Jean Spitzer on 9/30 reported via IBET: Wednesday, 9/30/09, from 3 to 5:30 PM.

Bob and I decided to take a walk around Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve in Kane County, this afternoon. As we walked around the west side, we spotted a bald eagle soaring. After a short while it disappeared. We continued our hike around, then found him sitting high in a leafless tree above the trail. We took photos with a Panasonic Lumix multiple times. We left the Nikon with the 300 mm lens in the car, so couldn't get a better shot. As we got closer it took off again, not to be seen.

We also saw:
Pied billed Grebe
Northern Shovlers
Ring billed Gull
Canada Geese
, of course
Blue Jays
Black capped chickadees
Red Winged black birds,
Red bellied WoodPecker
Yellow rumped warbler

Many American Gold finches
Northern Harrier

When we left Nelson Lake, we took the road north to the T, turned left to check out the other picnic shelter in the vast prairie. While watching for birds at the Pothole, we only heard Sandhill Cranes, & saw a white tailed deer.

Northern Cardinal fledgling
photo courtesy Sue Wagoner.
Click on the photo for larger view.

Sue Wagoner on 9/28 reported via e-mail: I spotted this latecomer Cardinal fledgling Sunday morning after hearing almost constant "chipping" from baby and mom and then seeing his almost-bald mom feeding him.

Even at this age "he" is sporting a crest. (And yes, little guy, you will have a tail someday)

Hope he fared well in that brutal wind Sunday night!!

(I read that the baldness in Cardinals comes from a combination of molting and their difficulty in reaching the top of the head to remove bugs)

Michael Hogg on 9/27 reported via IBET: That he and Jerry Rosenband observed..."flocks of TREE SWALLOWS hawking over open country with the odd BARN SWALLOW mixed in. A STILT SANDPIPER, a LESSER YELLOWLEGS and 14 LEAST SANDPIPER in a retention pond in [an] Allen Road construction site."

Christopher Cudworth on 9/27 reported via IBET: The following species were present [at Nelson Lake/Dick Young FP] on the east side near the overlook on Saturday, September 26

Sedge Wren
Swamp Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
House Wren
Palm Warbler
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Chestnut sided warbler
Cape May Warbler
Cedar Waxwing
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Rufous Sided Towhee
Red Winged blackbird
Black Capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Wood Duck
Blue-winged teal
Great Blue Heron
Common Egret
Mourrning Dove
Chimney Swift
Yellow bellied sapsucker
Northern Flicker
Red Bellied woodpecker
Downy woodpecker
House Finch

Conditions were dense fog and slight sw breeze. Nothing was visible on the lake when I left at 8:30 a.m.

Walter Lutz on 9/26 reported via e-mail: Also falling under the category of "not sure what to make of it' - while walking my dog on the west side of Elgin in a residential neighborhood late afternoon Saturday I unmistakenly saw (& heard) two parrots flying high in the treetops. I've seen parrots in the San Diego area and in South America so I'm absolutely sure, but it was not a good enough look to identify exactly what type of parrot. I can only surmise these birds were pets that got loose or were released. Unfortunately, these birds will perish in the coming months. This once again raises the issue of exotic pets (which I am totally against). The wild bird trade has decimated the populations of parrots, macaws and the like in the wild. I feel we, as birders, need to speak out against this idiotic desire to have exotic birds.

Scott Cohrs on 9/24 reported via IBET: Falling under the 'I don't know what to make of it' category, I had a longspur fly-over this morning as I was getting into my car in the driveway. That's noteworthy alone, as I live in the middle of suburbia [in St. Charles].
In fact, it took a second for the notes to register because I just wasn't expecting it. More surprising is the fact that I am fairly certain it was a Smith's Longspur. I know Travis [Mahan] had one a few days ago at Shelbyville, and there have been some scattered fall sightings recently, but I am still skeptical. I got a view of the bird with my naked eye, but it will have to just remain a yard longspur species.
Still nice.

Western Fox Snake photo courtesy Ken Schneider. Click on photo for a larger view.

Ken Schneider on 9/24 reported via e-mail: Yesterday morning I waited for the fog to clear, and visited the east end of Nelson Lake around 1:30 PM. No birds were singing, not even the lone Song Sparrow I heard yesterday. Heard two Sedge Wrens calling, both in spots where I saw juveniles yesterday, but never caught sight of them. The hordes of blackbirds were entirely gone-- they must roost there overnight. Only saw about 6 warblers, and ID'd two as Magnolias. An interesting find was this 3 foot long Western Fox Snake that was basking on the mud flats along the creek that runs under Audubon Bridge.

John Heneghan on 9/23 reported via IBET: Saw three sandhill cranes flying over Aurora Airport today. We have had quite a few bluejays in our trees [in Big Rock], not used to hearing them calling, though good to hear them again.
This evening, we heard 2 Great Horned Owls calling, something someone else mentioned about hearing them call in September. Also, we are still seeing a female hummingbird at the feeders.

Ken Schneider on 9/23 reported via e-mail: Mary Lou and I made a foggy early morning visit to east side of Nelson Lake yesterday morning. A good flight of warblers came through in two waves, but most were in the treetops and we could only identify a few species. Suspect, from the plain bellies, that many were Tennessee. One photo looks like Cape May, but uncertain. Cedar Waxwings were hawking insects up with the swallows. Could hardly see across the lake. Osprey was seen on the 17th as well. Viewing and photographic conditions were awful. Photo of Cooper's Hawk is from the 17th (it cut into view as I was trying to get the Osprey). See more photos at my blog.

Location:     Nelson Lake Marsh Nature Preserve/Dick Young FP (Kane Co.)
Observation date:     9/22/09
Notes:     Heavy fog limited ability to identify warblers in treetops.
Number of species:     34

Canada Goose     30
Mallard     12
Ring-necked Pheasant     1 (H)
Great Blue Heron      4
Osprey     1
Cooper's Hawk     1
Red-tailed Hawk     1
Sandhill Crane (Greater)     2 (H)
Killdeer     2
Mourning Dove     20
Chimney Swift     10
Red-bellied Woodpecker     2
Downy Woodpecker     1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)     7
Eastern Wood-Pewee     1 (H)
Empidonax sp.     1
Blue Jay     8
American Crow     4
Tree Swallow     10
swallow sp.     50
Black-capped Chickadee     4
House Wren     1
Sedge Wren     3
American Robin     25
Gray Catbird     2
Brown Thrasher     3
Cedar Waxwing     30
Tennessee Warbler     2
Nashville Warbler     1
Magnolia Warbler     4
Black-throated Green Warbler     1
warbler sp.     30
Song Sparrow     1 (H)
Northern Cardinal     2
Rose-breasted Grosbeak     3
Indigo Bunting     1
Red-winged Blackbird     30
Common Grackle     100
Brown-headed Cowbird     12
blackbird sp.     300
American Goldfinch     6

Cooper's Hawk (L) and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (R) photos courtesy Ken Schneider.
Click on the photos for a larger view.

Sue Wagoner on 9/18 reported via e-mail: Here are the answers to the unknown bugs I sent a while back [see Sue's photos and 9/13 report below] -- the info was sent by an entomologist friend who also teaches the science... he is a fun resource!

The colorful, almost transparent one on the Queen Anne's Lace is "an Ambush Bug (in the Reduviidae family of the Hemiptera order). They get their name from sitting on flowers (most common on Goldenrod) and "ambushing" pollinators such as flies, moths, bees, wasps, etc. They often attack prey many times their size. In fact on more than one occasion, I have wondered why a butterfly wasn't moving on a flower only to look closely and see it was being eaten by an Ambush Bug! They don't show in the photo, but their front legs are raptorial (almost like a preying mantis)."

The green one with transparent wings and totally flat back is a "Prairie Tree Cricket (Family Gryllidae, Order Orthoptera). These make a distinctive song at night that you will probably recognize (Click here to hear a sample)."

Ron Herrmann on 9/17 reported via e-mail: While out bike riding, my wife spotted a pair (I believe) of Sandhill Cranes on the Kenyon Farm just East of Barry Road [in South Elgin]. They were, of all places, in a cow pasture(!)

Mark Bowman on 9/17 reported via e-mail: Was out biking today when I ran across a group of killdeer and amongst them was 2 fall juvenile buff-breasted sandpipers. They were seen in a short grass field near St Charles [East] high school.

Two views of Buff-breasted Sandpipers courtesy Mark Bowman.
Click on the photos for a larger view.

Bill Koch on 9/17 reported via e-mail: I briefly walked Burnidge Forrest Preserve this morning around the paved loop. Many birds were present today. 40 Species in total for a 35 minute walk. An Osprey was in a dead tree overlooking the pond by the pavilion. First time I have seen an Osprey there.

9 species of warblers came through in a group with some chickadees that included Magnolia, Nashville, Tennessee, and Black Throated Green Warblers. Other birds of interest were Brown Creepers , Yellow Throated Vireo and several rough looking Juvenile Eastern Towhees.

Bob Andrini on 9/15 reported via e-mail: This morning at Norris Woods (St. Charles) Kath and I spotted a Black squirrel - this is the first black squirrel I've ever seen in St. Charles.

Darrell Shambaugh on 9/15 reported via IBET: It's only Tuesday, but I've got some sightings to post.

Tuesday Afternoon there was an AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER at Dunteman's Sod Farm in Kaneville. Along with it were 11 HORNED LARKS and about 60 KILLDEER. The birds were in the grass south of Main Street. I didn't check the tilled ground north of Main Street.

Monday afternoon I bicycled from Bliss Woods to Hanford Woods, near Sugar Grove in Kane County. There were some birds in the woods, but I could only see two well enough to identify, a BLACKPOLL WARBLER, and a SWAINSON'S THRUSH. At Hanford Woods there was a flock of flickers, at least 5. An EASTERN PEEWEE was at Hanford Woods.

Pete Moxon on 9/14 reported via phone: At the pond along Peck Road south of the soccer fields at West Side Park (formerly Campton Hills Park) in St. Charles: Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary, Pectoral, Least, Semipalmated, and Spotted sandpipers, and Blue-winged Teal.

Sue Wagoner on 9/13 reported via e-mail: For those insect-lovers in the group, I saw this colorful, intricate bug on Queen Anne's Lace at Nelson Lake recently, and also saw the insect with the wonderfully transparent flat wings on the Sauer Family Preserve ramble last week.
I could not name either one but thought it might be fun to see if anyone can name them.
I sent the photos to an entomologist I know in Joliet and he sent me back the names and a little about each one, so I will submit the answers later. Good luck, "buggers".

Can you identify Sue Wagoner's bugs? Click on the pictures for a larger view. Submit guesses here.

Eileen DiMarco on 9/11 reported via e-mail: I suppose this doesn’t count since I didn’t actually see them, but last night as clear as a bell, I could hear two owls “hooting” to each other for at least an hour. I live in a townhouse in Big Woods right off the Illinois Prairie Path just west of Eola and Bilter [in Aurora]. I’ve lived there seven years now and have never heard owls before so I thought I should make some organization aware of it. I noticed from your listing of sightings that there aren’t any owls so I don’t know how unusual this is. It started as soon as it became dark and believe me, there was no mistaking that these were owls. I went out on my balcony & looked but it was too dark to see.

Yeanette Johnson on 9/9 reported via IBET: I birded Les Arends with Lisa G today. Here is our list:


Darrell Shambaugh on 9/9 reported via IBET: This afternoon I drove up Lorang Road north of Main Street east of Kaneville to check on the sod farms. They are planted in corn. However there were about 40 TREE SWALLOWS on the wires along the road. Other birds seen between St. Charles and Somonauk this afternoon:

3 AMERICAN KESTRELS at Main Street and Swan Road, in western Kane County west of Kaneville

4 RED-TAILED HAWKS scattered around the countryside.

Ari Shavit on 9/8 reported via IBET: I went to Rutland [FP] and there were a couple of Red headed woodpeckers. I put 2 photos on surfbirds.

Pete Moxon on 9/7 reported via phone: Six Buff-breasted Sandpipers at Dunteman's Sod Farm just south of the Johnson's Mound FP entrance.

Jeff Smith on 9/7 reported via IBET: After biking from Wasco to St. Charles and back, Susan Kaley and I watched 250+ Nighthawks hunting over the Great Western Trail this evening. By far the largest group of Nighthawks I've seen this year.

Pete Moxon on 9/6 reported via phone: At Dunteman's Sod Farm across from the entrance to Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve, 2 Buff-breasted Sandpipers and 2 American Golden-Plovers. At Dunteman's on Main Street east of Kaneville, 2 Upland Sandpipers on the north side of Main Street and 2 American Golden-Plovers and many Horned Larks on the south side.

Later in the day, between Lippold Park and Les Arends Forest Preserve, 13 species of warblers with some nice pockets of birds including 3 Cape Mays, 2 Chestnut-sided, lots of Blackburnian, 4 Bay-breasted, 1 Blackpoll, 5 Black-and-white, 13 Redstarts, 3 Black-throated Green, 7 Magnolia, 5 Nashvilles, 2 Canadas, 22 Tennessee, 1 Ovenbird, several Red-eyed Vireo, 3 Yellow-throated Vireo, 2 Philadelphia Vireos, 2 Warbling Vireos, 1 Osprey, a Cooper's Hawk, a Broad-winged Hawk, a Red-shouldered Hawk, and a few Semi-palmated Sandpipers on a spit just north of the old dam south of Batavia.

Sue Wagoner on 9/6 reported via e-mail: In spite of his shyness, this Marsh Wren popped up for a look at who was following him during Thursday's ramble at Sauer Family Forest Preserve.

Also this Blue-Grey Gnatcatcher appeared about 10 feet in front of me in my backyard the other day. I am seeing American Redstarts daily migrating through our neighborhood and saw my first Tennessee Warbler last week, also in my backyard.

Marsh Wren (L) and Blue-grey Gnatcatcher (R) photos courtesy Sue Wagoner.

Christopher Cudworth on 9/6 reported via IBET: At the Kaneville/Dunteman Sod Farm on Main Street / Kane County, there were

150 killdeer
4 Golden Plover
75 Starlings

At Sauer Kame / 1.5 miles south of Kaneville on Daubermann Road
Vesper Sparrow
Song sparrow
Wood Duck (4)
Blue winged teal
Common crow
Mourning dove
Eastern Meadowlark
Common snipe
Great blue heron
Canada Goose

At Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve, birds of note
Wood duck
Ruby throated hummingbird
(15, all in east side woods)
Cedar waxwing
Blue Jay
Great Blue heron
Tree swallow
Common flicker
Sedge Wren
Least flycatcher

I also made a drive by stop at Denny Road marsh where there were 50+ wood ducks.

Michael Hogg on 9/5 reported via IBET: That he and Jerry Rosenband observed 82 American Golden Plover "in one flock opposite a small sod farm on Melms Road, Kane County in a dry ploughed field along with a Baird's Sandpiper."

In addition, they also saw 10 Golden Plover at Coon Creek Sod Farm on Allen Road.

Jack Pomatto on 9/1 reported via e-mail: On a short hike this morning I saw three species of warblers: Nashville, Chestnut-sided and Tennessee. Fall warbler migration has started for me. These birds were along the Fox River at Jon Duerr ( Blackhawk ) F. P.

Debbie Wisser on 9/1 reported via e-mail: My Dairy Queen trip was a success tonight. I went to the other side of the building, and got to see my first descent of the Chimney Swifts. Now, I would really like to see what it looks like inside that chimney.

Darrell Shambaugh on 9/1 reported via IBET: Monday near Les Arends Forest Preserve (between Batavia and Mooseheart on Route 31) I found an OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, two TENNESSEE WARBLERS, 2 AMERICAN REDSTARTS, 2 RED-EYED VIREOS, a lot of CEDAR WAXWINGS, a few GRAY CATBIRDS, and at least 25 BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES.

Monday at Riverside Park, on Route 25 at Division Street in Geneva and St. Charles, there were two BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS.

Tuesday along the bike trail between Riverside Park and Fabyan Forest Presere I saw a BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER, a NASHVILLE WARBLER, and at leastt 12 EASTERN WOOD PEEWEES. There were two family groups with youngsters pestering adults for food. Two groups of COMMON NIGHTHAWKS flew over, one group of 6 birds and another of 25. Both groups were heading west.

Sue Wagoner on 9/1 reported via e-mail: On today's ramble at Prairie Green Wetlands this Grasshopper Sparrow was posing very nicely for some photos- he must have been a young one as he allowed me to get very close.
There were also Coots- many of them- young and old, along with some 27 other species... nice walk, thanks Paul Mayer!!

Seen at Prairie Green Wetland on 9/1, Grasshopper Sparrow (L) and American Coot (R).
Photos courtesy Sue Wagoner.


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