MAY 2015 SIGHTINGS
Joan O'Mara on 5/31 reported via e-mail: Sighted a Turkey Vulture in Elgin on May 30th consuming a carrion on a residential street.
Colin Campbell on 5/28 reported via e-mail: We first a juvenile leucistic sparrow near one of our feeders yesterday. It was back today. It's still begging an adult to feed it. I have not been able to get a good photo yet but will keep trying.
Scott Bowers on 5/28 reported via eBird: Seeing a Mississippi Kite at Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve on the evening of Tuesday, 5/26.
Sue Wagoner on 5/27 reported
via e-mail: I took a short hike at the Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest
Preserve prairie off Main Street this morning and there was very little
activity, possibly due to the winds. But that did not stop this singing
Savannah Sparrow. The Goldfinches were also harvesting the
Larry Byers on 5/25 reported
via e-mail: Visited Fermi lab with my wife Cindy today and picked up a
couple of "lifers" in the western, Kane County portion of the lab property.
Eastern Towhee (picture attached) and heard a Blue Grosbeak
along the trail that runs along the eastern edge of the "Big Woods" just
inside the Pine street entrance.
Sue Wagoner on 5/25 reported
via e-mail: Among other warblers seen at Jon Duerr Forest Preserve
Friday, May 22 was this Canada Warbler.
Barb Rask on 5/25 reported via e-mail: That she has Pine Siskins feeding their offspring at her yard feeders. (The southern boundary of their breeding range is generally agreed to be northern Wisconsin.)
Gloria Dimoplon on 5/21 reported via e-mail: 5/21/15 at J. J. Duerr Forest Preserve. Margaret Mechtenberg and I heard a Connecticut Warbler singing this morning and eventually had some very good looks at it.
Jackie Bowman on 5/21 reported via text: A pair of Olive-sided Flycatchers are observed west of tracks at Jon Duerr FP.
Ken Schnieder on 5/19
reported via e-mail: I heard a very loud but unfamiliar warbler song
from near the ground at the edge of the trail as we walked into Hannaford
Woods at about 10:00 AM today. At first I could not find the origin of the
song, though I recorded it before the bird moved away. Walking back, I
heard it again, and this time saw this Connecticut Warbler. However,
this bird was not singing, so there was a second one as well. Listening to
my recording, the song was quite certainly that of another Connecticut
Warbler. The location was about half way to the open meadow, walking
towards the southwest.
Jim Fallow on 5/18 reported
via e-mail: I spotted this Yellow-billed Cuckoo in Batavia on
5/16. It had flown into a window and was a bit stunned, making it easy to
get a photo while it recuperated in the grass. The good news is that he
flew up into a nearby tree when I tried to get even closer for a better
shot. About 15 minutes later it flew away, apparently fully recovered.
John Leonard on 5/18 reported via IBET: The BLUE GROSBEAK reported by Alan Magerkurth Sunday, 5/17 was still present today at 3:00 in the median "strip" between the eastbound and westbound branches of Pine street near the Wilson building at Fermi Labs. I heard it singing loudly as I drove past, parked in official building lot and walked back to hear it still singing away. Recorded song on iphone before finally, after more than 5 minutes, getting great views. It never crossed either Pine street while I was there, rather remained in the middle of the two .
Alan Magerkurth on 5/17 reported via eBird: Finding a Blue Grosbeak on the path that travels along the western edge of "The Big Woods" at Fermilab in Kane County.
Marion Miller on 5/16
reported via e-mail: Rich and I did a transect monitoring in our
Grassland breeding survey area this morning at Nelson Lake. The rainy
weather didn't stop the Grasshopper Sparrows and Henslow Sparrows
from singing. Both usually difficult-to-see sparrows gave some nice looks
this morning. Bobolinks were also plentiful and more than I have
seen here in 4 years.
Sue Wagoner on 5/16 reported
via e-mail: On a walk through Les Arends on Tuesday, May 12 I saw this
Palm Warbler which was close and just asking to be photographed but
it was only when I looked at the photos at home that I noticed the very
short wing feathers (secondaries I believe). It apparently did not affect
his flying but was unusual in appearance.
Marion Miller on 5/15
reported via e-mail: The fluddle on Green rd in Elburn continues to
bring in new shorebird species albeit in small numbers. This afternoon 2
Semipalmated Plovers joined the Least Sandpipers (6),
Semipalmated Sandpiper (1) and Solitary Sandpipers (2). The
fluddle is very close to the road and I find just sitting in the car and
observing does not spook the birds and they remain very close.
Justin Wrinn on 5/13 reported via IBET: I found an Eastern Screech-Owl nest cavity this evening at Campton Forest Preserve in a dead tree in the woods about 50 feet off of the path. I heard at least 3 babies were squealing from inside the cavity, but it is not possible to see down into the cavity, so I couldn't see any of them. I also couldn't locate the parents in the nearby trees. You can see the cavity opening and hear the babies in this YouTube video.
Brendon Lake on 5/13 reported via e-mail: Late this evening, I checked the fluddles by the Burlington Park. The past couple of days, there have been good numbers of Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpipers, and adult and newly-hatched juvenile Killdeer. New this afternoon were five Least Sandpipers, two Spotted Sandpipers (copulating), and a pleasant surprise of six Dunlin! These fluddles are located on Burlington Road, just south of the railroad tracks. There is a gravel parking lot you can park at to view these fluddles on the west/southwest side of the road. When viewing these fluddles, make sure to stay back from the water's edge at the fluddle closest to the parking lot. This fluddle almost always has the biggest numbers of the smaller shorebird species. A scope is recommended for the best viewing.
Eric Secker on 5/13 reported via eBird: Seeing a Worm-eating Warbler on Tuesday, the 12th, at Judson University.
Marion Miller on 5/12
reported via e-mail: A pair of Dunlin joined the Least
Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs and Solitary
Sandpiper at the Green Rd fluddle in Elburn. The fluddle is just south
of the corner of Green and Smith Roads.
Justin Wrinn on 5/12 reported via IBET: Unfortunately the American Golden-Plovers and Black-bellied Plovers I had seen at my company earlier today were gone by the time I got off of work at 5 (although they were still there on my mid-afternoon break at 3PM), so I decided to stop by WTP Marsh in Pingree Grove to try for the continuing Yellow-headed Blackbirds. After walking about a mile to get there because I wasn't sure where I could safely park, I was in luck, because there were 5 calling males perched near the top of the reeds. I also saw one possible female chased down into the reeds by one of the males, but only got a quick look, and it could have been a female red-winged. Other birds of note were at least 6 singing marsh wrens, first eBird record of Bobolink for the marsh (singing in the long grass along the mowed path down to the marsh), and several late ducks on the fenced reservoir to the south of the marsh (1 female Red-breasted Merganser, 1 male Ring-necked Duck, and 2 male Lesser Scaup). The Scaup didn't stick around, but the Merganser and Ring-necked were still there when I left around 7PM.
Mark Bowman on 5/12 reported
via e-mail: Today, 5-12, my bird feeders were very active with
cardinals, blue jays, grackles, starlings, cardinals, baltimore orioles,
chickadees, house sparrows, house finches, gold finches, white-breasted
nuthatch, downy woodpecker and I had my first seen ruby-throated
hummingbird. Also had my usual 3-4 pine siskins which have been
hanging around late the last 3 years, even into June. Here is one of the
orioles at my feeder, please ignore the price tag on the orange, I did not
charge the bird for the juice !!
A few days ago I was able to get
this pic of a black-throated green warbler at Les Arends Park.
Justin Wrinn on 5/12 reported via IBET: I found 3 American Golden-Plovers and 2 Black-bellied Plovers in the field across from my company (FYH Bearings in Huntley) on my lunch break at noon today. I don't know how long they will stick around, and I can't see them from my office window. But if anyone nearby wants to try and find them, they were last seen around 12:55 in a small fluddle on the north side of Jim Dhamer Dr. just west of Hennig Rd. You can get the basic location from my eBird report.
John Heneghan on 5/11 reported via e-mail: 4 Bobolinks were seen today at the north parking area along the untilled ag field at Big Rock Forest Preserve. I have not seen them there in the past.
Ella Mae Goshen on 5/11reported via e-mail: My daughter and I went to Phillips Park in Aurora. We were in grove of oak trees between the sunken gardens and the golf course. Found 2 fledging great horned owls and an adult, scarlet tanager and lots of warblers. My daughter's glasses weren’t strong enough for me to see details on warblers .
Justin Wrinn on 5/10 reported
via IBET: Yesterday I attempted a big day at Burnidge Forest Preserve
for eBird Global Big Day and unofficially for the Kane County SBC. I have
birded the preserve every day since mid-March and know it pretty well by
now, so I wanted to see how many birds I could find if I birded an entire
day. I thought 90 was reasonable since I had broken 80 the previous weekend
in kind of a trial run, and there were a lot of new arrivals during the
week. But if the weather and warblers cooperated, I thought it might just
be possible to break 100. I did so and then some, ending up with 103
species. I camped at the preserve so I could start before the gates opened
and birded from 3AM until 8:30PM, covering more than 90% of the preserve
(it is difficult to adequately bird the whole thing in a day since it is so
large). My first bird was woodcock - several were displaying in the
field next to the campground even before I got up. I had 90 birds by noon,
77 of those around the lake by the west entrance, and 93 by 2 when I broke
for lunch. Everything so far was in the north half of the park. Then I
headed into the south half which doesn't usually have as many species but
often has some good ones and was able to squeeze out another 12. Then I
headed back to the west entrance lake and was able to pick up a Purple
Martin on my 3rd try, bird 103. It was around 6:30 by then, and I still
had a couple of hours and several other possible birds. I gave it my best
try, but nothing else was to be found, so I waited until the woodcocks came
out again so I could add them to my daytime checklist, and called it a day.
Highlights were Sora and Virginia Rail, at least 17 singing
Henslow's Sparrows, 22 warbler species (23 if you include Chat),
and FOY Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which is one of my favorite
birds. My biggest miss was probably Solitary Sandpiper, which I had seen
Friday evening and almost every day for the previous week on the lower pond
by the north entrance. Anyway, I was completely exhausted and could barely
walk by the end of the day, so I am not sure yet whether I will try again
next year, but it sure was a lot of fun. You can see the complete species
This morning I found a Louisiana Waterthrush in Burnidge along the back (south) side of the west entrance lake close to where the old road hits the treeline. I've been checking every Northern Waterthrush since they showed up a week or so ago, and finally it paid off when I found one with a clean white throat framed by mustache stripes. Other bird of note was 2 cliff swallows sitting on the wire in the middle of the lake. Both were FOY for me, and the Waterthrush was the first eBird record for the preserve and not very common in Kane County.
Ken Schneider on 5/9 reported
via e-mail: On Saturday morning MAY 9, Mary Lou and I took a brief walk
at the east entrance of Nelson Lake/Dick Young FP. It was foggy and our
walk was cut short by light rain. On our way back to the parking lot a
single Bobolink appeared and roosted quite near the path.
Walter Lutz on 5/9 reported via e-mail: Lark Sparrow at Jelke Bird Sanctuary Saturday afternoon.
Julie Long on 5/8 reported via e-mail: There was a Eurasian collared dove today, May 8, in a farmyard on Jones Rd, Big Rock area. I was on the gravel road between Galena Rd and Jericho Rd.
Scott Cohrs on 5/8 reported
via IBET: ...I haven’t actually posted to IBET in while, but I thought
I would mention a few good birds in advance of tomorrow’s SBC. I took a
walk at Les Arends FP this morning before work. I had both a Cerulean
and a Kentucky among 16 warbler species. They were relatively close to
each other. From the parking lot, head north along the bike path.
Eventually you will see a giant house for sale. Go north of that house, and
there is a path that goes up into a yard for a smaller house (they have
some sort of outdoor chimney or stove up on the bluff as a landmark). The
Kentucky was in the shrubs right on the bike path at that spot. The
Cerulean was a little north of this area. It was originally in the yard of
the two giant houses (one has a basketball hoop), but moved a little south
of that area, closer to the Kentucky spot. Both were singing, so hopefully
they can be relocated. Those are two of the harder species for me to find
locally, and I have never seen them both on the same day in the county.
Also, please note that these were easily seen from the bike path. I did not
go into any of the yards to chase these….
Bill Koch on 5/7 reported via
e-mail: For the second year a Bell's Vireo has returned to the
same shrubs in the subdivision I live in on Elgin's West Side. A pair
nested here last year and I assume it is the same male as the species are
know to return to the same site year after year. I heard the unmistakable
call this morning while walking by the area. I finally got an OK shot on my
Lucy De Lap on 5/7 reported
via IBET: A couple of hours at Raceway Woods this morning did not
produce a large number of bird sightings though we could hear many...
Ann Haverstock on 5/6
reported via email: Here's a photo of a Northern Waterthrush
taken with my "point-and-shoot" camera on Monday morning (5/4) at Gunnar
Anderson Forest Preserve.
Brendon Lake on 5/5 reported
via e-mail: I had a great afternoon of birding at Burnidge Forest
Preserve in Elgin this afternoon. I saw 54 species with 12 warbler species.
Those 12 were: Yellow-Rumped, Palm, Black-Throated Green, Blue-Winged,
Nashville, Orange-Crowned, Black-and-White, Canada, Northern Waterthrush,
Northern Parula, American Redstart, and Ovenbird. Also notable many
Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks, a Great-Crested Flycatcher, two
Least Flycatchers and an Indigo Bunting.
Sue Wagoner on 5/5 reported
via e-mail: Like everyone else I am reaping the benefits of the rains -
seen in my backyard 5-4 and 5-5 were: 2 Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks,
several White-Throated Sparrows, several White-Crowned Sparrows,
Gray Catbird, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, and my first-in-the-yard
Lincoln's Sparrow. (Photos taken through the window)
Marion Miller on 5/4 reported
via e-mail: I have passed the flooded field on Green Road (Elburn),
when I go to work, for the last 3 weeks hoping for shorebirds. Today they
arrived! There were Lesser Yellowlegs (9), Pectoral Sandpiper
(22), Solitary Sandpipers (7), Spotted Sandpiper (1),
Least Sandpiper (5) and Semipalmated Sandpiper (1). There also
were 2 American Pipits feeding in the muddy waters. The fluddle is
on the east side of the road just south of the corner of Smith Rd and Green
Chris Madsen on 5/4 reported: A nice morning at Gunnar Anderson Forest Preserve with plenty of activity. An even dozen warblers: Blackburnian, Northern Parula, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Palm, Yellow-rumped, Orange-crowned, Nashville, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow, Ovenbird, and Cape May. I ran into Ann Haverstock on the creekside trail. She reported having a Blue-winged Warbler. I didn't hear or see it, but had what I thought was a Golden-winged calling at the intersection of the path to the parking lot with the creek path.
In addition, I saw two thrushes
(beside Robin): Hermit and Gray-cheeked. Finally, Yellow-throated
and Blue-headed vireos.
Ann Haverstock on 5/4 reported via eBird: In her neighbor's yard in Geneva, a Worm-eating Warbler. "Traveling with mixed flock. Saw well at 25 feet. Gone before I could get my camera. Plain sleek looking warbler with bold black stripes on head."
Paul Mayer on 5/4 reported via phone: He now has Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at his feeders in Elburn.
Ken Schneider on 5/3 reported
via e-mail: I got out briefly to the east side of Nelson Lake in late
morning before the rains came. Walking along the grass path that runs south
from the observation platform I found a Field Sparrow on the ground
up ahead and after it flew into one of the small trees to the east I
thought I found it but this one was a Lincoln's Sparrow. Then, at
the muddy area where the creek runs under the path I heard the loud and
close song what I thought was a Louisiana Waterthrush but did not
see it. However on the way back I sighted a waterthrush and got photos
through the brush, but this was definitely a Northern Waterthrush.
No warblers except for Palm and Yellow.
Justin Wrinn on 5/3 reported via eBird: At Burnidge Forest Preserve, a Northern Goshawk, "Flyover, heading north, but got a good look. Large raptor, dark grayish above, light below - white or light gray with no rusty like Cooper's Hawk (too far up to tell if it had fine streaking). Long tail, gray with fairly thick dark gray or black bands. Couldn't clearly see face. Appeared too large for Cooper's Hawk, no white rump like Harrier, tail too long for buteo, wings not pointed in flight like falcon. I saw a Cooper's Hawk a few minutes later, and it appeared smaller and had obviously rusty striping underneath."
John Heneghan on 5/3 reported
via IBET: Birded Les Arends this AM in Kane Cty. Praire Warbler,
Blue Winged Warbler, Black Throated Blue and Black throated Green Warblers,
Black and White Warbler, numerous Yellow Rumped warblers, Palm
warblers, Cape May Warbler, Baltimore Orioles, Rose Breasted Grosbeak,
Bells and Warbling Vireos, Catbird, Blue Gray Gnatcatchers.
Eric and Sally Secker on 5/3
reported via IBET: We had 8 or 9 species of warblers at Burnidge this
morning, highlighted by a nice male Blackburnian, Blue-winged, and
Orange-crowned. Lots of grosbeaks and towhees.
Christopher Cudworth on 5/3
reported via IBET: From Norris Woods in St. Charles. Interesting light
but found some interesting species in an hour's walk. Not rife with
Chris Madsen on 5/3 reported: You can out out your Oriole feeders now. Carla and I spent the day along the river in Geneva and Batavia yesterday and saw several Baltimore Orioles and heard even more. Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers were also plentiful. In addition we had Yellow Warblers and one Orange-crowned Warbler on the dead-end grass path at the north end of Fabyan West. The highlight of the day was a Prothonotary Warbler on the path that breaks off from the bikepath and travels along the river on Fabyan's east side. We had earlier struck out on Brendon's Prothonotary on the Quarry path.
Lucy DeLap on 5/2 reported
via IBET: Here's my sightings for a 2-hour walk on this beautiful day.
While the birds were active (especially the swallows), the really fun
sighting was the amazing turtle show. One pond sported several branches in
the water, all decorated with sunning turtles. One trunk by itself had at
least 50(!) turtles all lined up.
Brendon Lake on 5/1 reported
via e-mail: Don Lowe reported a Prothonotary Warbler to eBird
this morning along the bike trail south of Quarry Park in Batavia. Scott
Cohrs was successful in re-locating it, and good views were had by Scott,
Marion, Bill A. and I for a while. The bird was near a wooden bridge in a
swampy wooded area on the west side of the trail, just south of a clearing
with some flowering redbuds.
Rich Miller on 5/1 reported
via e-mail: Marion and I were hoping to find early migrating warblers
yesterday morning, but instead found this cute Warbling Vireo
singing away. We got great looks, which doesn't usually happen with this
bird. It was at the river's edge near Jerusha Ave (dead end street south of
Judson University) in Elgin. Also in the same area we got several
Spotted Sandpiper, Green Heron, and a Belted Kingfisher.
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