MARCH 2010 SIGHTINGS
Katherine Flynn on 3/31 reported via e-mail: You may
already know this but today when we went to Nelson Lake to see the
American White pelicans there were none to be found. There was a
constant stream of people obviously coming to see them. At the overlook a
very kind man told us that the recent prairie burn (I think 2 days ago)
smoked them out. Sounds like bad timing on the burn. He said he heard of a
sighting of them in the Sugar Grove sub-division and gave us directions
(we are new to the area).
Mark Bowman on 3/31 reported via e-mail: This is what everybody wants to look for on the RAMBLE tomorrow at Campton. My brother and I outwitted the wiley woody today at PECK FARM.
Ron Dickenson on 3/31 reported via e-mail: Batavia's Great Horned Owlets are looking less like fluff balls and more like owls.
Darrell Shambaugh on 3/30 reported via IBET: After
work today I went past Nelson Lake in Kane County. There weren't any
pelicans on the lake so I drove on by. While heading west on Seavey Road a
flock of about 60 large birds flew over, heading south. I think they were
Sandhill Cranes, based on their size, shape, and flight pattern. However,
by the time I found a safe place to pull over they had turned into 15
large, chunky, white birds, AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS. They headed
west in their typical pelican swirling pattern. I never found the Sandhill
Crane flock again.
Chris Madsen on 3/30 reported: About 50 pelicans were at Nelson Lake this morning during the WTTW filming session (see the homepage), but by 12:30 only five birds remained.
Darrell Shambaugh on 3/29 reported via IBET: I checked Oakhurst Forest Preserve in Aurora Monday afternoon. My target bird, HORNED GREBE, was there. Other birds included RING-NECKED DUCK, NORTHERN SHOVELER, MALLARD, BUFFLEHEAD, CANADA GOOSE, and AMERICAN COOT.
Yeanette Johnson on 3/29 reported via IBET: It was
very birdy at Bliss Woods FP this late morning into early afternoon. The
birds were busy about the bussiness of singing throughout the preserve. I
even witnessed a bit of nest building while watching a pair of
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE'S. It was the first time this season that I
spotted a NORTHERN FLICKER. An EASTERN PHOEBE was also a FOY
for me today. Other Bliss Woods regulars included;
Scott Cohrs on 3/29 reported via IBET: On Saturday,
I made a quick trip to Nelson Lake to check on the pelican status for the
Sunday IOS outing. Most of the birds from Saturday have been reported, but
a DC Cormorant on the lake was my first for the year. Two fly-over
Turkey Vultures were also new arrivals for me.
Yeanette Johnson on 3/29 reported via IBET: Aurora
West FP Kane Co:
Karen Lund on 3/29 reported via IBET: Met up with Nancy Kowalski [on 3/27] at Nelson Lake where we were treated to 100+ pelicans (and almost as many people due to an article in the local newspaper), many tree swallows, wigeons, ring-neckeds, lesser scaup, ruddies and coots.
Jeff Smith on 3/28 reported via IBET: On Saturday Pete Moxon and I birded parts of DuPage, Kane, Will, Grundy, and La Salle counties. We found most of our 19 duck species at Pella Ponds and Nelson Lake along with 2 grebes, Sandhill Crane, and A.W. Pelican. At Sauer Family we picked up Wilson's Snipe and both Eastern and Western Meadowlarks.
Heneghan on 3/28 reported via IBET: I was out walking around this AM
at Big Rock Forest Preserve in Kane County. In particular, I walked
through a prairie area blackened by Prescribed Fire on the East side of
the Forest Preserve. the first thing I noticed was the large numbers of
robins rumaging through the area looking for bugs and worms. I also
noticed many red winged black birds in the fields rummaging about.
On the edges of the field, I saw a few eastern bluebirds. I heard
song sparrows in the brush along the edges of the fields singing. I
was somewhat surprised to see a white breasted nuthatch fly up from
the edge of the burned area. Juncos were investigating the field
Chris Madsen on 3/27 reported: At 5 PM there were about 100 American White Pelicans on the water at Nelson Lake.
Steve Beckle on 3/27 reported via IBET: I saw three white pelicans last evening (Friday Mar 26) at Nelson Lake. They flew in from who knows where, about 6 pm, stayed toward the southeast sector of the lake, then flew away after about a half hour.
on 3/25 reported via IBET: Stopped by a couple of Preserves in the
last few days. Not too much going on, altho I did pick-up a Marsh Wren
at Pingree Grove yesterday. In addition, heard my first Spring Eastern
Bob Andrini on 3/25 reported via phone: About 50 American White Pelicans at Nelson Lake and 70 at Carson Slough. All hunkered down in the early morning. Another notable sighting: 2 Horned Grebes at Nelson.
Mark Bowman on 3/24 reported via e-mail: I saw this group of sandhills flying over near kirk road today
Ron Dickenson on 3/23 reported via e-mail: About 50 - 60 American White Pelicans landed at Nelson Lake today, stayed a short time, and then continued on north.
Bob Andrini on 3/23 reported via phone: At least 18 American White Pelicans on Nelson Lake at 10:30 this morning.
Bryan Hix on
3/22 reported via e-mail: Went out to Nelson Lake around 7am this
morning. Lots of waterfowl activity on the water. There were:
Cudworth on 3/21 reported via IBET: During my run on Snowy Saturday on
the bike path between Batavia and Fabyan Forest Preserve I spotted a
HERMIT THRUSH feeding along the riverbank where the snow hadn't
reached. The bird was on the west side of the river about where the bike
path crosses a small wooden bridge.
Sanders on 3/21 reported via IBET: early sunday afternoon, rena and
sonny cohen and i had 52 +/- white pelicans flying south toward
nelson lake. they circled twice and then they flew back north.
Bryan Hix on 3/21 reported via e-mail: Drove around west of Elgin this afternoon and saw a large raft of blue bills [Ruddy Ducks], redheads, buffleheads, ringnecks, goldeneyes, and one pied-billed grebe in the Highlands Woods sub in the various ponds. Saw a dozen+ wood ducks in Burnidge FP.
Johnson on 3/21 reported via IBET: Lisa and I were at it again today.
We started our day birding at Nelson Lake Marsh. Here is our list:
But no AMERICAN
John Heneghan on 3/21 reported via IBET: This morning, about 35 Sandhill Canes flew over at tree top level heading North. There is wetlands area east of here (Big Rock) off Rt 56 and Galena Blvd where I assume they spent the night.
We went to
Nelson Lake around noon. No pelicans. A flock of Sandhills flew
over while there. There is a hawk sitting on a nest on the west side of Rt
56 off I-88. By the time I saw it, it was not posssible to get over for a
reported on 3/20 via IBET: Nelson Lake [had in addition to the normal]
20 Coots, 4 HORNED GREBES, 2 SANDHILL CRANES, and 55
WHITE PELICANS (I counted!).
Pete Moxon on 3/20 reported via phone: Along with the other waterfowl that has been reported recently at Nelson Lake, Pete saw 4 Horned Grebes. He reported about 80 pelicans on the water. At Sauer Forest Preserve 4 Western Meadowlarks and about two dozen Rusty Blackbirds across Lasher Road. And one Northern Harrier somewhere between those two locations.
Bill Koch on
3/20 reported via e-mail: The weather has brought in some interesting
birds on the pond in my West Elgin neighborhood. There has been a male and
Bufflehead on the pond for the past 4 days. Today my son and I watched
a group of 8 Redheads land by some other birds. Those other birds
being 4 Ring-Necked Ducks, 1 Horned Grebe and 2 Common
Goldeneye. None extremely rare but it is nice to be able to see the
birds closer than usual as the main pond isn't very large.
Ken Schneider on 3/19 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I arrived at Nelson Lake just as the KCAS group departed. We walked along the northeastern corner of the lake, and heard a Field Sparrow. (We also heard and saw one yesterday at Jones Meadow Park in Batavia). We also heard but did not see an Eastern Meadowlark (in the grass just north of the silo) and an Eastern Phoebe (across Nelson Lake Road). The flock of 8 American White Pelicans dispersed along the northeast part of the lake for a while, then gathered together across from the viewing platform. An adult Bald Eagle flew over. Later, I had an adult Bald Eagle fly over Hawk's Bluff Park in Batavia. This only about a mile and a half east of Nelson Lake, so it may have been the same bird.
Johnson on 3/19 reported via IBET: Enjoyed a wonderful day of birding
Ron Dickenson on 3/19: Shared this photo of the Bald Eagle nest that John Heneghan first reported:
And these photos of the Batavia Great Horned Owls:
KCA member Linda Cox on 3/19 reported via phone: At 3PM an additional 31 American White Pelicans were circling to land at Nelson Lake.
Darrell Shambaugh on 3/18 reported via IBET: This afternoon as I was driving down Nelson Lake Road I could see something large and white on the lake. It looked like a pelican! I parked and walked out to the overlook platform to confirm that AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS were on the lake. I counted 7. There was a nice virety of ducks there too. GADWALL, AMERICAN WIDGEON, NORTHERN SHOVELER, NORTHERN PINTAIL, GREEN-WINGED TEAL, CANVASBACK (probably close to 50), REDHEAD, LESSER SCAUP, HOODED MERGANSER, and COMMON MERGANSER were scattered around the lake, There may have been others, but the view was into the sun, making it hard to see.
Suzanne Hackbarth on 3/18 reported via IBET: This morning at about 11:30am there were 8 White American Pelicans on the West side of Nelson Lake which is located in Kane County. They are arriving!!!
Johnson on 3/17 reported via IBET: A nice mix of waterfowl was seen at
[Nelson Lake] today. Here is my list:
Sue Wagoner on 3/17 reported via e-mail: I was "stalking" a Red Tail Hawks' nest at a nearby forest preserve... what I assumed was the male was flying away as I got there, and as I approached the nest, the (supposed) female flew from off the nest to a not-so-nearby tree. She looked very light-colored from far away and the only shots I got were from far away. The male soon joined her but as good parents, they would not fly back to the nest until I was quite a distance away (neither would they pose for a photo-shoot). Looking at the poor photos I did get, I am wondering if she is possibly a partial albino? Peterson Field Guide for Hawks says that they are not that uncommon. Any opinions, birders?
Darrell Shambaugh on 3/17 reported via IBET: There was an EASTERN PHOEBE at Big Rock Forest Preserve in Kane County this afternoon. I heard a SANDHILL CRANE or two calling several times but I never saw them.
Cudworth on 3/17 reported via IBET: Yesterday at noon on the Fox River
repeated bands of sandhill cranes were migrating, following the
course of the river north. They were all very high in the air on a day
marked with bright sunshine and cirrus clouds. Over a 20 minute period I
counted 5 bands of these birds moving north.
Chris Madsen on 3/17 reported: Giving further proof to the maxim that great minds think alike, I ran into Bill Koch and his daughter Ashley (sp?) last night at Ferson Creek Fen in St. Charles. Our target was American Woodcocks and our mission was a success. Guesstimating that 8 to 10 woodcocks began "peenting" at about 7:20. One wooing woodcock fluttered nearly over our heads as he began his aerial courtship. Others were heard aloft but not seen. Ferson Creek Fen is a suggested viewing location because the park remains open until 9 PM. Forest preserves in the county close at sunset, which makes watching woodcocks at dusk difficult. Ferson Creek Fen is located on Route 31, about 1.4 miles north of Main Street. After our encounter, Bill forwarded this video (produced by Eagle Optics) with tips on viewing woodcocks:
Schneider on 3/16 reported via e-mail: This morning I have been
watching a Horned Lark as it gathers nesting material (especially
grass from along our sidewalk) and keeps returning to a clump of grass in
disturbed land about 50 yards in front of our condo in North Aurora.
Another sign of Spring!
In a follow-up e-mail Ken wrote: I pulled the car up the road and parked at curb opposite nearest the nest. The female had just flown into the nest site, and the male was singing, probably while on the ground, but he flew up on a post only about 15 feet from the car and sang a couple of times. Light was bad, from behind. I was surprised at how "fat" he appeared.
Ken Schneider on 3/14 reported via e-mail: This afternoon, while checking out last year's Cooper's Hawk nest at Hawk's Bluff Park in Batavia, I encountered a pair of Song Sparrows, the first I have heard singing there since arriving from Florida last week. This one, in beautiful plumage, was very cooperative. Did see two Cooper's Hawks near the nest tree, but they did not provide me with a photo-op.
Bob Andrini on 3/13 reported via e-mail: This morning on the Batavia Quarry Park bird walk we saw our (for all of us) first Eastern Phoebe of the year.
Ed and Trudy
Vedral on 3/13 reported via e-mail: Yesterday (3/12) we saw and heard
2 Sandhill Cranes go through our yard past our kitchen window [in
Campton Hills]. They flew to the lake in Arbor Creek. Attached
is a picture of them. If you enlarge the picture, you will see what
we believe is a Green-Winged Teal on the bottom left (in the
water). It is a duck with a brown head and is smaller than a
on 3/13 reported via IBET: Stopped by two forest preserves yesterday.
Schneider on 3/12 reported via e-mail: Got a late start and Mary Lou
and I spent an hour and a half at Lippold Park. About a dozen
Goldeneyes were gathered just north of the north end of the park. Saw
some courtship posturing (heads pointing up). They were very skittish and
flew off when they saw me. Also three Common Mergansers floated by
on the current. We also tried unsuccessfully to find the Great Horned Owl
at Mooseheart, but did find an active Red-tailed Hawk nest. It is a
large platform in an oak at the edge of the ball field, readily visible
from the road, NE of the westernmost Mooseheart Road entrance before the
As of 3/12, Batavia's Great Horned Owls have at least two offspring as evidenced by this photo courtesy of Ron Dickenson:
John Heneghan on 3/11 reported via e-mail: There are a pair of eagles working a nest on Mooseheart property in a large fir on the South side of the creek on the East side of Randall. There was a male and female on the nest, the female was on the edge of the nest feeding on something, the male was on the branch above her. I had been watching the nest throughout winter, I am surprised to see the nest so far from the river and close to the traffic on Randall.
Johnson on 3/11 reported via IBET: On the way home from work today I
stopped at a few places to see what was about. In the fields North East of
the TLN building in North Aurora (Orchard Gateway & Vision Ct Roads), I
first heard and then saw two EASTERN MEADOWLARKS. The blackbirds
were not as numerous as yesterday & I was unable to pull any Rusties out
of the groups I did see. However a SONG SPARROW made an appearance
& sang his little heart out for me. AMERICAN ROBINS, CANADA GEESE,
and KILLDEER were still present in numbers.
Christopher Cudworth on 3/11 reported via IBET: While running the Fox River trail between downtown Batavia and Fabyan (west side) I chanced upon a flock of 6 singing eastern bluebirds. also in their company were three active brown creepers feeding on the rain soaked trunks of trees.
Johnson on 3/10 reported via IBET: After taking the dogs for their
morning walk at the woods I headed out to see what I could find in a
couple of spots In North Aurora.
on 3/10 reported via IBET: Took a walk with my girlfriend at Fox River
Shores this afternoon. We saw a nice mix of ducks and other birds along
the river. Park at the lot by the OTTO building on the river in
Carpentersville and walk north along the bike path until you get to a
large opening where you can view the river.
Angela A. on
3/10 reported via e-mail: Today at about 4pm I saw a number of lesser
scaup on the Fox River Trail in North Aurora, near Oak Street. Also,
there was an American Coot.
Ron Dickenson on 3/10 reported via e-mail: His Batavia pair of Great Horned Owls are now raising a youngster.
Michael Sedwick on 3/9 reported via IBET: Around 12:30 this afternoon approximately 80-100 Sandhill Cranes in two groups flew over South Elgin heading North-Northwest.
Jackie Bowman on 3/9 reported via e-mail: Birded Les Arens Preserve and Fabyan Park today. Bird of the day was a beautiful Caroline Wren at Fabyan Park, in the woods just North of the Japanese Garden.
Karen Land on 3/9 reported via IBET: I had a small group of 20 sandhills fly over [my home in Batavia] at 11:10 am today.
Walter Lutz on 3/8 reported via e-mail: Sunday 10:00 a.m. +/- over west Elgin - 30 Sandhill cranes heading N/NW
Sue Wagoner on 3/6 reported via e-mail: As people have been reporting, the Sandhill Cranes are coming, and they're not coming quietly! What a welcome sight (and sound)! This lonely fellow was at Nelson Lake Saturday 3-6 and we became personal buddies for about 10 minutes before he perhaps realized I was the wrong species and flew away.
Ginny Widrick on 3/6 reported via e-mail: Sat a.m. 3/6/10, when I took my neighbor's young grandson birding, we came across our first Robin and a Northern Waterthrush at Ferson Creek Park, where the creek meets the Fox River. Many easy to see regulars to show a new birder.
Jack Pomatto on 3/6 reported via e-mail: A welcome sign of spring passed over the west side of Elgin today, 3/6/10 , at 1:15 P.M. A flock of 30 Sandhill Cranes flew over as I was eating my lunch “outdoors”.
Debbie Satorius on 3/6 reported via e-mail: I saw 17 Sandhill Cranes over LaFox at 11:15 March 6 th. Exciting!
Johnson on 3/5 reported via IBET: Was out and about birding with Lisa
today. We walked from Les Arends FP North to Quarry Park & back. Here is
Cudworth on 3/5 reported via IBET: I cycled through the prairie at
Dick Young Forest Preserve/Nelson Lake Marsh at 4:45 to day and
sandhills were calling from the northwest corner of the marsh.
Bob Williams on 3/5 reported via IBET: A flock of about 100 Sandhill Cranes were over Huntley at 1:20 on 3/5/10. These were the first I have seen this year. We also saw our first Red-winged Blackbirds on March 1.
Ron Dickenson on 3/2 reported via e-mail: Ron Dickenson caught this Great Horned Owl on its nest today in Batavia.
Penny Gebhardt on 3/2 reported via e-mail: There was a pair of swans swimming in the Fox yesterday morning. They were about 1/2 block north of Riverside Park in St. Charles. Late morning yesterday the swans swam (say that 3 times fast!) north and have not been seen since. Perhaps we'll see again this morning?
on 3/1 reported via e-mail: Early afternoon on the 28th, along the
creek at Leroy Oakes:
This page last updated Monday May 03, 2010.
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