On Sunday I made a loop through Livingston, Ford, McLean, and Woodford Counties in an attempt to find previously reported "desirable" birds. Even though I failed to find longspurs, loons, or large grebes, I nevertheless found quite a variety of waterfowl and a couple of other nice birds.
I ended up with 17 species of ducks (missing only Black Duck, Pintail, Greater Scaup, and sea ducks) and 3 species of geese. Locations included Sibley Grove (Ford Co.; Wood Duck, Green- and Blue-winged Teal), Sibley Grasslands (only Gadwall), Moraine View St.P. (McLean Co.; Hooded Merganser), Evergreen Lake (in Woodford Co. only Gadwall; in McLean Co. much variety including American Wigeon, Canvasback, Redhead, Red-breasted Merganser, and Ruddy Duck), borrow pit at 2500N and I-39 (McLean Co.; Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser), El Paso (Woodford Co.) sewage ponds (ca. 20 Greater White-fronted Geese, 1 blue Snow Goose, Shoveler, Canvasback, Redhead, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck), Gridley (McLean Co.) sewage ponds (3 Greater White-fronted Geese, 1 female Common Goldeneye, other diving ducks), and the ponds on IL-23 on the north side of Pontiac (Livingston Co.; 3 Common Merganser).
Other water birds included quite a few Pied-billed and Horned Grebes at Moraine View and Evergreen Lake and 2 American White Pelicans on Evergreen Lake (McLean). Great Blue Herons were on the nest at the Pontiac rookery.
Bald Eagles flew over at Sibley grasslands and Evergreen Lake, and two immatures sat in the trees in Pontiac.
The best bird of the day however was a Merlin along 1100 N in Ford Co. about a mile or so west of the Sibley grasslands.
Passerine variety was low, with Rusty Blackbirds (Sibley Grove) and Fox Sparrow (Moraine View) the most interesting species.
-- Urs Geiser (<ugeiser...>) Woodridge (DuPage Co., IL)