In spite of not seeing any species new for either my year lists for Illinois or Cook County I still feel I had a great day because I was overloaded with birds (mostly ducks & cranes) to look at, I.D. & count. I covered the Lake Calumet area & was out longer than usual & covered more locations then usual with the end result being that this report will be longer than usual which is saying something as my reports are always too long. So I suggest you pick & choose which sites you want to check out & skip the rest. Here we go.
O'Brien Lock & Dam (7:55-8:10 a.m.)
Great Blue Heron (2 by the pond & 2 more flying by) Canada Goose (78), Goldeneye (1-F) & Hooded Merganser (1-PR) Killdeer (heard 1) & Ring Billed Gull (4 on the lawns) Robins, Starlings, Tree & Song Sparrows & Red Wings
Powderhorn F.P. (8:20-8:30 a.m.)
Horned Grebe (1) Canada Goose (4) & Hooded Merganser (1-PR) Ring Billed Gull (4) Robins, Song Sparrow & Red Wings
Wolf Lake/Powers Conservation Area (8:35-10::20 a.m.)
This place was my downfall in terms of keeping to my schedule as I was there almost 2 hours & kept finding more water birds in places I don't usually check. Carl G mentioned not seeing much here to keep him & after my 1st stop I agreed but then I started to look in new places & the numbers kept climbing. Biggest duck numbers were seen along the levee road between Indiana & Illinois.
Horned Grebe (4), Mute Swan (11) & Canada Goose (27) Mallard (6), Green Winged Teal (5), Gadwall (~40) & Wigeon 4-5) Canvasback (80-90), Redhead (~250), Ring Necks (12) & Lesser Scaup (10-12) Goldeneye (6-8), Hooded (1-PR), Common (10-12) & Red Breasted (18) Mergansers Coots (29), Killdeer (2), Ring Billed 32) & Herring (6) Gulls Crows, Chickadees, Robins, Starlings, Tree & Song Sparrows & Cardinals Red Wings & Grackles
126th Street Marsh (10:25-10:30 a.m.)
Canada Goose (2), Mallard (1-M), Killdeer (2) & Robin (3)
Indian Ridge Marsh (10:35-10:40 a.m.)
Mallard (11), Wigeon (1-M), G.W. Teal (3) & Hooded Merganser (1 lone male with 11 females!)
Big Marsh (10:40-11:10 a.m.)
Great Blue Heron (1 fly-by), Mute (15) & TUNDRA (1 remaining) Swans & Canada Goose (8) Mallard (6), Gadwall (17) Shoveler (2-PR) & Goldeneye (1-F) Bald Eagle (1-IM flying by), N.HARRIER (a nice gray adult male hunting) & R,B, Gull (4) Robins, Cardinal & Red Wings
Deadstick Pond (11:10-11:35)
Here I ran into birders Jeff, Elaine F & another birder. Jeff had seen a W.F. Goose & maybe a Ross's Goose at Big Marsh but I did not re-find either when I looked later. Elaine mentioned a possible flock of Snow Geese but they had flown by. Good sightings for those folks! I did not do a careful job here only looking from 1 viewing spot as the Crane invasion was very distracting.
Gadwall (25-30), Ring Necks (~40) & Bufflehead (~10)
The Sandhill Crane Invasion took place with many flying N.W. over both Big Marsh & Dead Stick Pond. During about 1 hour I would estimate about 1000 over Big Marsh & 1200-1500 over Dead Stick. These were probably the Cranes Carl had at Burnham Prairie as that's the direction they were coming from. Like Walter yesterday I found zero white Whoopers but I have been looking at Crane flocks for over 30 years without ever seeing a white one so no surprise that I saw none today.
After lunch I made quick stops at Calumet Park & Steelworkers Park. Saw almost nothing at Cal Park & only R.B. Mergs & a few Gulls at Steelworkers & although 2 Great Black Backed Gulls remained. I think both may have been in Indiana? A film crew was here & several very burly security guards were keeping us common folks from walking toward the old buildings although you could walk to the lake to view the gull pier.
Last stop at the La Rabida (Outer) Harbor where I saw the following
I managed 40 species for the day & 15 species of ducks. Today quantity is king with Bird-Of-The-Day going to the over 2000 calling Sandhill Cranes which was quite an experience even without any white ones. Runners-Up to the almost 100 Canvasbacks, the hunting Harrier & the Tundra Swan. Sorry for the length of this report if that bothers you.
Al Stokie In S.E. Cook County today having a fine old time
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------