Date: 2/27/17 1:15 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Montrose & Jarvis-Slow Start But All's Well Ends Well Monday 2-27-17
Hello Bird People,
Arrived at about 7:30 a.m. to find Bob H coming out of the hedge area & he pointed out a RUSTY BLACKBIRD near by. My plan was to look for the Blue Goose & if I got it head to Calumet Park & look for the Ross's Goose seen by Andrew A. But Bob had looked & found no such Goose nor had Alex B nor later had Kanae H. But I looked anyway & of course did not find the Blue Goose either.
Bob had mentioned Shovelers there & indeed they were along with other birds. Here's that list:
Horned Grebe (4 early on but 8 when I returned from Jarvis) Canada Goose (10) & Mallards (37) Shoveler (2-PR) & Goldeneye (6) Common (2) & Red Breasted (~30) Mergansers Coot (2) plus Ring Billed (~60) & Herring (2) Gulls
Beach & Dunes
Killdeer (1), Ring Billed (37) & Herring (1) Gulls & in the Dunes ~10-12 Red Wings
More Goldeneye & Common Mergs plus lots more Red Breasted Mergs
Hedge & Lawn Area
While standing by the "water feature" I was surprised to see an adult D.C. CORMORANT fly overhead heading S.W. I may also have seen Bob's Rusty #2 but it got away. Other land birds seen were Pigeons, Chickadees, Crows (9), Robins, Starlings, Cardinal (4), Tree (3), Song (1) & Fox (2) Sparrows, Junco's (10-12), Red Wings, Grackles, Goldfinch (1) & House Sparrow (~10).
Then things got somewhat difficult. Near the beach house I saw a Blackbird that I thought would be another Rusty but it didn't look quite right. Correct size for a Rusty but all black with the head & neck showing a bright purple/blue gloss, not black. Then I noticed that the bill was not that of a Rusty but was that of a Brewer's as it was shorter & cone shaped. No sign of any rusty color on the back or wings although in full breeding plumage a male Rusty may not still show that. But I will say that the 2 Rusty's that I did see today (Montrose & Jarvis) did still show some rust color on their backs. So to the best of my ability I will say that this bird was a BREWER'S BLACKBIRD. In my defense I will add that I probably see as many Brewer's as anyone since I count them every week on my Illinois Beach bird surveys from April through July/August so I am somewhat familiar with that species. So if you see a Rusty that does not look quite as it should give it a closer look & see what you think.
Didn't see many birds at Jarvis but one bird I did see was a picture perfect RUSTY BLACKBIRD in the smaller of the 2 water areas. This guy did have the bigger bill, an all black head & neck & a fair amount of rust color in it's back & wings. This sighting made me feel better about saying the other blackbird was a Brewer's.
Made the long walk back from Jarvis/Belmont Harbor & made it to the car. Decided to do a drive through to the harbor mouth & back & I am glad I did as there by the gull feeding lot was the previously missing BLUE GOOSE with the black line on it's head. Some days things just seem to go your way so I need to remember that on those other days when NOTHING goes your way.
Bird-Of-The-Day to the Brewer's Blackbird (a good Cook County sighting) & Runners-Up to the fly-by Cormorant, the Jarvis Rusty Blackbird & the late arriving Blue Goose.
Al Stokie Doing the Chicago Lakefront today & glad I did
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------