Date: 7/4/17 2:51 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Lake Calumet Area Birds & Exploration Tuesday 7-4-17
Happy 4th Of July Bird People,
This is a long post even by my standards so read on only if you are up to it.
Inspired by Walter's recent posts on a couple Lake Calumet locations I decided to go there myself. (Actually I already planned to visit there but Walter's reports are always inspiring & made me hurry up.) The places I checked on were Burnham Prairie, Hegewisch Marsh, Indian Ridge, Big Marsh & Eggers Grove. I will give a full list for Burnham Prairie & a list for the marsh part of Eggers but will limit myself to comments on the other places.
Started at Hegewisch Marsh but the gate was half locked & half broken with the central post laying across the entrance way. Decided to wait & see if the gate would be open later although a little of my inspiration was lost by being kept out.
Burnham Prairie Marsh (7:25-8:30 a.m.)
This proved to be my best stop of the day as there is good shorebird habitat on both sides of the road in. Carl G had seen a Dowitcher a few days ago & Walter had had a Yellow Crowned Night Heron previously as well. Didn't see either of those birds but here's my list:
D.C. Cormorant (1 diving & another flying by) Great Blue Heron (5) Great Egret (6) Black Crowned Night Heron (1-AD flying by) Canada Goose (groups of 22 & 23) Mallard (12) Killdeer (22-AD & 4 young along the road & 9-AD & 2 young in the rear area wetlands) Spotted Sandpiper (9-AD & 1 fairly large young) Lesser Yellowlegs (4) Least Sandpiper (21) Caspian Tern (Max=5) Tree, Rough Winged & Barn Swallows Some of the land birds were Flicker, Crow, House Wren, Warbling Vireo, Common Yellowthroat, Dickcissel & Song Sparrow.
Indian Ridge (8:40-9 a.m.)
Did not cover this place carefully but did walk both sides of 122nd St from Torrence to the RR tracks. Here I had Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Black Crowned Night Heron (3), Mute Swan (2-AD with 2 young), Wood Ducks, a Kingfisher, an Eastern Kingbird & more Dickcissels.
Big Marsh (Exploring the new trail only)
I was NOT happy to see a big sign posted at the walk in path to the old observation point for shorebirds that said NO ENTRY. I have walked in to that that viewing point for about 100 years &, new trail or no new trail, I STILL think access to that point would be helpful as parts can only be seen from that point. (This lowered my inspiration level some more.)
Parked in the new gravel lot & walked in on the new wood chip path until the path disappears in a jumble of vegetation, rocks & broken branches. The trick here is to get close to the water for shorebird & wader viewing although the water remains way too high for shorebirds & may stay that way for quite a while.
There's also a gravel road north of the wood chip trail but it goes only as far as a group of NO ENTRY signs which makes this a "road to NO ENTRY" rather than a "road to nowhere". Didn't pay attention to the few birds here but on the way out of the lot I encountered my best bird of the day acting in a most interesting way. See Bird-Of-The-Day for details.
Gate still not open so I parked where I could & walked in on the path to the sign that talks about the marsh. Spent all my time here listening to the Gallinule/Moorhen which was willing to talk to me but did not allow viewing other than see it slithering through the reeds. Wanted a red bill sighting but did not get it.
Walked the length of the Marsh on both the west & east sides of the marsh but again found no Gallinule/Moorhens. And although there were 5 adult Black Crowned Night Herons I did not find the previously seen Yellow Crowned version.
Did see more Mute Swans, Great Blues, Egrets, a Caspian Tern & heard 3 Marsh Wrens. Land birds included Eastern Pewee's, Cedar Waxwings, many Catbirds & Yellow Warblers were still singing.
Bird-Of-The-Day as well as Award for the Best Performance By A Bird goes to the American Woodcock on Stony Island just outside the new Big Marsh parking lot. It was sort of walking across the road while bobbing it's entire body sort of like walking while doing knee bends. Practically walking while standing in place. Finally with a car coming I yelled at the bird & made it fly across the road as such a talented bird should not be run over by a car. He who shuffles & flies away lives to shuffle another day. An interesting day for sure.
Al Stokie In S.E. Cook County today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------