Note: Angela A. e-mailed some photos of her sighting of the Greater White-fronted Geese and also included a photo of a blue-morph Snow Goose that she saw in the same area.

Chris Madsen on 1/31 reported: Carla and I ventured out this afternoon in search of Angela's White-fronted Geese. We whiffed on those but ol' eagle-eye (Carla) did spot a Ross' Goose among the thousands of Canada Geese in the river. And, yes, we did see an adult Bald Eagle too.

Shortly after we spotted it, the Ross' joined a massive, noisy liftoff of the Canadas. When I relocated the bird later, about mile north of the North Aurora dam, it was buddied-up with a Cackling Goose.

Angela A. on 1/29 reported via e-mail: I enjoy watching birds on the Fox River, and today (January 29) I believe I spotted some Greater White-Fronted Geese on the west side of the Fox River Trail in North Aurora, IL between Oak St. and Mooseheart. I'm not sure how rare this bird is...I thought I should report it to you guys either way.

Debbie Wisser on 1/29 reported via e-mail: I walked the Fox River Trail between Quarry Park and Les Ahrens in Batavia today. On the drive down, I saw a Bald Eagle perched in a tree in South Elgin just above the dam. Along the bike path in Batavia there were thousands of Canada Geese. I saw a few Common Mergansers and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. A small flock of Common Goldeneye took flight to the north followed soon by another Bald Eagle. Other birds seen were: Northern Cardinal, Black Capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Downy and Red Bellied Woodpecker. The surprise of the day was a Fox Sparrow scratching the ground under some brush with some Dark Eyed Juncos. It was a beautiful day to throw on the layers and get outside!

Bald Eagle Great Horned Owls

Ron Dickenson shot these photos on 1/28: the Bald Eagle in Montgomery along the Fox River and the Great Horned Owls on their nest south of Aurora. Click on the photos for a larger view.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk photo courtesy Sue Wagoner. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Sue Wagoner on 1/27 reported via e-mail: This young Cooper's hawk paid a visit to my backyard today, flying through and scattering many birds and a few feathers (no lunch). He landed and remained in a tree for quite a while, during which time one lone sparrow froze in one of the bird feeders and moved not one millimeter until the coast was clear. Also about five days ago my one regular visiting American Tree Sparrow was joined by five others, but none seen since then.

John Heneghan on 1/22 reported via IBET: My girlfriend saw an adult bald eagle flying North over the Depot pond along the Fox River today about 2:30 pm.

Mark Bowman on 1/20 reported via e-mail: The eagles seem to be regulars down in oswego/montgomery on the fox as my brother and I saw them today, there was 2-3 adults. My brother saw a peregrine in the same area yesterday but he was not seen today.

John Heneghan on 1/16 reported via IBET: This morning, I was awoken by a GHO outside the house [in Big Rock]. I went out to see if I could see him, and heard 3 other GHO's calling nearby.

Mark Bowman on 1/15 reported via IBET: Had 2 GH owls up in a tree between my house [in St. Charles] and my neighbors last night as my neighbor called me as he heard them. We stood right by the tree and were talking away but the owls were not bothered at all as they were hooting away. My neighbor [not a birder] could not believe how big they were.

Ed and Trudy Vedral on 1/14 reported via e-mail: The attached photos are of a Spotted Towhee that has been at our feeder since at least Dec. 5, 2009. He appears to be the spotted western race. He is alone. We also had a female Pheasant at our ground feeder.
We are in Campton Hills.

Spotted Towhee Spotted Towhee
 Spotted Towhee photos courtesy Ed and Trudy Vedral. Click on the photos for a larger view

Yeanette Johnson on 1/13 reported via e-mail: Lisa G. and I birded along the Fox River today from Quarry Park to Les Arends & back.
Here is our list:


As well as a few other highlights in Kane Co:


It sure felt GREAT to be out and about!

Good Birding

European Goldfinch

European Goldfinch photo courtesy Bob Andrini.
Click on the photo for a larger view.

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting photographed at Meredith Road west of Elburn by Bob Andrini. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Bob Andrini on 1/9 reported via e-mail: Were we surprised when this unexpected visitor appeared on our thistle feeder. It is an European Goldfinch.
Right after I took the picture it took off and hasn't been seen since.

Julie Long on 1/6 reported via e-mail: There was a carolina wren at my feeder today, Jan. 6. I have not seen it in the yard for several months, though we had one in my neighborhood [northwest side of St. Charles] for the CBC. I also have titmice, so if any of you ever want to hang out in my house to watch for feeder birds, let me know.

[NOTE: The following was included in Julie's e-mail. Although we've never included sightings outside of Kane County, we thought KCA birders might find this information helpful. -Ed.]

Also, I made the trip to Forreston, Ogle Co., yesterday to see the western bird, a varied thrush. The house is easy to find, and Anne is hospitable, a knowledgeable member of Audubon, though you do need to bird in her back yard.She enjoys meeting and visiting with the birders and loves to show off the bird to her guests. It was ten degrees colder there than here--two degrees vs 13 when I left STC. Dress for snow and cold. The drive was easy, straight west on 64 past Sycamore, Oregon, and Mt. Morris to rt 26 and north a few miles to Forreston. It took an hour 15 min or so. It has been at her house since Dec. 18 and has been seen several times a day since then. Daybreak is the most reliable time, but it was seen about 10 am and noon yesterday, too. I believe the photographers are getting decent shots of it, though it is in the shade under a spruce so it was too dark for my camera. It hangs out with the many other juncos, and assorted sparrows in the numerous large evergreens surrounding her yard. It also feeds on the seed on the ground under the spruce. The directions are posted on ibet.

Sandy Olsen on 1/5 reported via e-mail: Being the owl fanatic I am (since childhood), it always excites me to get a rare glimpse of any kind of owl! On January 4th, I awoke to the call of a Great Horned Owl at 4:45 am and found him sitting in a tree right at the end of my back yard in Mill Creek Subdivision in Geneva! At 10 pm on November 29 (I remember the date because it was my birthday), I heard one calling and slowly opened the window to see him on a neighbor's roof calling and answering another owl a short distance away! This is the third or fourth time I have heard the two "talking." It amazes me that I have looked for them forever and the first time I have seen one (and many times after) is in the middle of my subdivision!

Chris Madsen on 1/4 reported: Despite wind-chills well below zero, Carla and I ventured out both Saturday and Sunday morning. While we struck out in our quest for winter and Carolina wrens, we were rewarded with other finds.

On Saturday, heading south from the Batavia quarry, we spotted about 6 Common Mergansers and 30 - 40 Common Goldeneyes among the Mallards and Canada geese. The geese seemingly were too cold to honk, making for a more pleasant walk than in previous weeks. Their numbers were down to a half or maybe a third of the several thousand seen recently. In addition, we had Brown Creepers and White-breasted Nuthatches, White-throated and Song sparrows, Red-bellied and Downy woodpeckers, Blue Jays, a Great Blue Heron, a Red-tailed Hawk, and a small flock of Cedar Waxwings. The highlight of the walk was a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker working a tree right next to the trail.

As an aside, it was interesting that in our three hour stroll along the bikepath, we saw only two other people - both x-country skiers.

Then to top off the morning, we spotted an adult Bald Eagle perched on the island opposite the pool as we drove from the quarry parking lot.

Although the temperature was about the same on Sunday morning, the wind had more bite at Fabyan Forest Preserve. A quick survey of the west side produced more downy and red-bellied woodpeckers along with one Hairy Woodpecker. We also had a couple flocks of American Goldfinches. There were about 8 - 10 Common Goldeneyes north of the footbridge. We saw maybe ten people, mostly dog walkers, in a little over an hour at Fabyan.

Finally, on a short drive north from St. Charles on Sunday afternoon, we found the river almost completely frozen over at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve. The South Elgin dam was eerily devoid of waterfowl but we did locate about 60 - 70 Common Goldeneyes south of the dam at Lion's Park.

Lapland Longspur and Horned Lark

Lapland Longspur (L) with Horned Lark (R) photo courtesy Chris Madsen. Click on the photo for a larger view.

Chris Madsen on 1/1 reported: It was a cold start to the new year. The car thermometer read one above at 8 AM when we pulled into the parking lot  at Nelson Lake for Rhonda's New Year's Day walk. Birds remained nestled in their little bird beds for about another hour before we began to notice any activity. The walk ended a success with more species (12) than walk participants (10), the best sighting being a Great Horned Owl in the woods at the northwest corner of the lake loop.

Then, while doing a little roadside birding early this afternoon, Carla and I hit the trifecta of winter roadside birds: about 200 Horned Larks, 25 - 30 Snow Buntings, and around 6 Lapland Longspurs in the area of the Elburn Co-op on Meredith Road, north of Route 38.

This page last updated Monday March 15, 2010

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