John Heneghan on 10/31 reported via e-mail: I don't recall seeing Pine Siskins at the feeders in the yard last year. They are here today. 10/31

Chris Mussachio on 10/29 reported via e-mail: Spotted half a dozen or so of these Dark-eyed Juncos at Library Springs in East Dundee.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Rich Miller on 10/26 reported via e-mail: Marion and I spotted this rarity at Hupp Park in Aurora (Indian Trail & Orchard Rd.). Who says it too late in the season to get a good look at a T V?

Turkey Vulture?

Turkey Vulture(?) photo courtesy Rich Miller

Jim Narovec on 10/24 reported via e-mail: Spotted a single Bald Eagle on the west bank of the Fox River north of the dam in Carpentersville 10/24 at 1pm.

Roger Amery on 10/24 reported via e-mail: Today at about 11:00 AM, I went to the pond at southeast corner of Illinois and Orchard Road at west side of Aurora. Besides the Canada geese, mallards, and gulls, I saw cackling geese for the first time in my life. After that, I went to 2303 w. Indian Trail at the northeast corner of Orchard and Indian trail. There is a retention pond at the east side of the Exel building. There I saw more Canada geese, cackling geese, and one blue phased snow goose.

Ken Schneider on 10/24 reported via e-mail: On our last chance to get out birding before returning to Florida we visited Hickory Knolls, where we found a mixed flock of sparrows in the meadow near the road, including, Song, Chipping, Savannah, White-throated, White-crowned and American Tree Sparrows. I thought I heard a Red-breasted Nuthatch and searched for it in the trees near the Center building without any luck. No hope for that species back home! Some of the Chipping Sparrows were difficult to ID in the field.

American Tree Sparrrow

American Tree Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Ken Schneider on 10/23 reported via e-mail: On Wed, October 22 I photographed a pair of Double-crested Cormorants on the small lake in Aurora, at the SE corner of Orchard Road and Illinois Avenue, behind the fire station. They were with a large flock of Canada and Cackling Geese. One of the cormorants had a metal band on its right leg and a red band with white inscription on its left leg. I could only make out two of the characters on the red band:  "V" or possibly "Y" and "2." The next character was mostly obscured. I reported the finding to the USFWS but since I could not decipher the writing on the metal band they could not help, and referred me to the USCS Bird Banding Lab. I sent them the attached photos.

Today Jennifer McKay of USGS <  jmckay@usgs.gov   > wrote back: We believe that this bird was banded in 2003 in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, that color band code is a three digit code and without the last digit we can not narrow it down to the individual. However, That series of bands were used in 2003 in Wisconsin.  Thank you for the report. If you find any other photos with all the digits visible we can enter it into our system. Jennifer.

We are returning to Florida but if anyone stops by the lake you may look for this cormorant and perhaps catch the entire inscription or even read the metal band.

Banded Doule-crested Cormorant

Banded Double-crested Cormorant photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Band detail

Band close-up

Chris Mussachio on 10/23 reported via e-mail: Lucky enough to get some close-ups of this Great Egret having breakfast at Jelke Bird Sanctuary.

Great Egret

Great Egret photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Ken Schneider on 10/22 reported via e-mail: At 8:30 this morning Mary Lou and I saw a very dark duck as well as two pairs of Mallards in the lake at the far south end of Lippold Park. Its bill was clear yellow unlike female Mallards. It acted very wary, with its neck outstretched unlike the other ducks, and was some distance away from them. We had just arrived and my camera wasn't ready, so I was only able to get a blurry shot of it before it launched into flight. Luckily I was able to get a couple of flight shots in good focus. They showed it has a purple speculum with a thin white trailing edge, unlike the Mallards. We also encountered a flock of a dozen or more Purple Finches. They were foraging in the two large evergreen trees (cypress?) that have lots of cones near their tops and are turning red. Only saw one in adult male plumage and missed the photo opportunity. Following up on Marion's sighting, we also checked out the pond at Illinois & Orchard but the only geese present were Canada and Cackling. The size difference between the two species is remarkable.

American Black Duck

American Black Duck photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Purple Finches

Purple Finches photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Diane Hansen on 10/22 reported via e-mail: We literally went on a wild goose chase yesterday. Drove out to Highland Woods hoping to find the Snow Geese but no luck with that. I got out of the car to check a pond that was too low to see and was able to find a group of about 10-12 Northern Shovelers. Also had 1 Sandhill Crane fly over and a "bird" of the military kind with a huge Air Force plane circling as if to head to O'Hare. I saw a similar plane at SEBA Park Saturday morning.

Northern Shovelers

Northern Shovelers photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Military Bird

Military Bird photo courtesy Diane Hansen

Ken Schneider on 10/22 reported via e-mail: There were two small flocks of 4-6 Fox Sparrows along the lake's east trail at Nelson Lake on the morning of 21 October. Also saw a Lincoln's Sparrow at the corner of the east and south trails. A Black-capped Chickadee also posed nicely along the way. Despite the frost, butterflies were active on 20 October, including a Question Mark. More photos on my Flickr page.

Fox Sparrow

Fox Sparrow photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Question Mark Butterfly

Question Mark Butterfly photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Beatriz Vertiz on 10/20 reported via e-mail: On OCT 2, 2014 I spotted 2 Bald Eagles right by OTTO Engineering, Carpentersville Il . Last year our first sighting was 11/19/2013

Marion Miller on 10/20 reported via e-mail: This morning I stopped by the retention pond behind the Aurora Fire Station at the corner of Orchard Rd and Illinois Ave. A large flock of Cackling Geese were present and there were lots of chances to compare them to their "bigger" cousins. Also a dark juvenile Snow Goose was hanging out with the many Canada Geese present.

Cackling Goose vs Canada Goose comparison

Cackling Goose vs. Canada Geese comparison photo courtesy Marion Miller

Immature Blue Morph Snow Goose

Immature Blue Morph Snow Goose photo courtesy Marion Miller

Debbie Wisser on 10/20 reported via e-mail: I have been periodically checking out the ponds in the Highland Woods subdivision on the west side of Elgin to see if I can find anything other than Canada Geese. Today I was rewarded with five Snow Geese, and I've attached a photo of two of them. Two Sandhill Cranes flew over while I was looking at the geese.

Snow Geese

Snow Geese photo courtesy Debbie Wisser

Ken Schneider on 10/20 reported via e-mail: At the east entrance of Nelson Lake/Dick Young FP this morning there was an immature Red-headed Woodpecker on the oak tree just north and adjacent to the entrance drive. Hundreds of American Coots were on the lake, with dozens of Mallards. Am also quite sure I identified two American Wigeons and a Hooded Merganser among them.

Immature Red-headed Woodpecker

Immature Red-headed Woodpecker photo courtesy Ken Schneider

Gloria Dimoplon on 10/18 reported via e-mail: 10/17 at Burnidge. On our walk Friday we had 3 Snow Goose flying along with a small group of Canada Geese.

Rich Miller on 10/17 reported via e-mail: My name is Rich Miller, I am the son of Marion and Richard Miller. They asked for me to share this with you. This photo was taken in Aurora by a residential pond. This is a great Blue Heron, sitting patiently in a pond waiting for dinner to surface (no pun intended). Enjoy this photo.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron photo courtesy Rich Miller

John Heneghan on 10/17 reported via e-mail: Saw 2 sandhills in the field across from Johnson's Feed on Rt 38 today after picking up seed.

Brendon Lake on 10/17 reported via IBET: Hi all, not super exciting, but there is currently a Greater White-Fronted Goose with a large flock of Canada Geese and Cackling Geese at the retention pond on Valley Way in Burlington. No telling how long it may stay, geese often get flushed at this location.

Scott Cohrs on 10/17 reported via eBird: Seeing a Red Phalarope on the evening of 10/16 in the Mill Creek subdivision in Geneva. The bird was not seen the next morning. The Black-necked Stilt continues.

Barb Rask on 10/16 reported via e-mail: During the past week on my walks along the Fox River just south of Stearns Road Bridge I continue to see large groups of Wood Ducks. The largest count being yesterday morning with approximately 80 ducks. They are very skittish and when startled will fly to the east side of the river near the Midwest Ground-cover property.

Andrew Aldrich on 10/13 reported via eBird: Seeing an American Bittern at the ponds of Settler's Court subdivision in Sugar Grove.

Lucy DeLap on 10/12 reported via e-mail: Hi, my name is Lucy DeLap. I live in East Dundee and have been a backyard watcher for many decades.

I have delayed in taking down my hummingbird feeders this year - saw the last ruby throated on Oct. 6.

Today, 10/12, at around noon, I heard the familiar buzz and looked up to see a female Rufous Hummingbird flitting between the 2 feeders, pausing in a nearby tree, then drinking again before departing.

I could clearly see orange patches on her sides beneath her wings, as well as a dark spot on her throat. I have not seen any rufous here before but will be leaving my feeders out a bit longer just in case...

Brendon Lake on 10/11 reported via e-mail: Yesterday (October 10th) I went out around Kane County to look for Snow Geese. I found a juvenile light morph at a retention pond near the intersection of Jake Lane and Romke Road in Hampshire. This bird was scared off by a couple of teenagers and flew off to the north-east. What I believe was the same individual (flight path and time frame worked well to support this possibility) was found on a baseball diamond at the Cambridge Lakes community center in Pingree Grove. The community center is located on Wester Boulevard, south of Route 72. Later, driving on Bowes Road in Elgin, I spotted an adult light morph Snow Goose on a retention pond on the south side of the road. This retention pond is near Corron Road on Bowes Road, and is not a viewer friendly spot. There is no shoulder on Bowes, so the only way to view it is from Whispering Springs Lane, where you would have to look between houses from the street, so I just snapped a few photos and left. This was not the first time I had a Snow Goose at this retention pond either.

Snow Goose

Snow Goose photo courtesy Brendon Lake

Jackie and Chris Bowman on 10/9 reported via e-mail: Nelson's Sparrow continue at Prairie Green. Today we observed at least three in the Northwest corner of the marsh area. White-throated, White-crowned sparrows were also present along the paths to the marsh.

Nelson's Sparrow

Nelson's Sparrow photo courtesy Jackie Bowman

Lauren Jennison on 10/8 reported via e-mail: We have a beautiful pair of Great Horned Owls in our neighborhood at Kenston Court in Geneva. They can be heard or seen at dusk and like to hunt around the Kane County Education Office. The female is easily distinguishable.

Scott Cohrs on 10/8 reported via eBird: The Geneva Black-necked Stilt continues.

Jon Heneghan on 10/7 reported via e-mail: A white pelican was seen this morning at the retention pond near the auto mall at I-88 and Orchard Rd.

Jon Duerr on 10/7 reported via e-mail: Our St. Charles Swifts move around. They are using a chimney at NAPA Auto store, S 3d St. Joy counted 245 tonight. They have completely abandoned Marberry Cleaners and the Arcada Theater.

Scott Cohrs on 10/7 reported via eBird: At 8 AM a Black-necked Stilt in the Mill Creek subdivision in Geneva. There were at least 3 subsequent sightings.

Ed Kasley on 10/6 reported via e-mail: I saw a pelican this morning, 10-6 at the retention pond at the North Aurora Auto Mall, I88 and Orchard.

Chris Mussachio on 10/6 reported via e-mail: Had the pleasure of meeting this Solitary Sandpiper in Carpentersville. Walked to within 15 feet of where I was tucked away.

Solitary Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper photo courtesy Chris Mussachio

Eric Secker on 10/6 reported via IBET: I did some hawk-watching late yesterday morning (Sun.) at Judson in Elgin hoping for the rare chance at something like a Golden Eagle coming in on the western winds.

There was a small but decent mix of birds migrating through in the morning while the sun was still out including a handful of Red-tailed Hawks, a couple Sharp-shinned Hawks, 1 Cooper's Hawk (may have been local), and a couple groups of Sandhill Cranes, about 85 total. Most of the hawks were moving SE against the strong W/SW winds. But on to the highlight, around 11:30 a.m. a Prairie Falcon flew by very low and fast heading east or slightly ENE towards the Fox River. The bird was not far above the tree line as it passed over -very pale mostly white tail, primaries and secondaries with classic dark coverts on the wings transitioning to white in the leading edge, narrow brown mustache stripe, very pale bodied underneath with only a little very thin vertical streaking and some more rounded spots further down. It was close enough that I'd wager a guess that it was an adult if the differences shown in the field guides are fairly reliable.

I let a few local people know, but I figured the bird was quickly long gone and couldn't wager a guess at which direction it would have ended up going against the strong winds.

John Heneghan on 10/5 reported via IBET: We have a winter wren hanging around the house [in Sugar Grove] for the last few days. First we have seen at the house.

Lori Ambrose on 10/4 reported via e-mail: 10/4 at 5:20 PM - White pelican sited in the retention pond at the North Aurora Auto Mall at I-88 and Orchard Road.

Brendon Lake on 10/4 reported via IBET: Hi all, just in case anyone else was curious, the three Bonaparte's Gulls reported by Urs Geiser, were still present as of 1:12pm. They may have hung around a while after if anyone wants to take a look. Again, the location is the south end of James O. Breen Community Park, on Peck Road, there is a retention pond there. There is a parking lot that can be accessed from the intersection of Peck Road and Springfield Way in St. Charles, park here and walk along the football field south for viewing. As mentioned before, this is the same place the Avocet was seen yesterday.

Urs Geiser on 10/4 reported via IBET: [American Avocet] Not there Saturday 11:30am. Consolation prize 3 Bonaparte' Gulls.

Margaret Mechtenberg on 10/4 reported via phone: A Peregrine Falcon perched atop a utility pole in South Elgin on Kenyon Road, west of Route 25 mid-morning.

Scott Cohrs on 10/3 reported via eBird: At 8 AM, an American Avocet in the retention pond along Peck Road at James O. Breen Community Park in St. Charles. Joy and Jon Duerr report the bird still present at 1:15.


American Avocet

American Avocet photo courtesy Chris Madsen

Brendon Lake on 10/1 reported via IBET: Hey everybody, ran all around northern Kane County looking for anything and everything I could find. Starting with the pond near my house (in Burlington), 8 Cackling Geese couldn't have been any more obvious in a large group of 100+ Canada Geese at this pond. The Burlington Park was mostly quiet, with the exception of a fly-by Eastern Phoebe. Hampshire Forest Preserve was excellent birding today, with highlights including Black-Throated Green, Palm, Nashville and Yellow-Rumped Warblers, a Blue-Headed Vireo, Ruby and Golden-Crowned Kinglets, Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers, and my bird(s) of the day, two Red-Breasted Nuthatches that were foraging amongst some pines together with all the Kinglets, Chickadees, the Vireo and Warblers. Also of note, seven Eastern Towhees. Burnidge Forest Preserve was not as eventful, but still good. Highlights of Cooper's and Red-Tailed Hawk, three Double-Crested Cormorants, Wood Duck, Pied-Billed Grebe and Field Sparrow.

Joy Duerr on 10/1 reported via text message: As of 7:25 AM, there is an American White Pelican on the river at Boy Scout Island in St. Charles.


This page last updated Wednesday December 03, 2014.

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