Date: 7/9/17 8:14 am From: Josh Engel <jengel5230...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET ILYB Goose Lake (McHenry) field trip report Saturday
Jake Cvetas wrote up a nice report about the Illinois Young Birders outing yesterday (Saturday, 8 July) to Goose Lake Natural Area and North Branch Conservation Area in McHenry County. You can find photos on the group's Facebook page:
Three young birders joined us for our July field trip to Goose Lake Natural Area in search of uncommon marsh breeding birds. Josh Engel led us down the long trail that led to the marsh where we were greeted by a Gray Catbird and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Emerging from the forest, we immediately saw dozens of Yellow-headed Blackbirds foraging on the path in front of us, and interestingly enough, most of them were immature birds. [Zach and Josh also got a brief view of a Common Gallinule rushing into the reeds on the west side of the lake.] We scanned the area and found a few Black Terns foraging gracefully across the surface of the marsh. Continuing on, we enjoyed the songs and calls of both Marsh Wrens and Pied-billed Grebes. A Green Heron flew by and landed in a nearby tree. Hearing the call notes of shorebirds, we look up to see Lesser Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, and Solitary Sandpipers descending on a small flooded section of a nearby farm field. Satisfied, we moved on to our next spot: North Branch Conservation Area.
At North Branch, we encountered a nice diversity of grassland birds including Dickcissel, Bobolink, Henslow's Sparrow, Grasshopper Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and Sedge Wren. Turkey Vultures and a Red-tailed Hawk soared overhead. A Ring-necked Pheasant was heard crowing off in the distance. On the walk back to the parking lot, we were treated to the alternate song of a Grasshopper Sparrow.
In total, we saw 57 species, a nice total for the month of July in Illinois.
We hope that you will join us for our next event, our 2nd Annual Illinois Young Birder Symposium held at the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods! Join us and keynote speaker Jen Brumfield for a day of birding, talks, and celebration of art and photography!
Thanks to Jake for the report and for keeping eBird lists at each location.
Owner/Guide at Red Hill Birding / www.facebook.com/redhillbirding
Research Assistant at The Field Museum / www.fieldmuseum.org