I birded Chicago's Jackson Park yesterday covering 63rd Street Beach, the north lake front to 59th, Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow and the inner harbor. Nothing too exciting but I had a few notable sightings, at least locally notable.
At 63rd Street Beach several juvenile CLIFF SWALLOWS are peering out of their nests looking for mom and dad to bring them food. There is one juvenile in a Cliff Swallow nest with a widened opening that I assume is a House Sparrow. There was 1 each juvenile SPOTTED SANDPIPER at each end of the beach. Tuesday an area along the path to the pier where I often am able to find moths and other insects hiding in the vegetation was bulldozed. It was mostly non-native vegetation and I held out hope that they would redo the area with native plantings but instead it has been turned into a lawn. I guess we just don't have enough of that in the park! There are several recently fledged juvenile BARN SWALLOWS at the 59th Street promontory and in the Wooded Island area still expecting to be fed. I haven't seen any young Rough-winged Swallows yet. I heard the clear calls of a BLUE JAY coming from north of the Museum of Science and Industry, which is not a bird expected in the park at this time of year. I didn't hear any other calls from the area that would indicate a starling mimicking a jay. When I was in the Japanese Garden I saw a large bird with a distinctive profile flying across the meadow heading west then flying right over the island. It was an OSPREY, another bird not usually seen here in the summer. A male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD has perched in a dead tree where the old rose garden used to be. If this is the same bird I saw in May he always perches out in the open but, it seems, always in bad light so that my photos are always silhouettes! Somewhere on the island there is a hummingbird nest that others have seen. I guess this is dad. Of course all male Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are dead-beat dads. I haven't heard or seen the Dickcissel in the meadow since 24 June but the SWAMP SPARROW is still singing away. A WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH was in the area of the north parking lot. This is my first in the park since 18 April. Nothing exciting on the insect front. Butterfly numbers have been low, especially for sulphurs, although there were a lot of Monarchs around yesterday (16). Moth numbers and diversity have been worse, though I did find a lifer yesterday, if identified correctly: Angelic Crocidiphora Moth (Crocidiphora serratissimalis). Perhaps this is due to the dry conditions. Much of the vegetation in the meadow is dying from lack of rain.