John Heneghan on 10/31 reported via e-mail: I have had a Carolina Wren hanging around [in Big Rock] for a few days now and the Red Breasted Nuthatches have arrived as well as Fox Sparrows and White Throated Sparrows. . Had a Brown Creeper early in the month.

No Siskins or Titmice yet. The Carolina wren is a first at the house.

Saw 2 Sandhill Cranes in the corn field on Main across from Nelson Lake. Saw sandhills frequently there last year.

Diane Hansen on 10/30 reported via e-mail: I walked around Nelson Lake yesterday and was able to see another new bird, the White-throated Sparrow. They were the most cooperative posing for a picture. I also saw a Northern Harrier, Chickadee, Red-winged Blackbirds, Robins and a pheasant. There were also a couple I have yet to identify.

White-throated Sparrows

White-throated Sparrows photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Chris Mussachio on 10/22 reported via e-mail: Never witnessed before or knew that these birds did this, but I believe this to be a flock of Cormorants migrating south in Elgin.

Double-crested Cormorants

Double-crested Cormorants photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Bob Andrini on 10/21 reported via eBird: Seeing a Mourning Warbler among a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers at Norris Woods Nature Preserve in St. Charles.

Marion Miller on 10/20 reported via e-mail: We had our first Pine Siskin at our feeders today.

Chris Mussachio on 10/20 reported via e-mail: This Eastern Bluebird was helping me look for eagles at Buffalo Park.  And, this Red-Tailed Hawk was a nice eagle-like fly by at South End Park over the weekend.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Marion Miller on 10/20 reported via IBET: Rich and I checked out Nelson Lake this morning for migrating waterfowl. We spotted 10 species of ducks- REDHEADS, RING-NECKED DUCKS, RUDDY DUCKS, NORTHERN PINTAILS, AMERICAN WIGEONS, GADWALLS, NORTHERN SHOVELERS, WOOD DUCKS, GREEN-WINGED TEAL and MALLARDS. Many GREBES were present but all were PIED-BILLED. We checked from the east observation deck and grassy path along the western edge of the lake. Other highlights as we walked from Seavey Rd to the southwestern edge of the lake (which gave the best view of the waterfowl) were BALD EAGLE, FOX SPARROW, WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, BROWN CREEPER, GOLDEN-CROWNED AND RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, NORTHERN HARRIER and 7 SANDHILL CRANES.

Marion Miller on  10/17 reported via e-mail: Stopped by South Elgin Dam after work on Thursday evening. There was 1 Bonaparte's Gull present with the Ring-billed Gulls. Another highlight was a kettle of 27 Turkey Vultures flying low over the trees lining the river above the dam.

Bonaparte's Gull

Bonaparte's Gull photo courtesy Marion Miller

Marion Miller on 10/14 reported via e-mail: I remember Jon Duerr pointing out a berry laden red-stemmed plant on one of my first birding trips. He said that is was Pokeweed and birds love it. Well I decided to plant one in our yard last spring and this fall it is bringing in new yard birds for us. Today, a Hermit Thrush, yard bird #60, spent most of the day in our yard enjoying the Pokeweed berries. It would hover near the plant and grab a berry while flying. With berry in bill, it then perched on our wrought iron chair to swallow it. This behavior surprised me; I always assumed they would grab the fallen berries from the ground or perch on a stem and pull off the berries.

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush photo courtesy Marion Miller

Walt Lutz on 10/13 reported via e-mail: I kayaked the Fox River Sunday morning from the Gail Borden Library in Elgin to the footbridge in West Dundee:

Bald Eagle - adult (1)
Great Blue Heron (6+/-)
Great Egret (5)
Kingfisher (2)
Turkey Vulture
Coopers Hawk
Pied-billed Grebe
Blue Jays
Starlings (many)
Gulls (3+/-) Unidentified
Mallards & Geese of course

Jon Duerr on 10/11 reported via e-mail: The largest flock of Swifts this season were seen entering the chimney at Lincoln Grade School [in St. Charles] between 6:35 and 6:45 Friday evening. We guesstamated over 1000 birds dropped into the chimney along Indiana Ave. We started at [Marberry] cleaners but keep seeing Swifts flying SE so we moved over there in time to see them swarming into the chimney.

Jackie & Chris Bowman on 10/9 reported via e-mail: Today we meandered around what used to be a marsh at Prairie Green. It's so hard to believe the soil is dry and cracked. Two stand out birds for us were a LeConte's Sparrow sunning himself on a branch, and at least 3 Nelson's Sparrows flitting about the reeds. All these were seen along the west side of the former marsh.

LeConte's Sparrow

LeConte's Sparrow photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Nelson's Sparrow

Nelson's Sparrow photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Andrew Aldrich on 10/7 reported via IBET: Hi, everyone! Just wanted to share some highlights from the weekend. Spent the morning yesterday birding Kane County with Scott Cohrs. We started at Prairie Green in Geneva looking for sparrows. The number of sparrows concentrated here each fall is mind blowing. SWAMP SPARROWS were most abundant (75~), with SAVANNAH SPARROWS (60~) not far behind. SONG, LINCOLN'S, and WHITE-THROATED present in similar numbers, and one each of FIELD & WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. Had at least a dozen MARSH WRENS throughout, and 5 SEDGE WRENS. Now to the good stuff...

In a mixed flock along the limestone path, a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was foraging low, then dove into the cornstalks shortly after we spotted it. Down by the marsh, which is completely dry now, we were trying to keep track of NELSON'S SPARROWS of which we had at least 6, when a gorgeous adult LE CONTE'S SPARROW joined the group. It uncharacteristically perched out in the open for a good 3-5 minutes, occasionally dropping to the ground to forage. Eventually, a Lincoln's chased it off, and we moved on.

Many birds were flying over including several BOBOLINKS, LAPLAND LONGSPURS, RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, and TREE SWALLOWS with a lone CACKLING GOOSE among a flock of CANADAS. We flushed a WILSON'S SNIPE and a couple SORA on the way to and from the marsh, and a RING-NECKED PHEASANT called.

Over at Peck Farm Park there was 1 SPOTTED SANDPIPER and a group of 3 DOWITCHERS that circled and left. We chased them across the street and as expected, they were LONG-BILLED. Also had a DARK-EYED JUNCO among the sparrows here. A brief stop at Dunteman Sod Farm yielded a couple dozen AMERICAN PIPITS.

On my way back I stopped at Sauer. There is no water here whatsoever, and the vegetation is very high. I had much of what was at Prairie Green, but in smaller numbers. 1-2 NELSON'S SPARROW and a VESPER SPARROW (12th sparrow species of the day) were the highlights there.

Last stop was Settler's Ridge. The pond held many ducks and geese including NORTHERN SHOVELERS, NORTHERN PINTAIL, and GREEN-WINGED TEAL. A few shorebirds besides KILLDEER were present: 2 LEAST SANDPIPERS, 1 GREATER YELLOWLEGS, 1 PECTORAL SANDPIPER, 4 WILSON'S SNIPE, and 1 SORA. As I was leaving, a PEREGRINE FALCON flew over.

Good birding!

Chris Mussachio on 10/4 reported via e-mail: This Yellow-Rumped Warbler, sporting his fall colors, spotted me before I spotted him at the Carpentersville Dam. 

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Chris Mussachio on 10/2 reported via e-mail: Immature Red-headed Woodpeckers are still present near the dam in Carpentersville.

Immature Red-headed Woodpecker and Northern Flicker

Immature Red-headed Woodpecker under the watchful eye of a Northern Flicker. Photo courtesy Chris Mussachio


This page last updated Friday March 28, 2014.

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