After 2 days of birding locations (Plum Creek & Goose Lake Prairie) rather than birds today I went back to looking for specific birds. I did fairly well for local birding although I could have used a better look at one of the target species. Only covered 2 places today which were McClaughrey Springs & the Little Red Schoolhouse area. Thought I'd also cover Swallow Cliff but spent too much time chasing the Prairie Warbler for a better look which never happened. Here are my 2 site lists:
McClaughrey Springs (7-8:20 a.m.)
Last time I was here I complained about missing an Acadian Flycatcher but today 1 was back & I heard it a few times & then finally had great looks as well. Then I heard a very distinctive call that I should have recognized right away but did not. Then it dawned on me that it was a Summer Tanager. But when I saw the singing bird fly it did not appear red to me? Mystery solved when I got a better look & saw the head was completely red with the rest of the bird still in the yellow/green color. Glad I finally figured that out!
Red Bellied (heard 1) & Downy (1) Woodpeckers Eastern Pewee (heard 2) ACADIAN FLYCATCHER (1, calling) Eastern Phoebe (2) Great Crested Flycatcher (heard 1) Blue Jay (2) Chickadee (4) TUFTED TITMOUSE (1) W.B. Nuthatch (4) House Wren (heard 1) Robins (8) Gray Catbird (heard 1) YELLOW THROATED VIREO (heard 1) Red Eyed Vireo (heard 3) OVENBIRD (heard 1, same place as last time) Indigo Bunting (heard 2) SUMMER TANAGER (1-M singing & calling, described above) Eastern Towhee (heard 1)
Little Red Schoolhouse Area (8:30-11:30 a.m.)
Started at the beehive area where the Prairie Warbler was found at 1st but did not hear it. Then on my way to the place near Willow Springs Rd mentioned by Henry G & another birder on Sunday I heard the PRAIRIE WARBLER sing 3 times just south of the main parking lot. All I then had to do was see it & how hard could that be as it was singing? Turns out it was very hard indeed. Sang once more slightly to the left in fairly thick vegetation & then nothing. Could NOT find it! Twenty min later it sang one more time but near the actual Red Schoolhouse building but I could not find it there & singing time was over as I heard it no more. I did get a quick look as it flew from singing spot #1 to singing spot #2 but that was it. Guess I should be glad I did that well as many have had worse luck. Ran into Michael G at the place the Warbler was found on Sunday but he had not even heard it there. Being rather stubborn sometimes I continued to look for 2 more hours but no Prairie Warbler for me after the original encounter. The 1st singing was at 8:55 & the 2nd at 9:15 a.m.
P.B. Grebe (1 in the slough) D.C. Cormorant (4 on the old Osprey nest) Great Blue Heron (2 fly-bys) RUBY THROATED HUMMER (1-F) Red Bellied (3) & Downy (2) Woodpeckers Eastern Pewee (heard 2) Eastern Phoebe (1) Great Crested Flycatcher (heard 2) Chickadee (2) W.B. Nuthatch (3) House Wren (4) Robins (~10) Gray Catbird (2, eating in a berry tree) YELLOW THROATED VIREO (2-3) Warbling Vireo (1 singing) Yellow Warbler (1) PRAIRIE WARBLER (1 well heard but poorly seen) Common Yellowthroat (2) HOODED WARBLER (1-M singing while 1 female went by carrying food, must have a nest) Cardinal (2-M) SUMMER TANAGER (1, another confusing color combo with most of the bird being yellow/green with the only red being on part of the tail & the undertail coverts) Rose Breasted Grosbeak (1-M & 1-F) Indigo Bunting (4-5) Dickcissel (1 singing across Willow Springs road where the Prairie was yesterday) Chipping (2) & Song (2) Sparrows Red Wings (a few) & Cowbirds (6) ORCHARD ORIOLE (1-F feeding a young one) Goldfinch (6) House Sparrow (5-6)
Michael & I checked a trail where Pileated's have been seen but with my usual luck with that species in Cook County we found none.
Top bird would have been the Prairie Warbler had I seen it better but as I did not Bird-Of-The-Day goes to the Hooded Warbler pair which we saw well & Runners-Up to the strangely colored Summer Tanagers & the Acadian Flycatcher, a good find in northern Illinois.
Al Stokie In S.W. Cook County today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------