Pete Moxon on 7/27 reported via text message: Wednesday @ Nelson Lake: no Stilt Sandpiper, either gone or out of view. Shorebirds seen include one Baird's Sandpiper, 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 3 Lesser Yellowlegs, 7 Solitary Sandpipers, 8 Spotted Sandpipers, more than 50 Least Sandpipers, and 14 Killdeers. Also seen, one Caspian Tern.

Pete Moxon on 7/26 reported via text messages: At Sauer FP this morning, a Baird's Sandpiper and Short-billed Dowitcher. Also found among the shorebirds, 6 Pectoral and 5 Least Sandpipers, a Semipalmated Sandpiper, 4 Spotted Sandpipers, a solitary Solitary Sandpiper, and 22 Killdeers. Pete also had an Indigo Bunting and Ruby-throated Hummingbird, both sharing the same bush in the middle of the property - one of about 5 bushes on the site.

No shorebirds at Carson Slough/Denny Road Marsh.

At Nelson Lake, a Stilt Sandpiper and 2 Baird's Sandpipers along with Least, Semipalmated, and Pectoral sandpipers.

Bob Meierhans on 7/22 reported via e-mail: These photos of Sandy and his family were taken about 3 p.m. today. The top one shows "like father; like offspring" as our resident Sandhill Crane appears to have taught his chicks to follow his pattern over the last four years of coming to my office window. The bottom photo gives you a better look at the slight difference in size between the two chicks on the left and their parent on the right. The chicks fly well now, so I'm counting the days before they leave our area. Their departure last year was while I was on vacation in mid August. I'll be here this year...waiting and watching.

Sandhill Crane family

Sandhill Crane family photo courtesy Bob Meierhans

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Crane colts and parent (R) photo courtesy Bob Meierhans

Laura Greenwald on 7/20 reported via e-mail: I live in Heritage West Subdivision which is right south of the Eagles old nest off of Randall Road. It is Wed at 8:00 and 2 Eaglets are hanging around the rooftops of our houses here. I will try to take a picture. Would be cool if parents and juveniles would meet up????

Sue Wagoner on 7/17 reported via e-mail: Two female Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have been visiting my red Bergamot flowers several times a day. One of them, as I was sitting with my camera in a chair, flew toward me, landed in a bush about 4 feet away, checked me out and flew on. Guess I'm part of the environment now!

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

I also "shot" this young Downy Woodpecker that frequents my yard- I have noticed he has distinctly brown feathers on his wings- has anyone else ever noticed this in a young bird?

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Marion Miller on 7/16 reported via e-mail: Rich and I were fortunate to get some great views of a flying Swainson's Hawk during a Saturday outing in Burlington. We first saw him coming over the tree line at a distance and he slowly flew towards us then over our heads as he hunted the fields.

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk photo courtesy Rich Miller

Kurt Frieders on 7/14 reported via e-mail: Yesterday afternoon I had a pair of Red-Shouldered Hawks fly over my house (in Aurora township) really low. They were both very vocal, and gave me several very good looks at them as they were gliding around. We have had a very nice variety of hawks in the yard before, but never these. I could not get over how vocal they were even while being undisturbed. Hopefully I'll get to see them again, but I know the backyard birds won't miss them.

Chris Madsen on 7/13 reported: Twenty birders on tonight's walk at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve got good looks at the evening's target bird - the Clay-colored Sparrow.

Clay-colored Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Mark Bowman on 7/13 reported via e-mail: At 6 PM today I looked up off my patio in the backyard and a BROAD-WINGED HAWK went cruising over.

Ken Schneider on 7/13 reported via e-mail: Yesterday I photographed three Hooded Mergansers on the lake at Jones Meadow Park (Mooseheart & White Oak in North Aurora). They were rather distant and the light was poor. They were still there this morning, but were keeping to the cove at the NE end of the lake, which is surrounded by private property, so I did no better. This morning, along the path that runs south along the eastern side of Nelson Lake, while hoping to find a Marsh Wren, I had close looks at a Swamp Sparrow. It had a deformity, growth or possibly a parasite on its right foot, but it appeared healthy and was singing at times. No Marsh Wrens were heard or seen.

Hooded Mergansers

Hooded Mergansers photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Swamp Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Pete Moxon on 7/12 reported via phone: An unnamed friend reported a total of three Common Moorhens with 9 chicks at the Elburn slough (the fluddle across Route 38 from the entrance to Elburn Forest Preserve).

Pete Moxon on 7/10 reported via text message: With Al Stokie, Mike Trehan, and Bob Erickson at Sauer Forest Preserve: 1 Stilt Sandpiper, 2 Greater Yellowlegs, 9 Lesser Yellowlegs, and 11 Least Sandpipers.

At the fluddle on the south side of Route 38 west of Meredith Road: 1 Short-billed Dowitcher along with Lesser Yellowlegs, Least, Spotted, and Solitary Sandpipers.

At the Peck Road fluddle north of Route 38:  Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs and Pectoral Sandpiper.

On Chapman Road outside of Burlington: Swainson's Hawk and a Sora in a fluddle along the road.

At Nelson Lake: Lots of mudflats due to low water levels resulted in at least 85 shorebirds, not counting LOTS of Killdeer. The shorebirds include 6 Stilt Sandpipers, 12 Pectoral Sandpipers, 1 probable White-rumped Sandpiper, 2 Solitary and 2 Spotted sandpipers, 3 Greater Yellowlegs, 10 Lesser Yellowlegs, and 60 peeps, most of which sounded to be Least Sandpipers.

Yeanette Johnson on 7/7 reported via IBET: Had a fantastic walk through Aurora West this evening! Stayed on the gravel path that meanders through the center of the preserve all the way across Hankes Rd & back to the Verona Ridge Subdivision parking area. Here are some of the highlights from the trek:


Ken Schneider on 7/7 reported via e-mail: At the north entrance of Nelson Lake around 8:00 this morning I heard two Marsh Wrens singing in the marsh, and an Eastern Screech Owl calling from the trees behind. I finally heard (but failed to see) four singing Henslow's Sparrows along the west gravel trail south of the mound. Heard two singing Sedge Wrens and did get a distant photo of one. Bobolinks were quite numerous along the southern part of the paved trail. I saw one flock of 8, mostly adult males, and two pairs that appeared to be on territories along the north side of the path, and another near the Audubon Bridge. One pair drove away a meadowlark. Got nice close views of a pair of Field Sparrows, a Savannah Sparrow and several Grasshopper Sparrows. Many Dickcissels, goldfinches, yellowthroats, Song Sparrows, Indigo Buntings and Red-wings. There was one Eastern Bluebird near the parking lot. Two Caspian Terns flew over the prairie towards the lake. Saw 27 species in all.


Bobolink photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Sedge Wren

Sedge Wren photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Rich Miller on 7/7 reported via e-mail: What was that? A Hummingbird? A Bumblebee? Neither. It was a Snowberry Clearwing Hummingbird Moth! This visitor was hovering over the Verbena in our hanging basket this evening.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth photo courtesy Rich Miller

Andrew Aldrich on 7/7 reported via IBET: Tuesday, 7/5/11

Hello! I birded Nelson Lake & Aurora West FP with Yeanette & Lisa this morning. Had the expected birds on the west side of Nelson Lake with highlights being several singing HENSLOW'S SPARROWS and good looks at quite a few GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS. Only one m/f pair of BOBOLINKS were out. COMMON YELLOWTHROATS & DICKCISSELS were everywhere.

The pair of nesting BELL'S VIREOS at Aurora West were out and about. We also had a THIRD Bell's Vireo across the street at the Culver picnic area. Tried for Clay-colored Sparrow but came up empty handed. We did have an ORCHARD ORIOLE & a singing BROWN THRASHER near the plane field, though. Finished the day with 55 species.

Marion Miller on 7/4 reported via e-mail: Took a pleasant, almost bug free, early morning walk on the far limestone path west of Nelson Lake. Many of the grassland species were present. Our target bird was the Henslow’s Sparrow. Thanx to Yeanette J and Sue W, who had pointed out the area where we could hear the singing Henslow earlier in the week, we were able to quickly relocate a signing Henslow today. After a short wait he popped up among the grasses. We got great scope looks and a few photos. Also seen during the walk to the bridge and back were: Common Yellowthroats, Dickcissels, Bobolinks, Eastern Meadowlarks, Grasshopper Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, Eastern Phoebes, and American Goldfinches. Sedge Wren and Pheasants were heard. Also seen was the American Farmer’s Zeppelin; sorry we did not get a shot!

Henslow's Sparrow

Henslow's Sparrow photo courtesy Rich Miller


This page last updated Thursday October 11, 2012.

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