Date: 3/19/17 8:34 am
From: <rlshonkw...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET JxP, Saturday, 18 March: White-winged Scoter, Aythya slam
I birded Chicago's Jackson Park yesterday covering Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow, the west golf course, the inner and outer harbors, 63rd Street Beack and the 59th Street promontory (north lake front hot spot). It was a decent day for waterfowl but land birds were few and far between.
The "highlight" on Wooded Island was a pair of BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS, which are my FOY for Illinois. There were 1 each PIED-BILLED and HORNED GREBES feeding a short distance apart in the east lagoon. I found 3 more of the latter in the park. There was a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS here as well; later however, just after noon, when I birded the meadow 2 males and a female flushed from the lagoon. I heard a COOPER'S HAWK calling at "the berm" of the golf course. Someone was doing survey work in the same area that Cooper's Hawks have nested the last several years.
The real show was at the inner harbor where hundreds of Aythya ducks were congregating. LESSER SCAUP were by far the most plentiful species. More and more kept arriving. There were several REDHEADS and a few RING-NECKED DUCKS. After my first count of birds I noticed that some CANVASBACKS had arrived. Now I redoubled my efforts to pick out some GREATER SCAUP and finally picked out 2 males. There was another in the outer harbor. My final number of Lesser Scaup, large as it is, is not the full number as there was another group at the south end of the harbor of ~50-70 birds that flushed out onto the lake before I could count them. Bird of the day was the WHITE-WINGED SCOTER in the outer harbor already reported by Al. I didn't know about Sam's Black Scoters, which is the 5th hard to find species that I've missed in the park this year! The White-winged Scoter was a good distance away when I spotted it and asleep. After counting the gulls on the docks I noticed that the scoter was swimming between the docks headed right towards me! I snapped several so-so photos with my crappy camera, then it noticed a creature pointing something at it, me, and took off, crossing the harbor and out the mouth of the harbor towards the lake. Unfortunately the Audubon bird walk group arrived just after this! I felt bad for them and anyone who may have chased the bird, but it did come to me, I didn't run up to it. Nothing too exciting after that. The only sparrows I found were 3 SONG SPARROWS in Bobolink Meadow. My full list is below.

Abbreviations: WI/BM=Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow, GC=golf course, IH=inner harbor, OH=outer harbor, LM=Lake Michigan east of OH, 63rd = 63rd Street Beach, NLF=north lake front/59th St. prom.

Canada Goose: WI/BM (50), GC (45), IH (3), LM (2)
Mallard: WI/BM (4), IH (4), NLF (3)
N. Shoveller: IH (1)
Canvasback: IH (14)
Redhead: IH (22)
Ring-necked Duck: IH (4)
Greater Scaup: IH (2), OH (1)
Lesser Scaup: IH (291), OH (4)
White-winged Scoter: OH (1)
Common Goldeneye: WI/BM (1), IH (3), OH (3), LM (1)
Bufflehead: IH (1), OH (1)
Hooded Merganser: WI/BM (3)
Red-breasted Merganser: WI/BM (15), IH (21), OH (23), LM (44), 63rd (13), NLF (16)
duck sp: 63rd (105), not including the huge Aytya raft on LM composed mostly of birds from IH
Horned Grebe: WI/BM (1), OH (1), 63rd (2)
Pied-billed Grebe: WI/BM (1)
Cooper's Hawk: GC (1)
A. Coot: IH (2), OH (19)
Ring-billed Gull: WI/BM (45), GC (1), IH (12), OH (236), LM (24), 63rd (88), NLF (21)
Herring Gull: OH (3), LM (2), 63rd (2)
Red-bellied Woodpecker: WI/BM (1)
Downy Woodpecker: WI/BM (3), GC (1), OH (1)
Hairy Woodpecker: WI/BM (1), IH (1)
A. Crow: WI/BM (8), GC (4), IH (2), OH (1)
Black-capped Chickadee: WI/BM (3), GC (3)
A. Robin: WI/BM (2), GC (1)
Euro. Starling: WI/BM (3)
Song Sparrow: WI/BM (3)
N. Cardinal: WI/BM (8), GC (5), IH (1)
Red-winged Blackbird: WI/BM (9), IH (2)
Brown-headed Cowbird: WI/BM (2)
A. Goldfinch: IH (2)
House Sparrow: WI/BM (3), IH (1), OH (6)

Randy Shonkwiler
Hyde Park/Chicago

Join us on Facebook!