John Duerr on 5/31 reported via e-mail: At an Aurora West ramble on May28:

Gt-crested flycatcher
Grasshopper Sparrow
Gt Egret
Henslow Sparrow
Bell's Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Yellow Warbler
Orchard Oriole
Wh-brested Nuthatch
Common Yellowthroat
Alder Flycatcher
Clay-colored Sparrow
Willow Flycatcher
Sedge Wren
Savannah Sparrow

Christopher Cudworth on 5/31 reported via IBET: In my father's backyard in St. Charles/Kane County, a Blackpoll was singing in some junk trees on the neighbor's property.

Karen Lund on 5/30 reported via IBET: Met up with Dave Johnson & Bob Erickson at [the Melms and O'Brien fluddle] this afternoon. We saw 16 dunlin, 20 semipalmated sandpiper, 4 semipalmated plover (new arrivals), 3 white-rumped sandpiper, 1 spotted sandpiper, 1 greater yellowlegs, 1 pectoral sandpiper, at least 3 least sandpiper, 3 brewer's blackbirds and several bank swallows.

Eric Walters on 5/29 reported via IBET: I was present at [the Melms and O'Brien roads] fluddle midday and had the following:

20+ Semipalmated Sandpipers
20 Dunlin
4 White-rumped Sandpipers
2 Lesser Yellowlegs
1 Pectoral Sandpiper
1 Least Sandpiper
pr. of Blue-winged Teal

The best find I had were 3 Brewer's Blackbirds (pair + another male). I kept hearing their flight calls and was initially confused as I was quite surprised at their presence. But then I tracked them down in the tilled soil area on the south side of the ponds, where they had landed and were feeding. Later they moved to the edge of the north pond, where they continued feeding, then ultimately moved into the tilled farmland immediately to the north of the northern pond, where I took some photos. After another 10 minutes, I saw the pair get up and fly northeast for at least .25 mile and drop down in what looked like untilled farmland. With such a late date, it could suggest this species is nesting in the area (which would be a Kane County 1st breeding record) and the general area around these ponds sure mirrors alittle of their preferred habitat out West. On the other hand, I was surprised the pair flew that far away. It's worth keeping an eye out for this 3 (or more) Brewer's if you bird these ponds. It's worth noting grackles and red-winged Blackbirds were also sharing this same habitat, although none of these species interacted with the Brewer's.

Karen Lund on 5/29 reported via IBET: The same species of shorebirds were present at [the fluddle at the intersection of Melms and O'Brien roads] late this afternoon, plus greater yellowlegs and least sandpipers. There was about the same number of dunlin as yesterday, but twice the number of peeps. By the way, this fluddle is on the northeast corner of the t-intersection.

Karen Lund on 5/28 reported via IBET: I stopped by [the intersection of Melms and O'Brien roads] after work. Alas, no phalaropes of any kind. However........there were 33 dunlin, 14 semipalmated sandpipers, 1 spotted sandpiper, 2 lesser yellowlegs, 7 blue-winged teal, a pair of shovelers and a pair of wood ducks.

Darrell Shambaugh on 5/28 reported via IBET: Thursday afternoon there were 3 SANDHILL CRANES on the west side of Route 47 near the north entrance to Waubonsee Community College.

Bob Fisher on 5/28 reported via IBET: I made a comprehensive search of all the fluddles at [Prairie Green Wetlands] between 10-11:30 AM on Thursday and was unable to locate the ibis reported as reappearing at that site earlier Thursday morning.

The most interesting bird I found was a lone Buff-breasted Sandpiper foraging in the short grass and weeds just northwest of the big dead tree. The Buffie was nowhere near the fluddles.

Mike Madsen on 5/28 reported via IBET: Andy Sigler called this morning to report that he and Joel Greenberg had found RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in a flooded field in the northwest corner of Kane County, near the intersection of Melms Road and Obrien Road.

Pete Moxon on 5/27 reported via phone: While checking the area this evening for suitable habitat for the White-faced Ibis that was flushed earlier today, Pete located a fluddle just south of Route 38 and just east of the Fox Valley Aero Club model airplane field. After spotting Semipalmated Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, and Black-bellied Plovers at the fluddle, Pete saw an Ibis fly by to the west of the field, heading south. He sped down to the Prairie Green Wetland site and from Peck Road spotted an Ibis in the middle of the three north-south ponds just at nightfall. Although he couldn't get close enough to make a positive ID before complete darkness, Pete assumes the bird has to be the White-faced Ibis.

Bill Koch on 5/27 reported via e-mail: I visited Burnidge for a quick late lunch today. Just did the paved 1/2 mile loop. The Wood Ducks have done well this year. One hen had 11 young and another had 13.

Not many birds singing today in the woods. I did find 1 Mourning Warbler and 2 Canada Warblers in an Oak tree. Seemed odd to find these birds high in an Oak. Heard at least one other Mourning Warbler singing in the area. I watched the same tree for 10 minutes and it produced a Yellow & Magnolia Warbler, 2 American Redstart, 1 White Breasted Nuthatch and about 10 Cedar Waxwings.

Mark Bowman on 5/27 reported via e-mail: In Burlington yesterday, thanks to Keith Mcmullens perfect directions, we were able to find the swainsons hawk which was a lifer. It took 20 minutes for us to see them. They like to soar of course but they also cruise the tree line behind the mansion on chapman. Sometime I hope I can get a better shot.

At Prairie green today it was rather slow with the same birds as yesterday with the exception of a white faced Ibis. I thought the winds would blow in more shorebirds last night with the rain making it muddy again but it was not to be though the ibis was quite a surprise

I got a few pics but the weather made the lighting dim and I could not get real close to the hawk or the ibis


Swainson's Hawk (L) and White-faced Ibis (R) photos courtesy Mark Bowman

Ann Haverstock on 5/27 rpeorted via e-mail: At 11 AM today, Mark Bowman spotted a White-faced Ibis on the large, northern pond at Prairie Green Wetlands in Geneva. The bird flew off not long after it was seen.

Darrell Shambaugh on 5/26 reported via IBET: This afternoon there was a luecistic AMERICAN ROBIN between Border's, Applebee's, and Blockbuster in the shopping center on Randall Road [ in Geneva]. The bird had the typical robin orange breast, but the wings were really pale mocha color, kind of like the coffee my mom used to give me that was about 1/3 coffee and 2/3 milk. I don't think it was covered with dust. When it moved, the feathers looked like that was their normal color. A very interesting bird.

Sue Wagoner on 5/26 reported via e-mail: These two displaying American Coots were seen in the Prairie Green wetland on Tuesday morning's ramble. There were numerous displays and disputes over territory and/or females. Also seen were this group of Dunlins (with a coot in the foreground).

Displaying American Coots (L) and flock of Dunlins (R) photos courtesy Sue Wagoner

Jeffrey Sanders on 5/25 reported via IBET: rena cohen , bonnie duman and i went birding [to Aurora West Forest Preserve] on this holiday... here's what we saw.

common egret
clay colored sparrow
bell's vireo--heard
masked warblers
r. e. vireo

Keith Mcmullen on 5/25 reported via IBET: [On] Friday, May 22nd...We easily located CLAY-COLORED SPARROW at Aurora West (thanks, Scott, for keeping them there!) and we failed to find much else other than a soaring pair of BALD EAGLES...After lunch, we finally located the shorebird spot everyone had such good luck with off of Peck Road. However, the birds obviously dispersed as we failed to find 5 peeps, but settled for 3 species...We were pleased with the RUDDY TURNSTONE and AMERICAN PIPIT.

[On] Saturday, May 23rd...We drove directly to Burlington area and Chapman Road and waited patiently for about 1 hour with only RED-TAILED HAWKS and a VESPER SPARROW to show for it. However, we did see a hawk dive down behind the "mansion" looking house NE of the curve on Chapman Road and decided that was worth a look. We got on Burlington Road (N of Chapman) and headed W, the entire time we're able to see the area we were just looking from, and sure enough, we see several raptors in the air. Craig strategically manuvered his vehicle off the road, we jumped out and voila, SWAINSON'S HAWK, way high, above the "mansion" looking house. After about 5 minutes the bird dropped all the way down to the woodlot, immediately to the E of the "mansion" house. Our guess is the nest or territory if you will, is in THAT woodlot. Good luck to those who venture out there for a try. The bird is there.

Christopher Cudworth on 5/25 reported via IBET: I've been on the run the last 36 hours since birding Nelson Lake Sunday morning, but there were some nice birds still about.

There were a few species of warblers along the north trail, the most notable being a MOURNING WARBLER singing at the northeastern-most section of trail near the old entrance. The bird was visited by a WILSON'S WARBLER and several YELLOW WARBLERS. Heard and seen in the west woods were BLACKPOLL, CHESTNUT SIDED, YELLOWTHROAT and TENNESSEE WARBLER. I found nesting cardinals and an agitated HAIRY WOODPECKER that was keeping its eye out and voice up in protest for the resident COOPER'S HAWK that flew past.

The west woods also turned up SCARLET TANAGER, BALTIMORE ORIOLE and BLUE JAY, TOWHEE and the requisite INDIGO BUNTING.

The north end of the prairie and pond swale were quiet except for the visitation of several sets of sandhill cranes. One group of three and another pair both sailed over.

I got there a little late for much hope of rails. I did meet a nice German fellow who said he was too "dis-tlacted" to find much. I have felt the same way many times.

Tim Balassie on 5/25 reported via e-mail: While I could not attend last weekend's trip to Lone Grove (5/23), I did bird Big Rock FP. Species of note include Common Nighthawk, Wild Turkey, Bobolink and Dickcissel.

Mark Bowman on 5/24 reported via IBET: The yellow throated warbler was seen singing at Lippold park in Batavia this am near the 2 big white pine trees as you enter the park just pass the small "ranger" house. They must be nesting around there as previously noted by Bill Koch

From Prairie Green Wetland, Ruddy Turnstone (L) and Dunlin (R) courtesy Mark Bowman

Eric Walters on 5/23 reported via IBET: About midday, I went out to the Kane County 'Prairie Green FP' location. I was initially dismayed as I somehow had the impression the fluddle was next to the road, when in fact it's closer to a half mile away. Further complicating the issue was the gate to this FP was locked, meaning one would have to take the winding road for about 1.5 miles to get to the ponds. With the midday heat taking away any motivation to do the 1.5 mile 'death march', I went south to the first farm house where I met up with the landowner and after chatting with him for a short time and letting him know my desires, he gave me favor to have a look-see at the whole property. His road is the one that goes down to the north side of the pones. So while he was tilling the field, I was doing the birding.
When I left, I saw two other roads heading west into this field and leading directly into the middle of the (now) 4 ponds. I wouldn't be surprised if those were private land areas, although I didn't bother to find out as I had already finished birding. Whenever they do open the gate to this preserve, you'll be able to drive down to the edge of the land depressions where water likely fills each spring.

The best bird at Prairie Green was a Ruddy Turnstone. Also present were 2 Semi-palmated Plovers, 6 Dunlin, 7 Semi-palmated Sandpipers and 2 Least Sandpipers. Also present was a rather tardy American Pipit.
One of the Semi-Sandpipers was a candidate for fooling an unsuspecting birder into thinking they had a Western, as it seemed slightly bigger than the other Semi's and had the reddish feather on its back. However, that reddish mark the field guides love to brag about being so diagnostic is a mark that Semi's can also show in-between their molts. A 1st year Semi-palmated going into it's Spring molt might not lose all of its reddish coloration on its back.
Thus, a better way to ID Westerns in the Chicagoland (where we get shorebirds in-between their molts, of which NO field guide commercially available shows):

1) Sure, get those reddish scapular markings on the back, but make sure the overall color of the bird is more paler whitish, like on the order of a BB Plover. The reddish color should 'pop' out on the more paler feathering background. Semi's that have leftover red on its back would have the more brownish back feathering, so while the red color might seem bright and stand out, it really would stand out much more on an overall paler off white plumage, rather than a lighter brownish plumage Semi's have.

2) Western's have more streaks on throat and chest and should have noticeable markings going along its side all the way down to its flanks. Semi's typically don't have any streaks, but on the few that do, the markings are much thinner, less numerous and don't go past the midsection of its side.

Bob Andrini on 5/23 reported via e-mail: On the scheduled KCA walk [at Lone Grove Forest Preserve], we not only were found by the first (for me) mosquito hordes of the season, but also saw a Louisiana Waterthrush, Hooded Warbler, Canada Warbler

Kathy Rizzo on 5/23 reported via e-mail: My husband and I were golfing at Tanna Farms [in Geneva] on the 11th hole (just south of Keslinger) and saw a pair of black-necked stilts in the muddy cornfield stubble!

Michael Hogg on 5/23 reported via IBET: Sauer Prairie Kame; a lone WILSON'S SNIPE and a CATTLE EGRET were the only shorebirds other than the expected. It was nice to hear and get good looks at HENSLOW'S SPARROW and WESTERN MEADOWLARK.

Ruddy Turnstone photo courtesy Ann Haverstock

Bob Fisher on 5/22 reported via IBET: Karen and I (along with other birders) were at [Prairie Green Wetland] around noon on Friday. No sign of the reported Hudsonian Godwit. But the highlight for us was the presence of 5 'peep' species - A lone White-rumped Sandpiper, 3-4 Baird's, 10-15 Semipalmated Sandpipers, a couple of Least's and a lone Western Sandpiper. We were able to get very close scope views of all these shorebirds, along with a number of Dunlin, a lone Ruddy Turnstone, several Semipalmated Plovers, and 2 Black-bellied Plovers.

Mark Bowman's report suggests there's shorebird movement within and between the various fluddles, as we did not see any yellowlegs, and at one point a mixed flock of around 50 shorebirds were wheeling around (spooked by a flyover Turkey Vulture), yet a little later only about 30 birds were foraging in the mud.

These fluddles are on the west side of Peck Rd, a little north of Keslinger Rd.

Paul Mayer on 5/22 reported via e-mail: Seems everybody was out at the Prairie Green Wetland today. Not great numbers of birds but definitely a good variety of shorebirds. Bob Andrini and I found the following shorebirds (many of which were also reported earlier by Pete Moxon):

Black-bellied Plover
Semipalmated Plover
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
White-rumped Sandpiper
Pectoral Sandpiper

There were still a few Horned Larks hanging around and at least one Grasshopper Sparrow buzzing away.

Mark Bowman on 5/22 reported via IBET: At Prairie Green in Geneva there were small groups of shore birds which included dunlins and semipalmated sandpipers primarily with a smattering of yellow legs and blue winged teal. There were single ruddy turnstone, black bellied plover and white rumped sandpiper. Numerous great egrets and great blue herons were present. The fluddles were full of tadpoles. In the field were savannah and grasshopper sparrows

Pete Moxon on 5/21 reported via phone: At the Prairie Green Wetlands in Geneva on Peck Road this evening, Pete saw a Hudsonian Godwit, relocated Paul Mayer's Western Sandpiper, and also had a Baird's Sandpiper, a couple each of Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 - 4 Pectoral Sandpipers, and 12 - 14 Semipalmated Plovers. Of the non-shorebird variety: several pheasants, Vesper, Savannah, Grasshopper, and Henslow's sparrows, and 2 packs of coyotes.


Nessus Sphinx Moth (L) and Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle (R) photos courtesy Ann Haverstock

Pete Moxon on 5/20 reported via phone: In an evening visit to Sauer today, Pete flushed a Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow, saw and heard a singing Le Conte's Sparrow, and had a Yellow Rail. Also saw several Blue-winged Teal, Northern Shovelers, and Western Meadowlarks. Pete also reported hearing a possible Wilson's Phalarope.

In a less timely report, Pete said the fluddle opposite Elburn Forest Preserve on Friday had 500 -600 swallows and swifts with about 200 of them being Bank Swallows.

Also on Friday Pete visited Campton Hills Park in St. Charles. There he had lots (about 50) of warblers with good variety, including Blackburnian, Blackpoll, Black and White, Northern Parula, Black-throated Green, Cerulean, Mourning, and Canada. Also seen were Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Philadelphia Vireo, Blue-headed Vireo, and Red-headed Woodpecker.

Scott Cohrs on 5/20 reported via IBET: I...tried a Big Day on Monday. I stuck to Kane County. It was also a modified Big Day. The modifications were a 2 hour 'breakfast' break to get the kids fed and off to daycare, and I had to end the day at 4 to pick them up. I heard rumors that this was going to fall under the new 'Mr. Mom' category for next year's Lister's Corner, though that isn't confirmed.

I ended Monday with 121 species. A little disappointing given that Bill [Reddinger] practically had that count using only a bike. Regardless, there were a few highlights. A Louisiana Waterthrush was singing relentlessly at Big Rock FP early in the morning. It was along the creek near the edge of the 'Lark Sparrow' field. This is about 3 weeks later than any previous Louisiana I have had in Kane County, so I am wondering if it might be territorial. I also had my only Mourning Warbler of the day next to the suspension bridge. There are several Henslow's Sparrows in the fields at Big Rock, and Barred Owls are in their usual spots. I did not have a Wild Turkey, though they were calling non-stop about 2 weeks ago on a previous visit.

The Yellow-throated Warbler continues at Lippold Park and I believe it is paired up. It looks like there is a nest in the white pine right next to the parking lot, though it is tough to tell. Thanks go to Bill Koch for initially finding and reporting that bird.

I had Black-billed Cuckoo and Clay-colored Sparrow at Aurora West, but missed Bell's Vireo and Orchard Oriole. All of them are back. I also had American Pipits in the farm field north of AW.

Shorebirds were tough all day, and Sauer was a waste of time. Water levels are terrible out there. The shorebirds highlight was 2 Black-bellied Plover and a Dunlin at a flooded field directly south of Elburn FP. The highlight duck was a late-ish Ring-necked at Nelson Lake.

I agree with Eric [Secker] that there was major turnover from Sunday to Monday. Sunday morning I had 26 species of warblers before calling it quits at 9:30 AM. Highlights were a Worm-eating, Hooded, Kentucky and Canada Warbler all within about 200 yards of each other at Les Arends. I also had a cooperative Connecticut at Lippold, as well as the previously mentioned Yellow-throated. I was only able to find the Yellow-throated on Monday. Amazing what difference one day can make.

Paul Mayer on 5/20 reported via e-mail: Shorebirds are still coming through at Prairie Green Wetlands. The numbers are way down but the variety is still there. Today there were present:

Semipalmated Plover
Lesser Yellowlegs
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper !
Spotted Sandpiper

There are still a few Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal hanging around. Possible nesters?

Ann Haverstock on 5/20 reported via e-mail: 5/19/09 - Singing Prothonotary Warbler at Les Arends FP. - South end mud flats (wet woods) where bike paths intersect.

Bryan Hix on 5/19 reported via e-mail: I was out for a couple of hours at Burnidge FP and saw many birds this morning. This was within a 200 yard area.

Orchard and Baltimore Oriole
Yellow Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Chesnut-sided Warbler
Scarlet Tanager
Brown Thrasher
Indigo bunting
Red-breasted grossbeak
Eastern Kingbird
Great crested flycatcher
Eastern phoebe
Eastern Towhee
White-crowned sparrow


Great Crested Flycatcher (Above), Female Blackpoll Warbler (L) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (R) photos courtesy Bryan Hix

Ken Schneider on 5/19 reported via e-mail: Going back to Florida tomorrow for a couple of weeks. Had less than an hour to spare and visited the east entrance of Nelson Lake again this morning. Sightings included three Yellow Warblers, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, several Indigo Buntings, two Sandhill Cranes, a pair of towhees and lots of yellowthroats and Song Sparrows. Photographed an Eastern Wood-pewee. Several Sedge Wrens were singing in the meadow just to the south of the old entrance path. One was very obliging and posed for a photo as it sang nearby.


Eastern Wood-Pewee (L) and Sedge Wren (R) photos courtesy Ken Schneider


Eastern Kingbirds photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 5/18 reported via e-mail: At Lippold this morning there were not many warblers. I identified one Wilson's and one Worm-eating Warbler, and heard but never saw a Magnolia. Saw a group of four Baltimore Orioles interacting and displaying to each other as two females looked on. During a brief visit to the east side of Nelson's Lake I saw two Sandhill Cranes, heard Sedge Wrens singing, and photographed a White-crowned Sparrow (late?), goldfinches, a Common Yellowthroat and this pair of Eastern Kingbirds.

mbalding on 5/18 reported via e-mail: I have had good luck with warbler sightings in my back yard this May the highlights having come this weekend when I saw a cape may warbler and a brewster's hybrid.

Mark Bowman on 5/18 reported via IBET: At Norris Woods in St Charles it was slow with only 1 BT green and 1 chestnut sided warbler

Christopher Cudworth on 5/18 reported via IBET: It was 39 degrees at 5:30 a.m. and birds weren't as active yet as I might have liked. Still, there were a few notables among the expected species seen and heard before 6:30:

(attacked me near her nest)

Jon Duerr on 5/17 reported via e-mail: The summer residents are back [at Aurora West FP]. We found Willow Flycatcher, Black-billed Cuckoo, Bell's Vireo, Henslow Sp., Clay-colored Sp and flyover Sandhills. Caution: east trail extremely wet and muddy. Go into the fields from the model airplane area.

Bill Koch on 5/17 reported via e-mail: Lippold Park was very birdy early this morning. Many types of Warblers including Wilsons, Magnolia and a very loud and not very shy Connecticut Warbler. I found the the Connecticut 2 times. He was near the 90 degree bend on the service road by the river.

Mark Bowman on 5/16 reported via e-mail: At Nelson Lake today my brother reported 11 different types of warblers with a number of wilsons warblers and a blue winged warbler

Walter Lutz on 5/14 reported via e-mail: Some notables today at Burnidge F.P.: Golden-winged Warbler, Bobolink, Scarlet Tanager (4 males!), Eastern Wood-Pewee

Bill Koch on 5/14 reported via e-mail: I visited Lippold Park at lunchtime today. Pretty quiet day overall. Saw all the regulars with the best birds being B&W, Common Yellow Throat, Tennessee, Yellow Rump, Palm and Nashville Warblers.
While walking to my car a Yellow Throated Warbler landed on the ground 10 feet away from me giving me some great views. I watched the bird for 5 minutes collecting pine needles and dandelion seeds until it flew up into a pine tree when I lost it. Not sure if it was consuming the seeds or using them for nesting materials. Their main food source is insects so I hope it was nesting. I will return to look for a nest another time soon.

Debbie Wisser on 5/14 reported via e-mail: I stopped at Tyler Creek FP yesterday and today. Between both days I had Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, and Wood Duck that flew over. Also seen were Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Wood Pewee, Eastern Phoebe, Great Crested Flycatcher, House Wren, Swainson's Thrush, Gray Catbird, Magnolia Warbler, Palm Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Black-and-White Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Canada Warbler, Scarlet Tanager (two males today in the sun--Beautiful !!), White Crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Rose-breasted Grosbeak (three males singing--sounded great), Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole. There were other common birds, and of course, some I could not figure out yet. At home I still have Pine Siskins at my feeder. This morning, there were four of them.

Blue-winged Warbler photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Christopher Cudworth on 5/14 reported via IBET: Most activity at [Fabyan Forest Preserve] was in the more mature woods along the bike trail on the east side north of the walking bridge. 1/2 hour walk: 7:-7:30 a.m.

WHITE EYED VIREO (singing loudly near bridge over stream 1/4 mile north of
walking bridge on east side)
BALTIMORE ORIOLE (Females with nesting material in beaks)

(copulating, so coy)

Mark Bowman on 5/13 reported via e-mail: Made a quick stop at fabyan this afternoon and had a group of birds come thru that included a rose breasted grosbeak, blackburnian, chestnut sided, palm, yellow rumped, bay breasted,, black and white, black poll and magnolia warblers. A red eyed vireo was also present.

Hooded Warbler photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Sue Wagoner on 5/13 reported via e-mail: Today I had a flurry of migratory activity in my yard with Magnolia Warblers, American Redstarts, Black and White Warbler, male and female Rose Breasted Grosbeaks, and some new "yard sightings"-- Scarlet Tanager male and this Hooded Warbler that landed in a bush about 10 feet away!



Mark Bowman on 5/12 reported via e-mail: Spoke to my brother today who was at LeRoy Oaks on the great western trail and he had 3 black billed cuckoos in the parking lot and saw a male Wilsons warbler and blackburnian near the swamp area where the short eared owls use to hang out last year. He also had 3 orchard orioles in that area and that seems to be a regular place for them.

Marsh Wren photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman on 5/11 reported via e-mail: Otter creek [Bend Wetland Park on Crane Road in St. Charles] this AM had 3 sora and 2 marsh wrens plus other regulars

Leroy oaks: was not real active but saw an orchard oriole and just before I left there was a small group of warblers that had black throated green, nashville, tennessee and golden winged in it 


Mark Bowman on 5/11 reported via e-mail: quick stop at fabyan last PM, saw a black crowned night heron by the fabyan bridge and there are cliff swallows nesting on the bridge. Had a white crowned sparrow at my feeder area this AM


Least Flycatcher photo courtesy Sue Wagoner

Sue Wagoner on 5/10 reported via e-mail: Having been "grounded"by bronchitis from doing the bird count , I had to be satisfied with backyard birding. I was rewarded by an Indigo Bunting, Swainson's Thrush, White Crowned Sparrow, nesting and noisy House Wrens, American Redstart and this little fellow who debugged my backyard most of the weekend. Using Peterson as a guide, I wonder if my Empidonax is a Least Flycatcher? (short beak, very whitish underbelly, and twitching tail) He hawked mostly on the ground and within 6 feet off the ground.

Eric Secker on 5/10 reported via IBET: We were birding at Les Arends FP along the Fox River this evening and located a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD along the river. From the parking lot, head south on the bike path, past the canoe ramp or whatever it is, to the east west paved trail that interests the bike trail. Head left (east) down to the river.

The bird was seen flying around on the other side of the river (at Red Oak Nature Center) in some dead trees south of the viewing platform. We went to Red Oak and walked all the river trails but couldn't see it from there. Also, if you go, the afternoon or evening may be best because the lighting and bugs will be active on the Red Oak side then.

There were also just over 30  flycatching along the river in the same location.

Bruce Rowland on 5/10 reported via e-mail: Found 4 CATTLE EGRETS in breeding plumage at the east end of the "pond" east of Kaneland HS on Kesslinger Road on Saturday, May 9th.

Julie Long on 5/9 reported via e-mail: I have to quit the bird count early to go to a family party in Chicago, but in case any one is interested, there was a black throated blue warbler on the east trail of Leroy Oakes, east of the large pines. It was very muddy. Also had an American pipit in the mud around the fluddle in the old cornfield (leroy oakes east) It is on Crane rd between Randall and rt 31. There was also an interesting unidentified rail at the early part of the trail (runs on south side) at Otter Creek Wetland.

Bill Reddinger on 5/8 reported via IBET: Make that 111 species for the day.  I forgot about Western Meadowlark.  Hopefully I'll realize that I forgot about some more species that I saw.

Bill Reddinger on 5/8 reported via IBET: Today I did a big day on bicycle in Kane County, and I ended up with 110 species. 85 of those came before 8:30 in the morning, so early in the day, my hopes were high that I might approach the Williamsons' non-motorized record of 128, but as the day wore on, I began to realize just how many 128 is when you don't have a motor.

A complete list of the birds that I found is below. Bell's Vireo was one of my better birds. I had never before had one so far north in Illinois. It was singing in the quarry that is on the east side of Lasher Road, across the road from Underwood Forest Preserve. Other good finds were two Black Terns flying around Nelson Lake Marsh, Cliff Swallows flying around the Wilson Street bridge in Batavia, and Yellow-breasted Chat, White-eyed Vireo, and Gray-Cheeked Thrush singing on Gilman Trail. I ran into Mark Bowman in the afternoon, and thanks goes to him for finding a Yellow-throated Warbler in Fabyan Forest Preserve; as I was leaving Fabyan, the warbler could be heard singing from the parking lot on the east side of the river.

On most big days, some birds are missed that you would see every other day of the year. For example, I missed Ring-billed Gull. I also missed Eastern Bluebird. Other less painful misses were Cooper's Hawk, Northern Harrier, Bald Eagle, Blue-headed Vireo, and some warblers. Also, I missed Great-horned Owl and Eastern Screech Owl, because I don't feel like going out to find some because I hurt.

1. Pied-billed Grebe
2. Double-crested Cormorant
3. Great Blue Heron
4. Great Egret
5. Canada Goose
6. Wood Duck
7. Mallard
8. Blue-Winged Teal
9. Northern Shoveler
10. Ruddy Duck
11. Turkey Vulture
12. Red-tailed Hawk
13. American Kestrel
14. Ring-Necked Pheasant
15. Virginia Rail
16. Sora
17. American Coot
18. Sandhill Crane
19. Killdeer
20. Lesser Yellowlegs
21. Solitary Sandpiper
22. Spotted Sandpiper
23. Herring Gull
24. Black Tern
25. Rock Pigeon
26. Mourning Dove
27. Chimney Swift
28. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
29. Belted Kingfisher
30. Red-bellied Woodpecker
31. Downy Woodpecker
32. Hairy Woodpecker
33. Northern Flicker
34. Least Flycatcher
35. Great-crested Flycatcher
36. Eastern Kingbird
37. Eastern Phoebe
38. Horned Lark
39. Tree Swallow
40. N. Rough-winged Swallow
41. Cliff Swallow
42. Barn Swallow
43. Blue Jay
44. American Crow
45. Black-capped Chickadee
46. Tufted Titmouse
47. White-breasted Nuthatch
48. House Wren
49. Sedge Wren
50. Marsh Wren
51. Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
52. Gray-Cheeked Thrush
53. Swainson's Thrush
54. Wood Thrush
55. American Robin
56. Gray Catbird
57. Brown Thrasher
58. Cedar Waxwing
59. European Starling
60. White-eyed Vireo
61. Bell's Vireo
62. Warbling Vireo
63. Red-eyed Vireo
64. Blue-winged Warbler
65. Golden-winged Warbler
66. Tennessee Warbler
67. Nashville Warbler
68. Northern Parula
69. Yellow Warbler
70. Chestnut-sided Warbler
71. Magnolia Warbler
72. Yellow-Rumped Warbler
73. Black-throated Green Warbler
74. Blackburnian Warbler
75. Yellow-throated Warbler
76. Palm Warbler
77. Black-and-White Warbler
78. American Redstart
79. Ovenbird
80. Northern Waterthrush
81. Common Yellowthroat
82. Yellow-breasted Chat
83. Scarlet Tanager
84. Northern Cardinal
85. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
86. Indigo Bunting
87. Dickcissel
88. Eastern Towhee
89. Chipping Sparrow
90. Field Sparrow
91. Vesper Sparrow
92. Savannah Sparrow
93. Grasshopper Sparrow
94. Henslow's Sparrow
95. Song Sparrow
96. Lincoln's Sparrow
97. Swamp Sparrow
98. White-throated Sparrow
99. White-Crowned Sparrow
100. Bobolink
101. Red-winged Blackbird
102. Eastern Meadowlark
103. Common Grackle
104. Brown-headed Cowbird
105. Orchard Oriole
106. Baltimore Oriole
107. House Finch
108. Pine Siskin
109. American Goldfinch
110. House Sparrow

Ken Schneider on 5/8 reported via e-mail: I birded Hawk's Bluff Park in Batavia this afternoon and found 43 species in about an hour and a half. Surprised to find NO Yellow-rumped Warblers and only one Palm. Saw and photographed Tennessee and Nashville Warblers, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Chipping Sparrow and Indigo Bunting. Heard a Northern Waterthrush and Eastern Phoebe. A quiet Great Crested Flycatcher surprised me by flying in nearby and let me get one poor shot. Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos also seen, as was one American Redstart. Had great views of Baltimore Oriole that appeared to be eating flower petals. Coopers Hawks appear to be nesting there again, and three Red-tailed Hawks were fending off grackle attacks. Not included in the count was a Great Horned Owl perched on utility wires (!) on west side of Randall Road about 1/4 mile north of Orchard, at about 7:00 AM.

Scarlet Tanager (L) and Nashville Warbler (R) photos courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 5/8 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I birded Lippold Park this morning from about 7:45 to 10:00 AM. Far fewer Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palms were present, and we added 3 Tennessee and 2 Yellow Warblers to the list. Light was poor and we could not identify several treetop warblers. We re-found the Northern Waterthrush near the footbridge at the north end of the park, and then had another one on the bicycle trail on the way back. Got our first Scarlet Tanager for this year and heard two Great Crested Flycatchers. I got bad shots of one (but did better later in the day). A pair of Eastern Towhees were courting near the bike trail bridge at the north end. Found 37 species in all. Heard two Wood Thrushes and several House Wrens but never caught sight of them. Also heard an Ovenbird near the south parking lot.

Paul Mayer on 5/8 reported via e-mail: We had a first at the hummingbird feeder yesterday. The male pictured, flew in and landed, grasping the feeder by the flower petal. It sat there and on several occasions allowed its head to droop backwards as if falling asleep. When it went too far he would prop it up as if awakening and then proceed to "fall asleep" again. He was totally oblivious to the other male hummer who continued to feed and, on at least two occasions, tried to dislodge him from his perch. Finally he flew off the feeder to a nearby tree where he proceeded to hang upside down. When we returned from dinner he was gone and nowhere to be found. He has not returned today. We should have a contest putting a caption on these pictures. Readers?


Narcoleptic Ruby-throated Hummingbird photos courtesy Paul Mayer

Gloria Dimoplon on 5/7 reported via IBET: I birded the Burnidge/Paul Wolff Forest Preserves again this morning from 6:45 am -9:45 am.

Warblers included:
Cape May
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat

Best Non-warblers
Ring-necked Pheasant
Spotted Sandpiper
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Swainsonís Thrush
Wood Thrush
Cedar Waxwing
White-throated, White-crowned and Swamp Sparrows
Scarlet Tanager
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
E. Meadowlark
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole

Karen Land on 5/7 reported via IBET: I had a male Rose breasted grosbeak at my sunflower feeder about 5 pm yesterday. He didn't stay long. A female may have been present, I have a number of white crowned sparrows that are regulars that hop below this feeder, they look somewhat similar moving around quickly in the brush.

Least Bittern photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman on 5/6 reported via e-mail: Went to nelson and was able to get lucky and see the least bittern again and get pretty good picture. There was also a few sora I saw and some common yellow throat with a pheasant calling out in the fields

Tim Balassie on 5/6 reported: During an outing today at Sauer FP, Bobolinks, Grasshopper Sparrows, and White-crowned Sparrows had returned.

Yeanette Johnson on 5/6 reported via IBET: I started my morning walking along the Gilman Trail in Kane Co. The best bird of the early morning was a singing GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER. Then after dropping my dogs off at home, I was off to Bliss Woods FP where I had the following:


Gloria Dimoplon on 5/6 reported via e-mail: I birded the Paul Wolff/Burnidge Forest Preserves this morning from 6:15 am Ė 8:45 am. Highlights included three male Scarlet Tanagers and a pair of Orchard Orioles. The pair of Gadwall are still on the pond at Burnidge along with Wood Ducks and Blue-winged Teal. The Solitary Sandpipers near the wilderness campground have moved on. I looked for but didnít find the Northern Mockingbird I saw yesterday. Non-warblers: Brown Thrasher, Meadowlark, Wood Thrush, Baltimore Orioles, Bluebirds, Great Crested Flycatcher and Bobolinks. Just a few warblers: Yellow-rumped, Palm, Yellow, Common Yellowthroat and a possible Blue-winged Warbler.

Mark Bowman on 5/6 reported via IBET: At Les Arends in Batavia, Kane county, it was rather slow, not even as many palms and yellow rumps, did see a black poll, yellow, tennessee and magnolia warblers in the parking lot

Bill Reddinger on 5/6 reported via e-mail: Red Oak Nature Center: May 6th, 7:30-8:30 AM

Best Non-Warblers:
-Summer Tanager (female)
-Veery (singing near river a bit north of the nature center)
-Swainson's Thrush
-Wood Thrush
-Blue-headed Vireo
-Great-Crested Flycatcher

-N. Parula
-Am. Redstart
-Black-throated Green
-N. Waterthrush
-C. Yellowthroat

Like Ken, I haven't seen a Scarlet Tanager yet this year.

Julie Long on 5/5 reported via e-mail: There was an adult bald eagle today at Les Arends going north toward the quarry. It was perched in a tree on one of the islands and was being harassed by gulls. Is there a nest in the area??  

Swainson's Thrush photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 5/5 reported via e-mail: Birded Red Oak Nature Center from about 7:30 - 9:00 AM this morning. Relatively few warblers, and all that we identified were Yellow-rumped, plus a few Palms. One Great Crested Flycatcher, several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, one Baltimore Oriole, and still have not seen a Scarlet Tanager since arriving in Illinois two weeks ago. Saw at least two Swainson's Thrushes.

Gloria Dimoplon on 5/5 rpeorted via e-mail: Burnidge/Paul Wolff Forest Preserve. With the start of the summer camping season itís possible to access the Burnidge/Paul Wolff Forest Preserves before 8:00 am since the entrance to the Paul Wolff campground off Big Timber Road is open overnight. The road connecting the Paul Wolff Campground to Burnidge isnít opened until 8:00 am or a little before. Birding has been excellent for the past three days. Iíve been starting at 6:30 and birding until 9:30 am. Here are some of the highlights:

Tuesday, May 5, 2009. Northern Mockingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Wood Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Northern Waterthrush and Eastern Towhee. Waterfowl included Solitary Sandpiper, Pied-billed grebe, Blue-winged Teal, Great Blue and Green Herons, Common Merganser (female) and a pair of Gadwall. Not many warblers today Ė mainly yellow-rumped.

Sunday May 3 and Monday, May 4, 2009. Sora, Magnolia Warbler, Savannah Sparrows and Baltimore Orioles plus all of the birds listed above (except Mockingbird, Great Crested Flycatcher, Gadwall and merganser). There were many Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers plus one Black-and-white and a handful of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.

Gray-cheeked Thrush photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman on 5/4 reported via e-mail: At Jon Duerr, I was with my brother and Bill Koch, we ran into Jenny and Julie and I think Debbie. Lots of activity but not a lot of variety. We did see a chestnut sided, tennessee and black and white warblers, red breasted grosbeak and a gray-cheeked thrush [got pic], also saw a northern waterthrush.

Paul Mayer on 5/4 reported via e-mail: More Yellowlegs are showing up each day at the Prairie Green Wetland. Today there were about 50 or so Lessers and about 4 Greaters. Three Least Sandpipers showed up, about 12 Pectorals, 1 Sora. But the bird of the day was a lone Black Duck. More should be coming in as the season progresses.

Yeanette Johnson on 5/4 reported via IBET: I birded along the Fox River at Les Arends FP this fine Spring morning. Here is a list of what I found:

As well as the usual suspects!

Walter Lutz on 5/4 reported via e-mail: For hawk enthusiasts: This morning about 100' west of Rt 47 & just north of I-90 perched on a sign was a HUGE red-tailed hawk. Maybe the largest I've ever seen and I've seen plenty. At first I thought it was an eagle

Christopher Cudworth on 5/4 reported via IBET: SIGHTINGS: (Through west woods only) NELSON LAKE, BATAVIA, KANE COUNTY Sunday, May 3 (6 a.m to 8:15 a.m.)--located on Main Street 2 miles west of Randall Road, Batavia
(fighting with two starlings over nest holes)
(10 TOTAL)
(I didn't put these next to each other on purpose, honest)
(in odd spot off north side of trail in marshy habit at bend south)
(where runoff creek cuts trail west of west-side viewing platform)

(my WIFE identified this one! and she's not a professed birder!
love it!)

Bob Montgomery on 5/4 reported via IBET: Excuse the late post. On Saturday May 2, I discovered a pair of Swainson's hawk near last years successful territory. They were hunting an hayfield on the north side of Chapman Rd.(just as it swings south) and east of Peplow Rd. south of Burlington, Kane Co. IL [Delorme page 19; D6]. Check the woodlot edges for sitting birds.

Please respect private property and do not approach the hawks they are very sensitive to disturbance early in the nesting cycle.

Ken Schneider on 5/4 reported via e-mail: We birded Lippold Park for about two hours and saw 23 species. Among them were 2 Sandhill Cranes, 1 Cooper's Hawk, 1 Baltimore Oriole, many Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, and a waterthrush that best fits the description of Northern Waterthrush. Its eye line was very whitish and bold as in Louisiana, but it seemed to narrow towards the rear. The bill appeared short and thin, not imposing as Louisiana's, and stripes were heavy and bold and included some fine lines on the chin, consistent with Northern. There was no contrast between the color of the breast and flanks. Its feet were dull, not reddish as in Louisiana. Because of the very bold white eye line, I first thought it to be a Louisiana. It sang quite loudly, but I did not remember the difference in songs and cannot describe it. My photo of the singing bird seems to show a clear throat, but a frontal view shows quite definite fine striping, which is said to be diagnostic of Northern Waterthrush.


Northern Waterthrush photos courtesy Ken Schneider

Walter Lutz on 5/3 reported via e-mail: Today @ Nelson Lake: Immature Bald Eagle flying low over the lake with a fish, 6 Sandhill Cranes of which 2 were grooming each other, beautiful Baltimore Oriole among the usual.

Chris Madsen on 5/3 reported: Took a quick trip to Campton Hills Park this afternoon. The highlight of our stop was a Northern Mockingbird. The bird was in the same vicinity as the Blue Grosbeak from two years ago. Just as you pass the sumac area along the north-south fence line (about .7 mile as the crow flies from the parking lot by the shelter near the garden plots) the trail opens onto what I'll refer to as Bobolink Field. Bobolinks have frequented this field in past years. We didn't see any today. The mockingbird was in a dead tree just to the left of the path. We got good views for about 5 minutes before the bird decided he had enough of us and flew off east into the woods. Campton Hills Park is a St. Charles Park District property located on Campton Hills Road near the intersection with Peck Road.

Bay-breasted Warbler photo
courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 5/3 reported via e-mail: We are back to Illinois from Florida, and had time for a brief walk in Lippold Park on Saturday morning, May 2. In addition to huge numbers of Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, we saw and photographed an Osprey, Downy Woodpecker, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Tennessee Warbler. Notable (for us, anyway) were two Bay-breasted Warblers and some Cedar Waxwings. Visit our Blog at,

Mike Madsen on 5/2 reported via IBET: A walk from Les Arends Forest Preserve north to Quarry Park produced a few highlights this morning. A dozen warbler species included singing KENTUCKY WARBLER and PROTHONOTARY WARBLER. A singing SUMMER TANAGER was also present. Other species of note included RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, several migrating BROAD-WINGED HAWKS, a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH plus some new arrivals like WOOD THRUSH and EASTERN KINGBIRD.

John Heneghan on 5/2 reported via IBET: We went Fabayan Forest Preserve this AM for a quick look. Saw at least 3 orioles lots of Yellow Rumped and Palm Warblers, a Pine Warbler, Blue Gray Gnatcatchers, a Blue Winged Warbler and FOY Scarlet Tanager near the Japanese Garden.

Near Peck Farm in Geneva this am, we saw a family of new mallards crossing Kaneville Rd.

At home [in La Fox], we have had a pair of male Orioles for about a week and a female early in the week. 2 male Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and a female have been here for about a week. My friend who lives in Elburn had 6 male Rose Breasted Grosbeaks this AM at his feeders.

Jon Duerr on 5/2 reported via e-mail: Its Sat. May 2, The White-eyed Vireo is in our back yard as of 6:00 AM. It was here all yesterday. You are welcome to stop by to see/hear it as it stays in the shrubs along the east side and back of the yard. You are welcome into the yard. 415 Oak St. St. Charles.

Paul Mayer on 5/1 reported via e-mail: At the in progress Prairie Green Wetland in Geneva this morning, the water was very high and shorebirds retreated to the higher ground next to plowed fields. The usual were there; Greater and Lesser Yelllowlegs, and Solitary Sandpipers. Pectoral Sandpipers were new to the site. But the grand bird was one Yellow Rail. it was tucked in the short grass near the high water. It flushed but could not be refound. Maybe it will hang out until Saturday.

Mark Bowman on 5/1 reported via e-mail: At John Duerr; very active with warblers, mostly yellow rumps, lots of palms with a scattering of other ones: black throated green warbler, yellow warbler, blue winged warbler, blue headed vireo, black and white warbler, nashville and tennessee warblers.

At Peck [Farm Park in Geneva], sora and virginia rail seen.


Black-throated Green Warbler (L) and Virginia Rail (R) photos courtesy Mark Bowman

Yeanette Johnson on 5/1 reported via IBET: We have been enjoying three male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS and two male BALTIMORE ORIOLES in the yard [in Aurora], along with the usual suspects the past two days!!!

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak photo
 courtesy Mark Bowman

Mark Bowman on 5/1 reported via e-mail: At my feeders today [in St. Charles], a male and female grosbeak were at the feeders all day until the kids came home to the trampoline. My 2 pine siskins were there as usual, maybe they will stay this year.

Debbie Anderson on 5/1 reported via IBET: Earlier this week I looked out my feeders [in Batavia] to see 3 male Indigo Buntings at the thistle feeders. A first for my yard. Still have several pine siskins vying with the Goldfinches. Also the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks returned for the 2nd year. But this morning beats all - a Red-headed Woodpecker clinging to the feeder filled with a variety of nuts! To confirm the ID a Red-bellied Woodpecker landed at an adjacent feeder just for comparison! Then they flew off in opposite directions!

Last evenings walk netted 2 FOY Eastern Kingbirds, also many yellow rumped and palm warblers along the west side of Fox River just south of Batavia's Quarry Park.


This page last updated Tuesday July 14, 2009

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