Rich Miller on 10/31 reported via e-mail: Our third endeavor to spot and photograph the Barred Owl at Johnson Mound yielded success beyond what we had hoped for. Not only did we get a few photos, we were able to share our moment of excitement with a young couple who were driving by at the time. They had never seen an owl before. And... we are pleased to announce that there are TWO of these magnificent birds on the mound. Could Mrs. Who soon be cooking for two? Time will tell - you all.

Barred Owl

Barred Owl photo courtesy Rich Miller

Ken Schneider on 10/29 reported via e-mail: During a brief visit to Jones Meadow Park late this afternoon, I once again saw the Lincoln's Sparrow, while I was trying to ID a probable Hermit Thrush in the next tree. This time it posed nicely not more than 15 feet away.

Lincoln's Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Gloria Dimoplon on 10/29 reported via e-mail: I birded Jelkes Creek F. P. this morning (10/29) and observed good numbers of American Pipits.

On Wednesday (10/27) I stopped by Muirhead Springs F.P. and observed Horned Larks. A friend mentioned that Lapland Longspurs are regular winter visitors to this area.

Marion Miller on 10/23 reported via e-mail: Rich and I went back to Big Rock Preserve in search of the Pileated Woodpecker, but once again it eluded us. However we got to see our first Fox Sparrows along with a Red-tailed Hawk, Turkey Vulture, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Harrier, White-crowned Sparrows, Blue Jay, Cedar Waxwings and Red-bellied Woodpecker. We then took a ride to Johnson Mound and saw a Barred owl perched on a low branch on a tree about 10 feet from the road on the last turn going up to the mound. It was another first for us!

Darrell Shambaugh on 10/22 reported via IBET: There were two AMERICAN PIPITS in the sod at Dunteman's Sod Farm in Kaneville (Kane County) Friday afternoon. They were the only birds I saw there. No Killdeer, starlings, or Horned Larks to be found.

Gloria Dimoplon on 10/21 reported via e-mail: I've been birding Fitchie Creek the past few days. This morning (Oct. 21, 2010) there was a Red-shouldered Hawk hunting in the fields. I also observed good numbers of sparrows including Lincoln's, Song, White-thoated, White crowned and juncos.

Jon Duerr on 10/20 reported via e-mail: October 20- St. Charles, This morning we had 3 Purple Finches at our seed feeder in the back yard! They are back!

Ken Schneider on 10/19 reported via e-mail: Jones Meadow Park, administered by the Batavia Park District, is a small suburban park at the corner of Mooseheart and White Oak in North Aurora. It provides an oasis of woodland and wetland that can be productive, if visited frequently at various times of year. This past week I photographed a Lincoln's Sparrow near the western terminus of the asphalt walking path near Deerpath Rd.

Lincoln's Sparrow

Lincoln's Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Kurt Frieders on 10/19 reported via e-mail: This weekend I spotted a mature...Snow Goose mixed in with the Canada Geese in my field (in Aurora township). I also have observed a Great Blue Heron as well as a Great Egret. There are over a thousand Red Winged blackbirds hitting my field, however, I did observe one of them being caught by a Cooper's Hawk. There are also two Red-Tailed Hawks that I see daily.

John Heneghan on 10/18 reported via IBET: At home in Big Rock, we had our first Juncos and Pine Siskins of the Fall and the Red Breasted Nuthatch (maybe 2?)is still around. We have heard Great Horned Owls at night.

The Hummingbirds have been noticeably absent for a week or so.

Bryan Hix on 10/17 reported via e-mail: The ponds have been drying up just about everywhere, but there are some industrial park storm water retention ponds still with some water and they are magnets for any kind of waterfowl. I saw another lifer today when I was looking through my lens at some blue winged teal, I noticed some movement on the shore behind them and when I enlarged the photo, I saw that there were two pairs of very well camouflaged, Wilson's Snipe foraging and resting about 100 yards on the other side of the pond. I also saw a large flock of bluebirds, coots, Green-winged teal, 4 Red-tailed hawks, and two Kestrels.

Wilson's Snipe

Wilson's Snipe photo courtesy Bryan Hix

American Kestrel

American Kestrel photo courtesy Bryan Hix

Marion Miller on 10/17 reported via e-mail: Took an afternoon stroll at Big Rock Forest Preserve on 10/17/10. Nice clear, sunny day. Our goal was to spot a pileated wookpecker - but we had no luck. We did however see numerous Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Bluejays, two White throated Sparrows, and two soaring Red Tailed Hawks. There were many dogs being walked around the path. I'm sure it hindered our success.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker photo courtesy Marion Miller

Ken Schneider on 10/17 reported via e-mail: At Prairie Green yesterday, Mary Lou and I searched in vain for the Northern Shrike. Lots of sparrows-- Field, Song, Savannah, White-throated, Fox and White-crowned. Thought we may have seen a Clay-colored Sparrow but only got a fleeting glimpse and no photo. It was in the shrubs on the south side of the entrance path off Peck Rd., worth looking for as we did photograph one at Nelson Lake a few days ago.

This morning we found another Orange-crowned Warbler at Jones Meadow Park, and two cooperative Fox Sparrows at Nelson Lake.

More photos on my flickr page.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 10/14 reported via e-mail: I visited Nelson Lake late this afternoon. Notable sightings were three Fox Sparrows, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, and two Orange-crowned Warblers, all along the southwest edge of the prairie at the east entrance.

Orange-crowned Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Bill Koch on 10/14 reported via e-mail: There is a single Ross's Goose among hundreds of Canada Geese in the pond near my house. The pond is in the Providence Subdivision in Elgin just off Longcommon.

The bird is easy to find and is smaller than the Canadas. It has a very small grin patch and some blue on the base of bill. Yesterday there were about 5 Cackling Geese mixed in along with some Pied-Billed Grebes.

Chris Bowman on 10/13 reported via e-mail: Visited a few local birding spots today (Wednesday 10/13): Best bird was a Northern Shrike hunting the Prairie Green fields in Geneva at 2 P.M., observed making multiple salvo dives from a dead tree perch in search of prey. Also at Prairie Green, three immature Black Crown Night Herons flushed up from the pond reeds, and flew west. Multiple sites had packs of Northern Shovelers and Green Winged Teals.

Ken Schneider on 10/12 reported via e-mail: We had a pleasant walk in Lippold Park this morning. Lots of robins and waxwings, as well as White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows and three Fox Sparrows. Among the goldfinches that were harvesting seeds from wildflower heads along the river we saw two Tennessee Warblers. One was eating Pokeweed berries and the tip of its beak was stained.

Tennessee Warbler

Tennessee Warbler photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Kurt Frieders on 10/12 reported via e-mail: Just this morning I had a Downy Woodpecker at my feeder [in Aurora township]. When I stopped back at lunch I had my first pair of Hairy Woodpeckers. My field behind my house is currently holding about a thousand Canada geese. I did find some Richardson [Cackling] geese mixed in with them. The creek is currently holding some mallards, and bunches of wood ducks.

Dennis Walz on 10/11 reported via e-mail: This afternoon around 3:30 I heard two barred owls at Johnson's mound. One was very near the road (paved road, north end), the other about 50 yards further north. I could not locate them, however.

L. Nye on 10/10 reported via e-mail: Sunday, October 10, 2010 around 11 am. There was a Pileated Woodpecker at Big Rock Forest Preserve. We parked in the first parking lot on the right and took the trail over the suspension bridge. After the bridge we took the first trail to the left. He was in the woods further down this trail.

Karen Land on 10/10 reported via IBET: We were woken at 4:20 am this morning by 2 Great Horned owls calling very near by. Although we didn't hear any all of last year, there is a history of them nesting in this [Batavia] neighborhood as close as 3 houses away from me. I'm hopeful that they will come back.

Ken Schneider on 10/9 reported via e-mail: This morning there were extensive mud flats in the retention pond at Randall & Illinois in North Aurora, but no waders.

We did see a nice size contrast between three Cackling Geese and their larger Canada Geese counterparts. The three smaller geese stayed together as a group.

Cackling Goose

Cackling Geese photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Jon Duerr on 10/8 reported via e-mail: Lippold Park-Batavia 8:30 Friday. We found a series of warblers among the riverside trees. Found were Tennessee, Pine, Nashville, Black/White, Yellow-rump and Palm. Also, numerous Fox and White-throated Sparrows and Juncos. Tons of Robins and Cedar Waxwings. At home in St. Charles 2 Ruby-throated Hummers passed through the yard this afternoon.

Mark Bowman on 10/7 reported via e-mail: Here is a picture of one of the Rusty Blackbirds that Jackie Bowman reported on 10/6.

Rusty Blackbird

Rusty Blackbird photo courtesy Mark Bowman

Ken Schneider on 10/7 reported via e-mail: On this, our first morning back in Illinois, Mary Lou and I visited Nelson Lake and we found a small flock of sparrows in the un-mowed patch of grass on the north side of the path just before the east observation platform, We identified Savannah, Song, White-throated and Clay-colored Sparrows. Saw two Fox Sparrows in the brush just south of the platform, along with many kinglets, both Ruby- and Golden-crowned. Also had Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers, a couple of Sandhill Cranes and one adult Bald Eagle.

More photos on my flickr page.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Mark, Chris and Jackie Bowman on 10/6 reported via e-mail: Best bird sightings [at Nelson Lake] include: pair each of ruddy ducks and gadwalls on the south side of the lake, one brewer's blackbird and three rusty blackbirds along with masses of redwings in the trees near the Audubon Bridge at the southwest corner of the lake, also two juvenile sora ,walking in the daylight of the mid-afternoon, on the mudflats of the stream that feeds into the lake between the Audubon bridge and the entrance of the stream into the southwest corner of the lake.

Marion Miller on 10/5 reported via e-mail: Went to the Observation Deck at Dick Young FP/Nelson Lake on 10-5 and spotted an adult Bald Eagle sweeping over the lake. Great Blue Herons, Great Egret, Canadian Geese, and a small group of Blue-winged Teal were seen on the water. A White-crowned Sparrow greeted us on the deck and a few Ruby-crowned Kinglets hurried through the trees in front of the deck. Yellow-rumped Warblers, Red-winged Blackbirds, and Yellowlegs were also seen.

White-crowned Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow photo courtesy Marion Miller

Karen Land on 10/4 reported via IBET: We noticed our first junco Sunday afternoon (10/3). All this past week my [Batavia] yard has been filled with robins and starlings coming to fill up at my water dish which we filled up 3 times over 5 days. They have been noisy and almost violent, many bashing into windows near by.

Sue Wagoner on 10/3 reported via e-mail: A sign of impending fall/winter: I had my first Dark-eyed Junco in my backyard today. Yesterday I saw a Ruby-crowned kinglet out my front window a few feet away and he briefly flashed his ruby crown- it was quite stunning!

Bob Andrini on 10/2 reported via e-mail: Here's a photo of a Coopers' Hawk that kept watch over the Nelson Lake birders as they hiked through the woods today.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper's Hawk photo courtesy Bob Andrini

Bryan Hix on 10/2 reported via e-mail: I made a brief drive through Burnidge FP this morning to see what was out at the gradually drying up pond there. The water is going down each day we don't get rain, which is a good thing for shorebird sightings as well as dabbling ducks. I counted 11 Kildeer, 2 doz+ Blue-winged Teal, 7 Northern Shovelers, 4 Green-Winged Teal, Mallards, and 5 Pectoral Sandpipers.

Kim Girard on 10/1 reported via e-mail: On Sept. 30, around noon, I was driving west on Keslinger Road - west of Randall, just east of Peck Road. There is a small pond on the north side of Keslinger, and there were at least 12 egrets! There was no place to stop, so I did a quick count while passing by.

This page last updated Tuesday December 21, 2010

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