JANUARY 2015 SIGHTINGS
Eric Secker on 1/31 reported
via IBET: Well good and bad news for the Elgin HARLEQUIN DUCK that has
been hanging out below the Kimball St. dam in Elgin. The bad news is that
he will be on leave from the birding scene for awhile after a close call
today, but the good news is that he is alive and believed to be doing well.
Walter Lutz on 1/31 reported
via e-mail: Had a good morning seeing 3 species I haven't seen in
Theresa LeCompte on 1/28
reported via e-mail: A pair of Great Horned Owls at
Bliss Woods this afternoon.
Tim Balassie on 1/28 reported via e-mail: FYI for those in the area, I encountered a Peregrine Falcon earlier today (1/28). The bird was located on the east side of the River south of Batavia's Wilson St., perched on a baseball field light stanchion. I'm assuming this is the same bird seen somewhat frequently in this area.
Debbie Wisser on 1/28 reported via eBird: Spotting a Hermit Thrush on Wednesday morning at Burnidge Forest Preserve.
John Heneghan on 1/28 reported via e-mail: Went to West Aurora FP today for the Shrike. Did not see it. Ran into Pete Moxon who had not seen it either. On the way home, I was getting onto West Rt56 off West Galena. In the AG field to the North of the Ramp were 3 turkeys.
Theresa LeCompte on 1/28
reported via e-mail: This Cooper's Hawk has been a frequent visitor in
my Aurora back yard this winter.
Christine Wilkinson on 1/27 reported via e-mail: Just this morning, I sighted a bald eagle perched on a tree top along the Fox River on Rt. 31, just north of downtown St. Charles!
Lucy De Lap on 1/26 reported via e-mail: No Barrows this afternoon in Carpentersville but many Common Goldeneyes and 2 female/1 male Red Breasted Mergansers, just south of the Old Town bridge, viewed from the east side.
Marion Miller on 1/25
reported via e-mail: Rich and I checked out Hannaford FP on Sunday
afternoon. Although species count was low, seeing a Red-headed
Woodpecker is always a treat.
Brendon Lake on 1/25 reported via e-mail: Six or seven Common Redpolls returned to the back yard again today, and were seen in varying numbers throughout the afternoon. Also, ten Cedar Waxwings stayed for most of the day. Karen L. reported seven or eight Common Redpolls in her yard just across the county line in DeKalb County today as well. Maybe a little push for this species into Illinois?
Scott Brewer on 1/25 reported via eBird: Viewing a Hermit Thrush Sunday morning at Tyler Creek Forest Preserve. "Small-medium sized thrush. White eye ring, reddish rump. Low along creek bank, in small trees and brush, west of footbridge. Repositioned to look at it from footbridge, which was a greater distance but could make out spots on breast. Very surprised to see this bird."
Brendon Lake on 1/24 reported
via e-mail: Keep your feeders full, and take some time to watch what
comes when they are busy! This morning, my back yard feeders were visited
by 7(!!) Common Redpolls (in Burlington)! No Pine Siskins with them,
they came in the company of House Finches and American
Goldfinches, and left after 10 minutes of feeding. There could be more
in the area now.
Vance Perricone on 1/24 reported via eBird: Spotting a Turkey Vulture in a ravine just east of Tekakwitha Forest Preserve.
Craig Taylor on 1/24 reported
via IBET: Tim Kuesel and I...found the Aurora West N Shrike.
Paul Richardson on 1/23 reported via e-mail: Good day for strolling along the river in downtown Elgin yesterday. Our 2nd year winter resident Harlequin duck must have finally got lonely and was hanging out with mallards along the shoreline on the sidewalk side of the river by the Hemmens building. I've never before seen him that close up - no need for scope or binocs. Also saw 2 Coots and a Goldeneye at the southern end of Walton island. And the eagles have finally returned to roosting in the trees North of the library on the west bank.
Al Stokie on 1/22 reported
via IBET: Hello Bird People,
Eric Secker on 1/21 reported
via IBET: [In looking for the Barrow's Goldeneye] I ran out of time
before heading back to work but did check a lot of areas. Everything from
Gail Borden Library in Elgin off Kimbell St. north to about South End park
in West Dundee is frozen. South End park is at the south end of 1st St. if
you go south from Rt. 72. One of the dead end side roads off that street,
Maiden Ln. also ends at a small park worth checking. The Barrow's was seen
that far south at least once last winter.
Carol and Bill Ludemann on 1/21 reported via e-mail: We have been seeing a Belted Kingfisher, female, along the Great Western Bike Trail about 1/2 to 3/4 miles east of Hanson Road at the bridge crossing Ferson Creek.
Kurt Frieders on 1/20
reported via e-mail: Yesterday we were blessed with the return of a
Peregrine Falcon to our property (in Aurora township), for the second
time in a week. We certainly hope we get to see more of this special bird.
We also have had two separate visits from Bald Eagles in the past
week. One time it was a pair, and the other time it was a single. All of
the ones we saw were mature birds. We also have had a Snow Goose
hanging out with the Canada Geese. Some Common Mergansers
have been flying by regularly. Our feeders continue to be visited daily by
our Red-Bellied Woodpecker, Downy Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Tree Sparrows,
Juncos, Goldfinches, House Finches, and Pine Siskins.
There were numerous reports on 1/19 via both IBET and ebird: Of the Harlequin Duck at the Kimball Street bridge in Elgin and the Barrow's Goldeneye, almost all of them just north of the Otto Engineering building in Carpentersville.
Beth Pector on 1/19 reported via IBET: First I want to thank Brendon Lake for such a well-written, action-packed post from his Sunday outing. Even without photos, I could easily picture all the bird interactions.
Based on Brendon's shrike sighting, I decided to head out to West Aurora FP today to try to find the shrike. I haven't seen one since winter last year. WAFP was a new park for me. I was there 1:15 to 2:15. My Google Maps app took me to the west termination of Indian Trail Rd. on the west side of Aurora. It's a dead end with about 4 parking spots and a very small sign saying "closed at sunset." Other than a pair of dog-walkers, I was pretty much by myself. The straight-ahead trail is what I took first, and after about 5-10 min. slow walk I spotted a shrike in a tree probably 100-150 yards south of the trail. I tried to walk closer to the shrike tree after I got around a bend, but it had flown away by then & I didn't re-sight it.
Brendon Lake on 1/18 reported via IBET: Hey everybody, I was at it again today with my mom. Was fortunate enough to make it out to see the Barrow's Goldeneye this morning. I saw it south of the Route 72 bridge, where Scott Cohrs had reported it from earlier. I viewed it from 10-10:30 this morning, and also saw the Belted Kingfisher seen by Al S. and others. Spent some time walking around Gunnar-Anderson in Geneva after that, where I saw a respectable 16 species, highlights being one American Coot, four Cedar Waxwings, three Pine Siskins (feeding along the creek in the ravine) and a Red-Tailed Hawk. Finally, I hoped that the third time was going to be the charm for me and attempted once again to find the Northern Shrike at Aurora West FP. This time I was finally successful, as I found it hunting along the trail in the stretch that is north of the model airplane field. There were other good birds here as well, such as nine more Pine Siskins and a Bald Eagle that put on a show with one of the two Red-Tailed Hawks seen. I saw two large raptors flying together, which turned out to be the Bald Eagle I had seen fly over earlier, and one Red-Tailed Hawk. The Bald Eagle was in pursuit of the Red-Tailed Hawk! It was an outstanding show of maneuverability, and the eagle really held its own! I had always seen the chase happen the other way around (Red-Tailed after the eagle) so this was an unexpected treat. Ultimately, it seemed the eagle was interested in what the Red-Tailed Hawk had with it, as the hawk finally released whatever it had (which dropped out of its talons in three pieces) and the eagle then dove after what was dropped, giving up the pursuit of the hawk. Fascinating to watch!
Joe Lill on 1/18 reported via IBET: It seems that Al's batch of birders was the first and last to see it today. A number of birders combed the area from Algonquin to south of the main St. bridge in West Dundee with no luck. The highlight for some of us was a Merlin on the east side of the river, looking from the Village Squire parking lot.
Al Stokie on 1/18 reported
via IBET: Hello Bird People,
Since I was the one to find this bird I figured it would be a Red Tail or a Cooper's as Bob usually finds the "good" birds. But my find was a good one as it turned out to be an adult RED SHOULDERED HAWK & a very good, close look it was. Called Andy who was still nearby but when we lead him back the hawk had left his tree. Andy continued the search & may have re-found it later.
Scott Cohrs on 1/18 reported via IBET: The Dundee Barrow's Goldeneye is still present. It is with a group of about 30 goldeneye south of Higgins/72. Best viewed from the bridge. Thanks to Bob Erickson for relocating.
John Heneghan on 1/17 reported via IBET: A Barrows Goldeneye was seen on the Fox River near the Otto Plant (North of the Main st bridge) by Tricia and myself. It was with a large group of Goldeneyes and flew to the South over the bridge .This is the same area one was found last year by Brenden Lake.
Chris Madsen on 1/16 reported: Yesterday Carla and I began the day at the quarry in Batavia. The birds seemed to appreciate the departure of the cloud cover at about 9 AM and became much more active. Beside the requisite Bald Eagle, Canada geese, white-breasted nuthatches, goldeneye, and handful of mergansers, we saw our first-of-the-year Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Creepers, and White-throated Sparrows. Swimming with the goldeneye was what appeared to be a female with a white stripe on the head, similar to the markings of a wigeon. This bird was quite a distance away on the east side of the river. We got only bino views and photos that can be kindly described as "poor."
In the afternoon, we looked for
"snow birds" on Seavey Road west of Bliss. Horned Larks were
numerous, with a few Lapland Longspurs mixed in. We relocated south
to Lasher Road where we saw the same two birds, plus a couple of the target
bird, Snow Buntings. Also seen on Lasher, in the tree farm across
from Sauer Forest(?) Preserve, was a Northern Shrike.
Diane Hansen on 1/14 reported via e-mail: Yesterday I went to the Elgin dam to look for the Harlequin Duck.
As I first arrived I checked the dam to see if it was diving but it was not. I did find it a bit south and for the first time observed it standing on the ice on it's one good leg.
What I did observe at the dam was a lone goose right on the edge of the dam feeding. It stayed there the entire time I was there. I've never seen a goose do this before.
I also saw my first Pine
Siskins this week in South Elgin.
Liz Safanda on 1/14 reported via e-mail: I have about 40 pine siskins every day at small cage feeder right outside window, and on the ground, feasting on sunflower chips. Vying with the goldfinches. Red tailed hawk swooped by very close to house. ( in-town geneva ).
Joy Symonds on 1/12 reported via e-mail: Saw a bald eagle at 3:20pm today flying high over the city of Elgin on Kimball and Route 31, along the Fox River.
Lisa Williams on 1/6 reported
via e-mail: I was out photographing some snow scenes and heard an
unfamiliar call. I spotted a yellow-bellied sapsucker hanging off
the side of a pine tree in Golfview park. It flew to a nearby bush with
juniper berries, then into the Aurora Country Club and finally out of
sight. Seems a bit unusual to have one this far north this time of year.
Jude Vickery on 1/5 reported via IBET: A very nice looking Ross's Goose was seen just south of the Mill Street bridge in Montgomery at about 12:40. It was still there when I left.
Brendon Lake on 1/2 reported
via e-mail: I went around various areas of the county today. First off,
the Harlequin Duck is still present at Walton Island. The bird is
beginning to show male plumage characteristics and markings, making it a
young male. Taking a look at photographs of it from 22 days ago the
difference really is amazing! Doug S. had a productive day at Elburn Forest
Preserve yesterday, so I went today, finding many of the same birds. Of
note, many Pine Siskins still in the Alders, two local Red-Tailed
Hawks screaming at and dive-bombing a third unidentified buteo, and not
one but TWO Yellow-Rumped Warblers, which were at times foraging
together. Finally, late afternoon at Sauer Prairie Kame had as many as four
Northern Harriers hunting over the prairie, and five Red-Tailed
Hawks all visible at the same time on various perches around the prairie.
John Janunas on 1/2 reported
via e-mail: Got this Tundra Swan unexpectedly just after
photographing an eagle today leaving the island by the old dam in Batavia.
Chris Mussachio on 1/2
reported via e-mail: Had a couple of nice sightings this past weekend
in Dundee. Belted Kingfisher speeding by and a Sharp-Shinned Hawk
just checking out the area. Couple high flying Bald Eagles too.
Great way to start the new year. Happy New Year to all.
Doug Stotz on 1/1 reported via IBET: I went out to Kane Co. to bird this morning. At Elburn FP, I had 20 species. Highlights were ca 115 PINE SISKINS in the alders at the south end (I didn't manage to pull out any redpolls from among the siskins), 4 YELLOW-SHAFTED FLICKERS, a TUFTED TITMOUSE and a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. At Johnson's Mound, I saw a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER.
Don Lowe on 1/1 reported via IBET: The female Harlequin Duck continues in Elgin. This morning at 9:30 she was swimming under the Highland Avenue bridge dodging Mallards and ice chunks.
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