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.

A few Bald Eagles (1 adult) and a Peregrine, otherwise not too much else to

As a minor curiosity, I've now seen 68 birds this year in Illinois and Blue
Jay and American Goldfinch are not one of them. I kinda wonder how long i
can go without those 2 birds on my year list.


Carl Giometti

Chicago, IL


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