Date: 3/6/17 1:59 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Searching For Recently Reported Kane County Birds Monday 36-17
Hello Bird People,
Since I only carefully covered 1 place today this report should not be as overly long as was yesterday's. I saw on IBET that Marion M reported a Northern Shrike at Nelson Lake & Brendon reported many birds at several Kane County locations so I decided that was the place to go today mainly as I wanted that Shrike having failed to find all the other ones reported in 2017. I also decided to walk in from the east side lot so that I could check the waterfowl while on the way to Audubon Bridge where the Shrike was seen. I will say that this is a fairly long walk & sections of the trail are quite muddy so if you go be prepared.
As I neared the bridge area I saw another birder coming in on the Seavy pathway. Turned out it was Scott Cohrs & I was glad to see him as he usually sees birds quicker than I do. But Scott or no Scott we did NOT find the Shrike. Decided to return the way we came in so as to re-cover the hedge & small tree area near the bridge which looked like an excellent Shrike area not to mention that the Shrike had been seen there before. But still no Shrike & Scott was out of time needing to get to work, a problem we "old retired guys" no longer have. While making an emergency "pit stop" after Scott left I saw a bird land at tree top level & it was a gray & black bird not another Red Wing. Called Scott back & got it in a scope view. We are sure it is a Northern & not a Loggerhead but you need to check for that on Shrikes seen in March as both are possible although Loggerhead is more unlikely. This may have been the 1st time I have ever spotted a target bird before Scott saw it! I was helped by the fact that he was walking away when it arrived & not looking in that direction.
Shortly thereafter I spotted 2 big white birds flying over the water which we figured would be Pelicans but they turned out to be 2 black billed Trumpeter Swans. They also turned out be a new Kane County species for me. Quite a bonus! Here's my full site list:
Nelson Lake Marsh Area (7:45-9:45 a.m.)
Great Blue Heron (1 fly-by) TRUMPETER SWAN (2) Canada Goose (25-28) Mallard (8) Gadwall (6) Shoveler (12) Green Winged Teal (few in flight) Ring Necked Duck (~20) Coots (~45) NORTHERN HARRIER (1 hunting, not an adult male) Red Tailed Hawk (1 or 2) Kestrel (1 in flight) SANDHILL CRANE (1-PR on the ground) Killdeer (heard 1 in flight) Gull Species? (Too far away but probably a Herring?) Mourning Dove (1) Blue Jay (2) Chickadee (also 2) EASTERN BLUEBIRD (5) Robin (12-14) Starling (4-5) NORTHERN SHRIKE (1, not easy to find but had good looks once we did see it) Cardinal (3-4) Tree Sparrow (2) Song Sparrow (4-5) FOX SPARROW (1, got into a fight with a Purple Finch & the Fox Sparrow won) Junco (15-20) Red Winged Blackbird (25 or more) EASTERN MEADOWLARK (3, FOY for me) PURPLE FINCH (5-6, must of been males as they were singing but all I saw were females)
Brendon had mentioned that both Meadowlark species were back at that undeveloped Stonegate sub-division near Hampshire & I actually remembered how to get there after all the times Brendon told me how. As I arrived the wind was very, very strong & rain had just begun & I thought there's no way anything would sit up & sing. But as happens many times I was wrong as the WESTERN MEADOWLARK was singing away although it was so low I could not see it. Finally after 10 min of looking in the wind & rain I saw it on the top of a short post & had a good look. I guess if that bird wanted to sing it was going to do so no matter the conditions. I will also say that the Eastern Meadowlark did not agree that singing was in order when I was there. If you need directions to this place look at Brendon's IBET post from yesterday.
Bird-Of-The-Day to the N.Shrike which I had almost given up on for this Winter season. Runners-Up to the Western Meadowlark & my new Kane County Trumpeter Swans. And you will note that I turned this post into a fairly long one after all. Always happens!
Al Stokie In Kane County only today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------