Date: 3/1/17 11:38 am From: 'Carolyn A. Marsh' <cmarshbird...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: RE: IBET Big Marsh, Cook - 2/28 morning (Tundra Swan - Yes)
The Big Marsh north parking lot is blocked and closed. Only the Big Marsh bike park on the south end, next to a landfill, is open to the public. Inside the bike park, the single-track bike trail going north does not connect to the north parking lot. It intentionally ends at an excavated channel preventing access to the northern most section. The Chicago Park District requires participants to sign a Liability Release Form during events on the north side because of the environmental hazards. How does a birder explore the northern portion of the park under the circumstances?
Carolyn Marsh, bistate birder, Whiting, IN
From: <ILbirds...> [mailto:<ILbirds...>] On Behalf Of <chicagio10...> [ILbirds] Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 4:06 PM To: <ILbirds...> Subject: IBET Big Marsh, Cook - 2/28 morning (Tundra Swan - Yes)
I spent a couple hours this morning at big marsh. My goal today was to explore the northern portion of the park, where trails are still being developed and waste removed (rubber boats necessary if you leave the crushed gravel). Most notable sightings were an American Woodcock and loads of Song Sparrows (40+). There are some great tangles of branches and grasses creating excellent sparrow habitat. White-throated Sparrows were also present in good numbers (~15). 20+ Snow Geese were seen on the ground and then flushed, flying westward; many were blue morphs.
Heading back to the parking lot and the south side of the park, Green-winged Teal have really moved into the submerged vegetation area along the edge of the water. Unfortunately, it makes it difficult to walk along the trail without flushing all of them. But, it did allow me to get a good estimate on the flock size (125). As the subject line mentions, the Tundra Swan was still there among 12 or so Mute Swans. Shovelers, Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard, Hooded & Common Merganser round out the ducks. I didn't have my scope and they were really twitchy so there could have been some others hiding around there.