopper and savannah sparrows

Debbie Wisser on 8/7 reported via e-mail: I saw two immature red headed woodpeckers this morning along the fox river trail bike path (north of Jon J. Duerr Forest Preserve). They were high in the trees north of the house on the west side of the river that is decorated with train signs. This was my first time seeing immature red headed woodpeckers so I wasn't sure what I was seeing at first. A photo on the all about birds web site looks just like what I saw.

Chris Bowman on 8/5 reported via e-mail: My brother Mark and I spotted the male Blue Grosbeak and its mate today (8/5 tuesday). At 9 A.M., it was going from tree to tree along the road of Leroy Oakes, near the first small parking area as you enter Leroy Oakes. This is the same area as reported on 8/3. Also saw many Henslow Sparrows and Sedge Wrens in the fields.

Chris Madsen on 8/3 reported: The Blue Grosbeaks that haven't been reported in more than a month were seen again this morning at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve. The male was first seen singing from the top of the pine trees next to the small parking lot just north of Dean Street. Then he flew 500 feet north to the top of another grouping of pines. Next he flew almost due east across the road  to yet more pines on the edge of the woods. When we walked the grass path that travels north-south along that wood edge we relocated him with his mate. They were no longer in the treetops, but much lower in some deciduous trees. And they weren't singing but chipping back and forth to one another with their rather distinctive metallic "chink." At one point it seemed that there were three separate "chinks," but we never saw a third bird. When we left them, the grosbeaks were perched in all their glory under a sunny sky atop a large patch of dogwood(?) in the open field. The dogwood patch is due east of the second group of pines that the male flew from.

Other birds of note at LeRoy Oakes: Eastern Bluebirds, Henslow's Sparrows, and Sedge Wrens were abundant in the fields along the entrance road. No sign of the Clay-colored Sparrow that was nesting in these fields earlier this year.

Christopher Cudworth on 8/2 reported via IBET: On my bike ride this morning I noticed shorebirds at two receding fluddles on Meredith Road, which is three miles west of Elburn (Kane County) on Route 38. Go south 200 yards and there is a patch of water that had the following:
Solitary Sandpiper (6)
Killdeer (9)
Lesser Yellowlegs (2)

North of Route 38 2 miles there is a large open lake that has receded to the left of the road when you're heading north. This spot had the following:

Pectoral Sandpiper (4)
Killdeer (7)
Lesser Yellowlegs
Solitary Sandpiper (4)
Least Sandpiper (4)

I was hoping for more species diversity than I found, but these spots seems like they are worth a return trip, especially if we get just a touch of rain. They should sustain shorebirds well.

Also, I noted several of these species literally hopping on one leg as they fed. This may have been due to water temperature? Hot mud? They did this behavior even when it caused them to flap their wings to gain balance.

All species at these two spots exhibited much territorial aggression while feeding. Killdeer standoffs, and Solitary Sandpipers chasing each other away from the water.

South of 38 there is a vineyard. They had laborers installing large balloons with eye images, and there were loud bird recordings, emitting distress calls and imitations of raptor calls. This is the first time I've heard or seen such a widespread attempt at scaring off birds.

Nothing at all (no Buff breasteds or plovers) on the Dunteman Sod farms on Hughes Road on the way home.


This page last updated Friday March 12, 2010.

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