JANUARY 2016 SIGHTINGS
Eric Secker on 1/31 reported
via IBET: After checking a bunch of spots with Nick and then a couple
more on my own (covering every spot between Algonquin and Carpentersville),
I also checked out the river down at Judson.
Nick Barber on 1/31 reported
via IBET: I tried to send an email from Carpentersville earlier but it
bounced back. As of 1 p.m., the gull had not been relocated.
Josh Engel on 1/31 reported via IBET: Nick Barber reports that he is currently watching a good candidate for Slaty-backed Gull at Carpentersville Dam. It's flying around feeding with the other gulls. He doesn't have a camera, so it would be great if somebody could get out there to check it out and take some photos.
Justin Wrinn on 1/30 reported via IBET: This afternoon I easily found the continuing Barrow's Goldeneye along Lincoln Ave. between the gazebo and the foot bridge with a raft of about 30 Common Goldeneyes. Then I had a nice but slushy walk from Carpentersville Dam down to the Otto plant. My target Great Black-backed Gull was a no show, but I did come up with 29 species.
Better birds included American Black Duck, Hooded Merganser, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Coot, Thayer's Gull (one adult and probably one 2nd cycle), Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-throated Sparrow, and Pine Siskin. An adult Iceland Gull was seen by others while I was down river. You can see the full list here.
Gordon Garcia on 1/28
reported via e-mail: Photographed one Peregrine Falcon roosting
on the east side of the Leland Tower building in downtown Aurora on January
26th at about 3:30 p.m. It had a green band on its left leg but I could not
get a good photo of the band. Mary Hennen from the Field Museum is trying
to determine where the falcons were banded. If you are able to get a clear
look at the band please report to Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org. From the
photos I sent her she was able to determine I photographed the female and
she indicated it is actually a bicolored band with the top being black and
the bottom being green. A nesting box was installed recently on the top of
the building (east side) hoping they will nest this year.
Andrew Aldrich on 1/28
reported via IBET: Hi, all. The gull gods must have felt guilty about
me missing the Black-tailed Gull, because I have one more gull for you.
Julie Long on 1/17 reported via e-mail: I stopped today in Aurora to check for the peregrine falcons that were reported earlier in the week by Vern LaVia at the Leland Tower. I did not see any from 11 to 1130 am but did finally spot one when I went back at 4:30. It came in from the northwest and flew briefly around the tower and over the river before heading off to the southwest. That was about 4:40. I waited until 5 to see if it would return or if the other would one come in but neither one made an appearance. I was not able to look directly into the new nest box but I think I should have been able to see inside it alright. I parked in the parking lot next to the east side of the river that was accessed from E New York Ave. It took me a while to figure out the one way street situation in that area of the casino and the theater.
Al Stokie on 1/26 reported
via IBET: Hello Bird People,
Kevin Sheely on 1/25 reported
via e-mail: While walking the Fox River Trail north of Les Arends
Forest Preserve in Batavia on Sunday (01/24/2016), I observed 3 Juvenile
Bald Eagles in 1 tree. I was able to quietly watch for almost 30
minutes, from about 50 feet away on the trail.
Matthew Schmidt, Jason Newton, and Brendon Lake reported via eBird: An Iceland Gull at the Carpentersville dam.
Kenneth and Maryann Bluett on
1/24 reported via e-mail: Saw this Barred Owl on Saturday,
January 23rd, west of St. Charles.
Brendon Lake on 1/24 reported
via e-mail: This afternoon, I went to West Dundee and Carpentersville
to try to re-locate the several good gulls seen in the morning. At John
Hill Park just before 2:30, the adult Great Black-Backed Gull was
present, as was a continuing 3rd cycle Lesser Black-Backed Gull. Up
at the Carpentersville Dam, the Great Black-Backed Gull was later seen
above the dam, standing side-by-side with an adult Lesser Black-Backed
Gull, making for awesome comparisons! Great to the left, and lesser to the
Justin Wrinn on 1/24 reported
via IBET: I headed down to the southern half of Kane County this
morning after receiving a tip on the secret location of the Long-eared Owl
roost. I think I found the spot, but unfortunately I didn't find any owls
or even any sign of them. But since I was down there I figured I'd bird a
few preserves in the area. I didn't find anything extraordinary, but I did
find a couple of year birds (White-crowned Sparrow & Yellow-rumped
Warbler). Highlights below.
Chris Madsen on 1/24
reported: Participants on the walk led by
Mary Ochsenschlager this morning at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve saw a
Barred Owl, Tufted Titmouse, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Harrier, and a
Hermit Thrush along with the more mundane.
Vern LaVia on 1/24 reported via IBET: ........there's a pair of Peregrines that roost every night (for the past several years) on the white-cement ledge about 2-3 feet below the top parapet wall of the Leland Tower bldg. in downtown Aurora ( 7 South Stolp Ave, Aurora, IL 60506). They roost on the east side of bldg, so a good place to look for them from dusk to first light in the morn is from directly across the street from the Paramount Theater, near the steps of 8 East Galena Blvd.
The building's east side makes a
small "L" shape about 3/4 of the way down the east face, as you head south
with your scanning. The female (larger bird) always is in the same spot on
the east wall, just before the 'L" notch. The male (smaller) bird sits on
the foot of the "L" facing north. I should say I "presume" they are male
and female based on clear size difference. But...only time...and
Nick Barber on 1/24 reported via IBET: I had no luck with the Barrow's Goldeneye, but nice gulls along the Fox River today:
Elgin, Kimball St. spillway: 2 Thayer's Gulls - 1 adult (literally the first bird I saw when I got out of my car) and 1 first-year.
Carpentersville Dam: 2 adult Lesser Black-backed, 1 adult Iceland, 1 3rd-year Thayer's, 1 2nd-year Thayer's/Iceland.
Bill Lanning on 1/23 reported
via e-mail: Backyard in Wayne 1-23. Banded on right leg. He is here
Vern LaVia on 1/23 reported via IBET: 3 Eagles total: Had an adult eagle in downtown Aurora, perched in tree on Fox River /east bank, just south of SciTech museum....actually saw it from inside SciTech...toasty warm! Also had a 2nd adult and an Immature further south, perched near the metal bike trail bridge. Peace....good birding!
Pete Bertoncini on 1/23 reported via IBET: This morning, around 10AM, we saw a pair of bald eagles, one mature, in the trees across the river from the Gail Borden library in Elgin, Kane County.
John Heneghan on 1/22
reported via e-mail: Came home to 4 Rusty Blackbirds in the yard
this evening in Big Rock.
Sulli Gibson on 1/22 reported via IBET: I've got the continuing male Barrow's Goldeneye at 10:30am, viewing from the Otto Engineering parking lot on the east side of the river. This is just north of the Main St. bridge in Dundee (Kane Co.).
Mark Bowman on 1/21 reported
via e-mail: Today at 1:15, I spotted the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL
at the Carpentersville Dam. It flew around for about 5 minutes and then I
did not see it again. I saw Scott Cohrs and Andrew Aldrich at the Elgin Dam
off Kimbal St and there were a few THAYERS GULLS present. I did not
see the barrows goldeneye at any section that I viewed. There were a few
BALD EAGLES around at both places. A pic of the LBB attached: One way
that I was able to readily tell him from the other gulls was not only the
black back but also the left wing damage that you can see.
Justin Wrinn on 1/21 reported via IBET: I stopped by the West Dundee/Carpentersville area of the Fox River the past two mornings before work from around 7-7:30, hoping to see the Greater and Lesser Black-backed Gulls that have been reported this week. Both days combined I saw a total of one gull sp. and it was definitely neither of the two targets. So I would advise anyone going gull hunting to wait until later in the day. Now I'm just hoping they will stick around until the weekend. My consolation prize this morning was watching an adult Bald Eagle swoop down and snatch a fish from the water in the middle of a group of very uneasy Canada Geese.
Brendon Lake on 1/20 reported
via e-mail: Today, the Fox River in Carpentersville and West Dundee
rivaled the lakefront with its gull diversity. Both a Lesser
Black-Backed and an adult Great Black-Backed continued in West
Dundee today. They were both seen from John Hill Park along Lincoln Avenue
at different times. The Great Black-Backed spent a lot of time soaring
sky-high while I watched it. A 1st cycle Thayer's Gull gave killer
looks while it fished at the Carpentersville Dam as well! Other highlights
included three American Coots, four American Black Ducks, and
a Sharp-Shinned Hawk all at the dam.
Eric Secker on 1/20 reported via IBET: The GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL was still present today in Dundee at the Lincoln Ave. parking lot. It wasn't there when I arrived but had returned when I made a second visit. Brendon Lake also had a third cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull at that location and at least one Thayer's Gull up by Carpentersville Dam.
Carl Giometti on 1/20 reported via IBET: ...the continuing barrow's goldeneye was about 150 yards south of the carpentersville dam this morning.
Chris and Jackie Bowman on
1/19 reported via e-mail: After reading Keith McMullen's report on
Sunday and Paul Mayer's report Monday, we took off for a Fox River Dam Tour
this morning. Starting in Geneva and following Rt 31 North, we were happy
to re-locate the Lesser Black-backed Gull in Carpentersville, just
south of the Otto Plant at 11:00am, Tuesday, 1/19/16.
Paul Mayer on 1/18 reported
via e-mail: Today at the Kimbel Street bridge in Elgin were four
species of gulls. Many Herrings, a few Ring-billeds,
one Lesser Black-backed and one Thayer’s. And it was cold!!!
(-13F wind chill). Unfortunately I was not able to get pictures of the
Lesser Black-backed but the Thayer was very cooperative.
Marion Miller on 1/17
reported via e-mail: Rich and I enjoyed watching the 15 Eagles
perched and fishing in the waters by the water treatment plant in South
Elgin on Sunday late afternoon. Trumpeter Swans and Mute Swans
continue there. An unexpected pair of Pied-billed Grebes swam from
the warm waters near the outlet. Towards the end of our observation many
Gulls came flying in, with
Herring Gull being the majority but we did pick out one Thayer's.
Common Goldeneyes were also flying in for the evening.
Keith McMullen on 1/17
reported via IBET: Barrow's Goldeneye feeding with Commons
in Fox River, south several blocks of Otto Building spot, along Lincoln
Avenue at pull off overlooking River at John Hill Park. This appears to be
the spot Jeff Sanders mentioned from the other day! Lots of Commons at the
Otto spot and 100+ big gulls, mostly Herring but an adult Lesser
Black-backed was nice as was a near adult Thayer's.
Chris and Jackie Bowman on
1/16 reported via e-mail: We continue to enjoy views of a visiting
Common Redpoll under our backyard feeders since Wednesday, 1/13/16.
Tim Balassie on 1/15 reported via e-mail: Stopped by the Secretary of State's offices in Elgin today, and observed an impressive 28 Bald Eagles south along the River. This exceeds by 10 the largest number of Eagles I've seen at this location. Also included were 2 Trumpeter Swans, and 1 Mute Swan.
Rich Miller on 1/15 reported
via e-mail: Marion and I strolled through the woods along the creek at
Gunnar Anderson FP this morning. Good activity and good looks. Here are two
cuties we saw. The WHITE-THROATED SPARROW and WINTER WREN.
Ted Hartzler on 1/15 reported via eBird: Seeing a Thayer's Gull Friday morning on the Fox River at Otto Engineering in Carpentersville.
Diane Hansen on 1/15 reported
via e-mail: I am fully enjoying my new camera which gives me more zoom
and have been checking the Fox River in South Elgin just above the dam
everyday this week. Most days I have observed 2 bald eagles, one
adult and 1 immature. Today I was only able to find an adult perched in a
tree on the west side of the river. Yesterday I saw both so the picture of
the immature bird is from yesterday.
Jeffrey Sanders on 1/14
reported via IBET: ...after missing the barrow's 3 times I
finally found it at jack hill park on the south edge of Carpentersville.
Julie Long on 1/11 reported via e-mail: The very cold weather finally brought in a Common Redpoll to my feeders [in St Charles] this morning along with American tree sparrows, a white throated sparrow, many pine siskens, plus the usual feeder birds. Purple finches haven't reappeared yet.
Chris Madsen on 1/10
reported: Carla and I braved winter's chill this morning for a walk at
Jon Duerr Forest Preserve. Given the temperature, the birds were more
active than anticipated. We hoped to find one of the reported Winter Wrens,
but whiffed. Most of what we saw was what one would expect, including one
perched adult and a flyover juvenile Bald Eagle. Most fun were our
first-of-year Ruby-crowned Kinglets. We came upon these
busy-as-a-bee birds about five times, one of those times we had two on
opposite sides of the path. This guy was both displaying his ruby-ness and
Marilyn Bell on 1/10 reported
via IBET: The Barrows Goldeneye was with Common Goldeneyes
in the usual spot on the Fox River in Carpentersville this afternoon. It
was seen from the small parking lot just north of the factory about 3 p.m.,
north off of Lincoln Avenue.
Justin Wrinn on 1/8 reported
via IBET: This morning instead of my usual Burnidge morning, I decided
to go to Binnie FP to look for Redpolls. I only got poor looks at a small
flock flying away, so I plan to go back at some point to try and see the
large feeding flocks others have been reporting. But on the way there, I
got a nice surprise. As I was driving past Advocate Sherman Hospital on
Randall Rd around 7AM, a Short-eared Owl flew west across the road
right in front of my car. It looked like it was heading towards the small
wooded area on the west side of Randall opposite the hospital.
Julie Long on 1/5 reported via IBET: I thought I would verify that there was a varied thrush for a week in ST Charles in late Nov/early Dec. It was at a friend of mine's house and was first seen by a teenage daughter who thought it was a weird robin. That was on Friday, Nov. 27. I was out of town until Sat night so was not able to get there until Sunday, Nov. 29 although Chris Cudworth saw it on Sat. Nov 28 to verify its ID. The home is on a private street with limited access and parking. They generously allowed us to view it from inside the house since it was not visible from the street. It was eating seeds under the bird feeders, close to the house. I visited with limited numbers of birders until Friday, Dec. 4 when it was last seen that morning and it has not been seen since.
The yard was perfect habitat, with very large evergreens, fruit trees, shrubs, native grasses. It is a large property that abuts Ferson Creek.
Eric & Sally Secker on 1/4
reported via IBET: We had a productive afternoon checking the Fox River
in West Dundee and Carpentersville.
Justin Wrinn on 1/3 reported via IBET: There was an adult Iceland Gull at Carpentersville Dam late this morning, flying around the dam with many Ring-billed Gulls and a few Herring Gulls. It was pointed out to me by Oliver Burrus (who posted a couple of photos on eBird) and his father. I relocated what I thought was the same bird around 2PM, but it didn't look quite the same - mainly I couldn't see any dark in the primaries like I had earlier. It looked more like a Glaucous. But i can't say for sure at this point. It landed on the ice just south of the island north of the dam with a bunch of other gulls. I took some digiscope pics, and I will post tonight if I looks like it may have actually been a Glaucous or a second Iceland rather than the same Iceland. And then I slipped on the ice on the way back to my car, cutting my nose and breaking my tripod (fortunately not my scope). But it was still worth it to see the bird...
Bob Andrini on 1/3 reported
via e-mail: Here's one of the highlight birds seen on the KCA New
Year's Day walk at Hickory Knolls Natural Area.
Chris Madsen on 1/2 reported: On a swing out west after lunch today, Carla and I came across 15 Common Redpolls feeding in the alders on the south end of Elburn Forest Preserve; a flock of about 100 Snow Buntings (and to our observations, only snow buntings) in a field at the northwest corner of the intersection of Meredith and McNulty roads; and maybe 12 Horned Larks on Seavey Road, close to Route 47.
Al Stokie on 1/2 reported via
IBET: Main target today was the returning Goldeneye in West Dundee. Bob
Erickson & I arrived at 7:10 a.m. to find no Goldeneyes near the Rt 72
bridge where I had seen the Barrow's the previous 2 years. Next to the
footbridge area where we saw 12 Goldeneye but no Barrow's. Then we
found another group of 10 Goldeneye farther north but no Barrow's. After
looking for 35 min we decided to check by the dam & then return if need be.
Bob was closing up the scope tripod when 2 Goldeneye landed right in front
of us & one was the male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE. Two minutes later & we
would have been gone so once in a while I have good luck & today was that
kind of day. We then checked the dam area & found another 25-30 Goldeneye,
even more than in the area with the Barrow's. The Barrow's was seen by us
right by that small parking lot north of the footbridge.
Regina McNulty on 1/2 reported via IBET: [At 1 PM] Barrows goldeneye is still along the fox river. Easily seen from the parking lot of the sheet metal company on lincoln avenue west dundee. With a bunch of common goldeneyes and mallards
Rich Miller on 1/2 reported
via e-mail: Just two of the birds spotted during the first of 12
monthly [KCA Nelson Lake] walks. We're off to a good start.
Joe Lill on 1/2 reported via IBET: The Fox River Barrow's Goldeneye was present at 10:00 this morning, easily viewed (from the car!) from the sheet metal company parking lot just north of the apartments on the west side of the Fox River in West Dundee. A fine lifer for my daughter, Caitlin!
An immature Bald Eagle
flew south just over the river, seen from the Village Squire parking lot.
Walter Lutz on 1/1 reported via e-mail: I discovered yesterday Binnie Forest Preserve just west of Randall Road (in unincorporated Dundee I think) is a great place to find Common Redpolls. Saw many feeding on the seeds of different trees in a couple areas. Per Ebird in past years they've also been seen there in large numbers.
Joan Norek on 1/1 reported
via IBET: A further comment on the Barrow's Goldeneye. Today it
was a very easy find. It is associating with the Common Goldeneyes
and there are only about 25-30 of them. So if it is not with one small
group it will be seen with the other small group.
Scott Latimer on 1/1 reported via IBET: There is a N Shrike along the entrance road from the west entrance [of Fermi]. It was seen in trees along road about 1/2 way from entrance and the guard gate. Actively flying from tree to tree. Happy New Year
Joan Norek on 1/1 reported via IBET: Barrow's [Goldeneye] present this morning in West Dundee.
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