novemBER 2008 Sightings

Debbie Wisser on 11/21 reported via e-mail: I saw an immature bald eagle this afternoon along the Fox River Trail in South Elgin.

Bob Andrini on 11/20 reported via e-mail: Kath and I observed 4 Pine Siskins feeding on our Thistle feeder [in St. Charles] today (Thurs) at noontime.

Karen Land on 11/20 reported via IBET: I just had 2 waves of about 100 [sandhill] cranes flying along the Fox River corridor [in Batavia] at about 1:50 pm CST. I could hear them very loudly at first then could see them when I stepped out my back door.

Eric Secker on 11/18 reported via IBET: I visited a couple Kane Co. spots today to look for crossbills and other rare winter birds. I struck out in that department, but I had a nice mix of the regulars.

A fairly thorough trek through Hampshire F.P. produced 3 HERMIT THRUSHES, 5 BROWN CREEPERS, 22 RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES (good numbers) 40-50 PINE SISKINS, 20+ BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, 4 HAIRY WOODPECKERS, and other regulars. Most of the birds were along the north/south section of trail just past the horse trailer parking (north of the model airplane field) and in the large pine areas to the east of there.

At Fabyan F.P. later in the afternoon, I didn't find many birds but it was getting late and there was a lot of human activity as well. I did see one HERMIT THRUSH along the river.

John Heneghan on 11/18 reported via e-mail: I went to Elburn FP, Campton FP, Leroy Oaks and Campton Hills today looking for White Wing Crossbills. Did not see any, will check again over the weekend.

Debbie Wisser on 11/18 reported via e-mail: I went for a late afternoon walk at Nelson Lake today. I saw my first Northern Shrike on the west side of the lake. Two white tail deer flushed a Ring-necked Pheasant on the south side. The walk ended with a beautiful sunset.

Rowland Bateman on 11/15 reported via e-mail: When walking dog about 11 PM [last night] could hear several different flocks of Sandhill Cranes still in flight. Stayed to and could hear them for at least 20 min before going in. On the afternoon begining around 2 PM started hearing then seeing several large flocks Cranes flying high overhead but going south but also circling a lot. With telephoto lense still look like dots. I was building fence so continued to hear and see flock after flock. At 4:15 large flocks of geese were returning from feeding to the safety in the gravel pit ponds for the evening and suddenly heard the familiar Sandhill trill coming from within the geese flight. Seemed as they may have been mixed in with them. Small flock of 12 cranes were low enough to take a picture but I was about 500ft from my camera installing fence posts. Couldn't get back in time.

Alan Anderson on 11/15 reported via IBET: There was...a flock of [sandhill] cranes heard along the Fox River on the Kane County Audubon walk from S.E.B.A. Park to Jon Duerr Park, ably led by Jane McMillan. The group found 29 species, including a Purple Finch, a couple of Fox Sparrows, kingfisher, both kinglets, and single Hermit Thrush, Tufted Titmouse and Cooper's Hawk.

Karen Land on 11/15 reported via IBET: At about 1 pm today (11/15) about 75 cranes came almost directly over our house in a loose formation. They were fairly low.

John Heneghan on 11/15 reported via IBET: I just got a call from a friend who reported a flock of about 100 sandhills heading SSE over Johnson's Mound in Kane Cty. This is a few miles SE of Elburn.

I did a through cleaning of my feeders, which have been empty since summer, and filled them yesterday. I have had the usual gold and house finches, junco's, chicadees, and a few whitebreasted nuthatches. Woodpeckers have not shown up at the suet yet. Hopefully this will be a good finch winter!!!

Hiedi Hohman on 11/15 reported via e-mail: Yesterday...I spotted a bald eagle flying south over the Fox between SEBA and Jon Duerr. The eagle dive bombed a group of mallards several times; this is behavior I have never seen in an eagle. Finally it kept flying way downstream towards St. Charles. On my way home I stopped at the Carpentersville dam, and there was a mute swan right north of the dam. It seems awfully early for bald eagles and swans to be in this area. I have never seen them but in the coldest, most bitter weather of Dec, Jan, Feb.

Debby Anderson on 11/13 reported via IBET: Saw my FOS Bald Eagle flying south over the Big Turtle aka Fox River between Batavia & North Aurora this morning - what a grand birthday present!

Karen Land on 11/10 reported via IBET: I had 2 male purple finches on my traditional sunflower seed feeder about 2 pm this afternoon. There may have been females on the ground, it was hard to tell what was what because I had a major leaf rain today and the ground is thick with leaves all of a sudden. There has been 10+ juncos, 2 pair of cardinals, some goldfinches, chickadees and a woodpecker I could ID by shape but the setting sun glare was too intense to see clearly, I'm thinking red bellied.

Sue Wagoner on 11/8 reported via e-mail: Watching the birds at my feeders, they all suddenly flew away in the same direction. All but this female Downy Woodpecker who FROZE as she was eating at the suet. She did move slowly around the suet to remain out of sight when this adult Cooper's hawk landed on one of my feeders. She remained there long after the hawk flew to the nearby wires, then eventually flew away, apparently never seeing the woodpecker.
(Would I have interfered if I thought she was in danger? That's a tough one!!)

Female Downy Woodpecker (L) and Cooper's Hawk photos courtesy Sue Wagoner

Gloria Dimoplon on 11/5 reported via e-mail: I went out this morning hoping to find a Northern Shrike at Burnidge. Sure enough there was one bird hunting in the field across from the parking lot. I spoke with Margaret Mechtenberg when I got home and she reported seeing one (n. shrike) along the railroad tracks at JJ Duerr this morning as well.

There were also about two dozen Northern Shovelers on the pond at Burnidge near the entrance off Coombs Road.

Darrell Shambaugh on 11/3 reported via IBET: Monday afternoon I spent an hour along the Fox River in Geneva. Fall migrants included the first 3 AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS I've seen this fall, 2 PURPLE FINCHES, 2 GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, about 30 DARK-EYED JUNCOS. There were also ~30 CEDAR WAXWINGS and 40 AMERICAN ROBINS in the woods along the Fox River.

Karen Land on 11/3 reported via IBET: Sunday...(w)e drove over to the west side of town to the pond at Steven Persinger Recreation Center at the corner of Peck and Kaneville Road afterwards at about 9:30 am. Inspite of soccer games going on we found 4 Sandhill Cranes calmly walking along the west edge of the pond and 25 yards away from a busy paved bike path. We sat and watched them for 20 minutes and they seemed totally unfazed by the runners and bikes going past them. Northern Shovelers were also present amongst geese and mallards. In the ponds at Mill Creek Golf course off of Keslinger Road, we encountered some divers that we could not ID because they were underwater so much! There were 6 of them and with the glare of the sun and the distance away that we were, they appeared to be black with white. I took some phots but they are too far off.

Sheah Foster on 11/1 reported via e-mail: I saw a red-headed wood pecker at Red Oak Nature center in North, Aurora today at about 11:45 am. We were between the Red Oak and the Lippold properties and followed a stream into some thick brush. Birds had a small pool created by beavers in the stream where they were drinking. Several birds were over head. I had to do a double take, but I definitely saw a whole red head (not red-orange), a white breast, black back feathers and a long thin bill. He did move before I could get a shot of him. But we will be back looking next week.

Nancy Schnaitman on 11/1 reported via e-mail: Last Sunday, Oct. 26th, I saw one immature Redheaded woodpecker at Hannaford Wood Forest Preserve at about 1pm.


This page last updated Monday December 29, 2008.

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