Date: 7/27/17 5:08 pm
From: Beau Schaefer <beauschaefer...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET July Lake County Big Day '17
Since I was very indecisive and wasn’t really sure what day, or even if, I was going to do my July Big Day, I ended up going solo yesterday. Still had a pretty good day and found 2 year birds which is always nice in July. The challenge in July is that birds have largely stopped singing so finding songbirds can be really difficult and blackbirds, as well as some others, have largely left their breeding areas. Shorebirds are constantly on the move so they are hit or miss and waterfowl diversity is pretty low. Having said that, I was happy to have some fairly vocal species, some good waterfowl, and a few big day firsts yesterday for a nice total of 108 species. I try to pick a day with a cold front moving in since shorebirds move ahead of the front, but not too late so as to miss songbirds. I actually think Sunday the 23rd may have been better, but yesterday was decent.

Biggest misses- We’ll start with this category so it only gets better from here. Belted Kingfisher and Cooper’s Hawk continue to be birds that I just can’t nail down on a big day. Also missed Brewer’s Blackbird though I had 3 of them the day before. Chestnut-sided Warbler, Ovenbird, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak would be the notable breeders that just wouldn’t sound off yesterday though I think I had a Chestnut-sided singing an alternate song. Couldn’t get a decent enough look at the bird though. Finally, I missed the Blue Grosbeak at the South Unit and a Baird’s Sandpiper at Stateline that others had literally while I was there or a couple hours before. Such is the Big Day Life.

Most Terrifying Almost Miss- Terrifying is a little extreme but I didn’t get a Hairy Woodpecker until 3:30 pm at COLSP.

Latest Songbird- was able to coax a Pine Warbler to sing with some pishing at 7:15pm.

Flagged By ebird: Neotropic Cormorant, Piping Plover, Red-breasted Merganser, American Black Duck

Year Birds- Piping Plover, Stilt Sandpiper

Shorebird Shenanigans- #1- Since we got 10 inches of rain, we have minimal shorebird habitat compared to past summers. However, the one fluddle we have amazingly produces birds. Unfortunately they rarely stay long. I had 2 species that others missed yesterday and others had 2 species I missed in the span of about 3 hours. #2 The Big Lake shoreline can be great but the movement of people along the beach makes this really hard to predict as well and turnover is really high here as well.

Shorebird Species Seen Yesterday in Lake County (as far as I know)- Baird’s Sandpiper, Spotted, Solitary, Least, Semipalmated, and Pectoral Sandpipers, Killdeer, Semipalmated and Piping Plovers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpiper.

Big Day Firsts- My first slam of all breeding woodpeckers in Lake County (downy, hairy, flicker, red-bellied, red-headed, and pileated), my first Neotropic Cormorant on a big day.

Number of Cups of Coffee Consumed- 0. This is probably the most notable observation of the day seeing as I was out for about 17 hours yesterday, rode my bike over 20 miles, and probably walked another 2 or 3. And I love coffee. But it upsets my stomach so I have to cut back a lot. Was pretty proud of myself, though.

Here’s to some good shorebirding in the coming weeks!

The list: <>

Beau Schaefer
Round Lake Beach, IL
Lake County

Join us on Facebook!