Date: 3/10/17 5:08 pm
From: Brendon Lake <brendonlake10...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Kane County Birding - 3/9 (Late Report)
Hi everybody, I thought I should report some of my findings from birding yesterday in Kane County. Better late than never, right? Anyways, I spent the late morning and entire rest of the day out and about after work, and had a very solid time, seeing 59 species in all! The highlights are as follows:
Hampshire Forest Preserve - A very enjoyable morning walk here was very birdy. At one point in time, five Red-Bellied Woodpeckers were all seen in the same tree, I have never seen anything like that before! Woodpeckers were very active, possibly due to recent storm damage? Here the theme of the day quickly became apparent. Although the weather was colder than it has been recently, birding felt more like April than March. Two large mixed foraging flocks were impressive, one largely made up of White-Throated Sparrows, with a Hermit Thrush and a leucistic American Robin mixed in. The second was largely Fox Sparrows, about 11 of them. A Sharp-Shinned Hawk flew through and scattered the White-Throated Sparrows, possibly the same Sharpie I saw back on January 2nd.
Pingree Grove Water Treatment Plant Marsh - A Pied-Billed Grebe and a couple of Bufflehead were all that were notable on the marsh. Once again, a large concentration of waterfowl was on the fenced-in lake, too far for me to see.
Burnidge Forest Preserve - Here I sat in the parking lot for about 45 minutes, watching as an endless stream of Sandhill Cranes flew over heading northwest. I estimate that I saw over 3,000 cranes in the time I was there! Mixed in with the cranes were some sporadic raptors, I came up with a Turkey Vulture, five Red-Tailed Hawks, and a Bald Eagle. The large pond had more than 20 Ring-Necked Ducks and several Gadwall on it.
Carpentersville Dam - Nothing really on the river, but two Great Blue Herons were along the shoreline. The woods along the walking path were very birdy, with a large flock of American Tree Sparrows, a Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, a Golden-Crowned Kinglet, and a Hermit Thrush foraging out in the middle of the path.
Jon Duerr Forest Preserve - Very birdy here too! I counted 54 Tree Swallows over the river while I was at the pedestrian bridge that crosses the river near the Stearns Road bridge upstream from the preserve. There was a Tufted Titmouse along the bike trail up there, and three Yellow-Rumped Warblers were foraging together along the bike trail that runs along the river by the trolley tracks. Another two Yellow-Rumped Warblers were foraging down by the river near the bike bridge. There was a Fox Sparrow and a Golden-Crowned Kinglet foraging along the trolley tracks in the quarry.
Burlington Park Fluddles - The fluddles near the football field at the Burlington Park, with easy parking access off of Burlington Road, are back. They are somewhat overgrown, and very difficult to see in places, but they are productive! I had a flock of blackbirds here with 6 Rusties mixed in, a drake Wood Duck, and five Wilson's Snipe.
Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve - At sunset, I set up shop in Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve (Bahr Road, just south of Plank Road), where I got distant, diagnostic looks at a hunting Short-Eared Owl on the far end of the preserve. Scope is completely necessary for a good look. Three displaying American Woodcocks made the sunset even more enjoyable.
That's what I saw, sorry about the very long post, but it was again a very long day!
Brendon LakeBurlington, Kane County
 
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