Date: 3/8/17 10:36 am From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Birding In A Wind Tunnel Day #4-Chevalier Woods/Des Plaines River Wed 3-8-17
Hello Bird People,
The advantage to birding in the woods on windy days is that some of the wind is blocked. The disadvantage is that branches fall off the trees & sometimes entire trees come crashing down. Lucky for me although a few branches did break off in the wind none landed on my head, although one landed within 30 ft of me, so that wasn't too bad. I expected that due to the wind land birds would be hard to find & overall that was true but I had 3 good sized groups of birds with lots to look at. All 3 groups were feeding flocks seen where berries & seeds were present. Again, this report is of "local interest only".
Chevalier Woods Along The Des Plaines River (7:25-9:35 a.m.)
Canada Goose (8) WOOD DUCK (1-M) Mallard (30-32) (All waterfowl have deserted the river, their Winter location, for the flooded backwaters) Red Tailed Hawk (1) Red Bellied Woodpecker (4) Downy Woodpecker (6) Hairy Woodpecker (3) Blue Jay (2) Chickadee (10-12) W.B. Nuthatch (3) Robins (15 eating red berries & 30 on lawns) Cardinal (3-4) Tree Sparrow (2) Song Sparrow (2 singing) White Throated Sparrow (2) WHITE CROWNED SPARROW (1-IM, probably a bird that wintered nearby) Junco (32) (I mentioned yesterday that Junco's were missing at the CBG probably as they all moved here!)
With the wind getting even stronger I retreated from the woods with it's falling branches & to get the full dose of the wind I stopped at an open lawn area to view:
Lake Opeka In Des Plaines (9:45-10:05 a.m.)
The only way to view the lake is to do so from the east side which is perfect for the winds from the west to blast right into your face. Was only able to look at the lake by using some brick structures as a wind break & to peek out from behind them. By doing so I saw:
Canada Goose (28) Mallard (12) Lesser Scaup (29-30) (Of that group it looked like 2 males were Greater Scaup but I couldn't use my scope to be sure.) Red Breasted Merganser (1-M, sort of but not quite with the Scaup) (This was the 1st group of non-Mallard ducks I have seen at this lake in 2017.) Ring Billed (~80) & Herring (5-6) Gulls (estimates) Land birds fighting the wind were Robin (1) & a few House Sparrows
Decided to battle the wind a little more so I checked Belleau Lake where all I found were a few Canada Geese & Mallards & Axehead where all I found on the lake were "white caps".
Tough to be outside but I got a walk in & did not have a tree land on me so I guess all is well. Bird-Of-The-Windy-Day to the White Crowned Sparrow making an early arrival in N.E. Illinois & Runner-Up to the 2 White Throated Sparrows making it an all Sparrow awards day.
Al Stokie In Cook County on another very windy day
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------