JUly 2008 Sightings

Chris Bowman on 7/29 reported via e-mail: Spotted 3 uncommon birds at Campton Hills this mourning (7/29 Tuesday): female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Orchard Oriole, and an interacting pair of Yellow-throated vireos.

Jeffrey Sanders on 7/27 reported via IBET: at 11:55 a.m. on sunday, bonnie duman, rob erickson, darrell shambaugh and myself observed a fairly close swainson's hawk at the "chapman road bend". it was on the north side of the road and a lifer for bonnie.

Jeff Smith on 7/27 reported via IBET: After work Saturday I ventured up to northern Kane Co in search of the Swainson's Hawks. I met up with Vic Berardi and Jill Anderson and later with Pete Moxon along Chapman Rd (south of Burlington off Peplow Road). Just before noon Pete first spotted the bird flying up from the woodlot to the east. We got nice looks as the bird soared higher and nearer. Soon a second bird appeared and we watched their interactions. After a while we'd lose them then they'd reappear back in the same area.

Gordon Garcia on 7/26 reported via IBET: The (Osprey) nest was completely empty for the first time in several months. All three chicks were off flying today. Because of there distance it was hard to tell adults from juvenile birds. Saw four birds at one time. Looked like adult male had a fish on top of one of the lights.

Heidi Hohman on 7/26 reported via e-mail: 42 species at Jon J (Duerr FP on Friday) and then we went to view the osprey nest (at the Bartlett Little League diamonds off Route 25). When we arrived 4 birds were on the nest, and one adult was on a far light pole. Then the Mom flew off the nest to another light pole, and then 2 of the chicks flew off to different light poles. It was like they were enticing the last chick to another light pole. The chick in the nest was stretching his wings and jumping up and actually getting “lift” under his wings but he just was not ready to go. The chicks are almost as large as the adults now, so it helped having (a) scope to tell the adult from the juveniles...

Christopher Cudworth on 7/23 reported via IBET: In a 1-hour visit to Campton Hills (Park) on Campton Hills Road west of St. Charles (Kane County) the following species were present. I went in search of Summer Tanager but had no luck. Here's what was heard and seen: (notable species)

Eastern Bluebird (6: male and females at breeding boxes)
Alder Flycatcher (1: singing)
Great Crested Flycatcher (4)
Wood Pewee
Downy Woodpecker (6)
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (2: 1 singing and hunting caterpillars)
Orchard Oriole: 2 females
Red-Eyed Vireo (4 singing)
Indigo Bunting (12 singing)
Purple Martin (15-20 flying_)
Tree Swallow (6)
Barn Swallow (2)
Flicker (4)
Red bellied woodpecker (1)
Goldfinch (many males and females)
Cowbird (4)
Field Sparrow (4, one feeding young)
Song Sparrow (5)

Gordon Garcia on 7/23 reported via IBET: At least one of the three Osprey chicks in Bartlett (Kane County) was flying (Tuesday) afternoon. It would make a loop around the baseball fields then return to the nest. Around 4:00 p.m. it flew to a light standard two baseball fields away from the nest and was perched on top of the light. The female flew to another light pole near to the chick. Both were perched on the lights when I left. Male came and went a few times.

Wes Serafin on 7/22 reported via IBET: Two adult light morph Swainson's Hawks were seen at the same location at the bend on Chapman Rd. They were seen about 250yards east of the road. I saw them about 11AM. These were scope only views but I was able to see one hawk flying with a mouse/vole followed by another probably to feed hungry young.

I dipped on the Phalarope at the Sauer Prairie in Kane county.

Erik Moran on 7/22 reported via e-mail: In our backyard in Hampshire, we have spotted an indigo bunting and a rose-breasted grosbeak.

Greg Neise on 7/21 reported via IBET: Randy and I went looking for the Swainson's hawk near Burlington, IL...which we found. A Google Map link for the hawk, notes and some photographs from our day can be found at this link. We also looked for the Wilson's phalopes, which we did not find at Sauer family prairie. Lastly a few insect pictures from the day are at this link.

Amar Ayyash on 7/19 reported via IBET: Steve Ambrose and I drove out to Kane County today in search of "the" Swainson's Hawk found by Vic. We tried what others have been doing and decided to drive east on Chapman. After about 10 minutes of casually looking for the bird a VESPER SPARROW caught our attention on a phone line. As I was waiting for Steve, who was taking photos of the Vesper, I looked up and no more than 200 ft from my head sat a SWAINSON'S HAWK perched atop a tree on the south side of the road where Champan comes to its first bend. We observed the bird for about 10 minutes where it hovered, dove on its prey, carried it across a field and landed in a tree. It was in this tree line that we discovered ANOTHER bird (also an adult). The birds seemed very comfortable and we scoped them out for about another 15 minutes in front of a local farmer's house with his permission.

We then made a stop at Sauer Prairie which is about 15 miles south of the Swainson's spot. We found high waters but still 10 species of shorebirds. Here is what we observed:



This spot should be great for shorebirds in about a month if we don't get much more rain.

Karen Lund on 7/18 reported via IBET: I drove to Burlington after work today and met up with Mike Baum at the cemetery on Peplow & Chapman. Mike had already been watching for 30 minutes with no luck. After 15 minutes or so, we followed Joe Lill's advice and drove east on Chapman, around the bend in the road to the cornfield. Mike spotted the (Swainson's Hawk) perched in a dead tree in the tree line behind the cornfield. It stayed perched the entire time we were there. We left around 6:45.

Donnie Dann on 7/17 reported via IBET: This morning Joel Greenberg and I birded the area south of Burlington in Kane County where SWAINSON'S HAWKS have been reported. (W)e had phenomenal looks (directly overhead) of an adult SWAINSON'S HAWK. This was from Chapman Rd, about a half mile east of the Peplow Rd intersection (and cemetery).

Joe Lill on 7/17 reported via IBET: I made the trip to Burlington today to see if I could see my first IL Swainson's in over a decade. Following Vic's directions, I stopped at the cemetery at Peplow and Chapman, directly south of Burlington. He's right; that's a perfect place from which to look as it's elevated and safe. I looked around for about three minutes and re-read Vic's post. I noticed that they'd seen the hawk to the east, and, seeing nothing up in the air and being without Vic's well-honed hawkwatch patience, I proceeded to drive east on Chapman. Within a half mile the road curves to the right and there's a cornfield on your left side. I had one Swainson's soaring over that field.

Bob Andrini on 7/16 reported via e-mail: A friend called to report a Black-crowned Night Heron just south of the footbridge in Fabyan park. The bird was on the west side of the river near the Japanese Garden and was sighted today (Wed).

Bruce Heimer on 7/15 reported via IBET: Andy Sigler and myself got to see the Swainson's Hawk this afternoon at about 3:00. We went to the same spot Vic Berardi suggested in his post (see below). We got great looks, as the bird was at tree level most of the time. Thanks for the post Vic!

An anonymous poster on 7/15 reported via e-mail: Great Horned Owl sighting. North Aurora, Waterford Oaks subdivison on Abington Lane, on rooftop, 1am on 7/14/08. Heard it first, then looked out my window and saw perched the neighbors roof. It was an adult by the sound. It vocalized for about 10 minutes then flew away but could still hear calling off in the distance for quite some time.

Chris Bowman on 7/15 reported via e-mail: 7/14 (monday) at about 3 p.m. spotted a Black-billed Cuckoo fly up from a bush along the trail on the east side of Peck Farm Lake adjacent to the small woodsy area. It flew to a low dead branch about 20 yards away where it sat in clear view for about 3 minutes. Went back this a.m. (Tuesday 7/15) but didn't see him again ---- However, I heard some unusual noisy bird sounds from a patch of cattails down the hill from the baseball fields, about 100 yards away from the northeast corner of Peck Farm Lake; investigation yielded a pair of Marsh Wrens, which were very vocal; bouncing around a visible nest in the south border of the small cattail cluster (larger cattail cluster is toward the lake).

Vic Berardi on 7/13 reported via IBET: An adult Swainson's Hawk was observed several times over a 3 hour period this afternoon by my wife and I approximately one mile south of the town of Burlington in western Kane County. It was observed from a cemetery located at the corner of Peplow and Chapman Roads. Peplow is the road that leads south out of Burlington. The driveway in the cemetery offers a slightly elevated viewing condition, which is ideal. This is the best and perhaps the safest location to view from as all the roads in the area have no shoulders and it can be very dangerous to pull over to the side. I highly recommend bringing a scope.

Although the bird was soaring very high to the east of us most of the time it did come fairly close a couple of times for some ID type shots. They can be viewed at: Swainson's Hawk photos.

Karen Land on 7/11 reported via IBET: I had not seen a hummer in about 3 weeks but yesterday afternoon, about 20 minutes before we had a major storm come through in it's first wave, a (Ruby-throated Hummingbird) came and fed off a hanging fuchsia plant outside my window.

Christopher Cudworth on 7/10 reported via IBET: South of the Fabyan Bridge and Fabyan Forest Preserve on the border of Geneva and Batavia, there is a pair of EASTERN BLUEBIRDS that annually set up shop in the open woods (oaks and hickory) that is part of the restored shelf savannah the Kane County Forest Preserve District has worked to restore. Last night the male was singing as I ran past. They have been heard the last couple weeks on many occasions.
There is also generally a pair that works the east side of the preserve. They like the woods south of the Indian statue and the parking lot.

Pete Moxon and Jeff Skrentny on 7/6 reported via phone: During a late Sunday morning trip to Sauer Forest Preserve they observed 1 female and 2 male Wilson's Phalaropes, 3 Short-billed Dowitchers, 20 Lesser Yellowlegs, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 19 Least Sandpipers, and numerous Spotted Sandpipers and Killdeer. Also seen, were 2 Vesper Sparrows, a fly-by Peregrine Falcon, and many Eastern and Western Meadowlarks.

Bob Montgomery on 7/4 reported via IBET: On Thursday a visit to Sauer Forest Preserve, Kane County turned up some early shorebirds and a very protective male Wilson's Phalarope.

The Phalarope was flying low above my head and landing on the mud flat about 50 feet away as I tried to get out of his "territory" or away from nest or young. It followed me for a 100 yards or so before it settled down. I did not see any young or other phalarope as was reported earlier by Eric Walters.

Among the early migrants was an alternate (breeding) plumaged American Golden Plover (my earliest/latest record!). Bohlen - Birds of Illinois reports summer records from June 26 Alexander Co.; late spring from June in Alexander County; early fall records July 5-19 in Alexander Co., July 1 Chautauqua National Wildlife Refuge, Urbana July17, average arrival Chicago August 25.

More normal arrival date for the following: 9-12 Lesser Yellowlegs, 1 Solitary Sandpiper and 4 Least Sandpipers. Local breeding species were Spotted Sandpipers 6-8, 30 plus Killdeer.

Waterfowl included broods of Mallards, pair of Blue-winged Teal and a couple of other broods which were hidden in emergent bulrushes.

Land birds breeding included 20+ Dickcissel, Savanna Sparrows and both Meadowlarks.

Eric Secker on 7/2 reported via IBET: I went out to Nelson Lake on Mon. evening around dusk on Monday. We parked in the new lot off of Main St. and walked the westernmost loop through the grassland (gravel trail and paved bike trail). Birds present included 16 GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS, 14 HENSLOW'S SPARROWS, 20-30+ DICKCISSELS (not closely counted), 2 GREAT HORNED OWLS calling from the woods, and a flyby AMERICAN WOODCOCK.


This page last updated Thursday October 11, 2012.

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