Date: 7/28/17 12:42 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Air Station Prairie, Both Technys & Heritage Pk In Wheeling (Of Local Interest Only) Fri 7-28-17
Hello Bird People,
All 4 of these places were completely flooded just a few days ago but I saw on Ebird that John L had a few shorebirds at the 2 Technys yesterday so that must have meant the water was going down at least a little. But at Air Station Prairie the water has not dropped at all mainly because it just has ponds which take longer for water levels to fall. Both Technys & Heritage Pk have streams running through them so as the water flows the levels fall (& rise) more quickly than pond areas.
At Techny Basin the actual basin is back to it's normal size & the overflow area just has some remaining puddle areas. The small pond area remains under water. The only place for shorebirds is on the mud edges by the stream & only 1 shorebird was there. Techny North has the beginnings of the mud flat area but it's still pretty small. The stream at Heritage Park is also high with only small mud edges on the sides. Only 1 shorebird there too. Here's what I saw:
Air Station Prairie (7:35-7:55 a.m.)
Both ponds have no shorebird or rail habitat (for viewing) & all I found were 2 Great Blue Herons, a few Barn Swallows & 1 Spotted Sandpiper trying to fins a place to land.
Techny Basin (8:10-10:15 a.m.)
I have never see so many birds congregating at the main basin area! This probably due to all the fish that came in via the spillway when the flooding happened & now as the water goes down the fish can't get out but the birds can get the fish.
After those fish were Great Blue Heron (10), Great Egret (8), Black Crowned Night Heron (3-AD), Ring Billed (33) & Herring (6) Gulls & Caspian Tern (6-8). Swimming in the basin water were Mallards (14), White Domestic Ducks (3), a female HOODED MERGANSER & 1 P.B. Grebe.
In the high water stream were Mallards (14 more), Canada Goose (1), Wood Duck (2), Solitary Sandpiper (1) & Barn Swallows are still flying in & out of the area by the spillway bridge. Land birds included Eastern Kingbird (1), Crow (1) & Cedar Waxwing (2). I heard a Killdeer but could not see it.
Techny North (9:20-10:15 a.m.)
In the water were D.C. Cormorant (4), Great Blue Heron (5), Great Egret (1), Canada Goose (~15), Wood Duck (17-18) & Mallard (27). On the small but growing mud flat were Killdeer (14), Solitary (5), Spotted (3) & Least (7) Sandpipers (the same species John L had yesterday but in different numbers) & as I walked out in flew another larger shorebird so I walked back to find it was a Lesser Yellowlegs. Two Red Tailed Hawks were hunting overhead & a few Barn Swallows were flying over the land & water. One Willow Flycatcher is still singing & 1 Eastern Meadowlark flew a short distance & re-landed.
Heritage Park Wheeling (10:50-11:50 a.m.)
Checked the stream, soccer field & the main pond & found P.B. Grebe (1), D.C. Cormorant (4), Canada Goose (88), Mallard (29), Great Blue Heron (3), Great Egret (2), Solitary Sandpiper (1). Ring Billed Gull (68) & quite a few Barn Swallows over the stream & the soccer fields.
Nothing special today but Bird-Of-The-Day goes to the 3 adult Black Crowned Night Herons & Runner-Up to the late arriving Lesser Yellowlegs. Glad to see a few of the more "inland" type shorebirds today rather than just the beach shorebirds I've been seeing lately. It's good to see both shorebird types.
Al Stokie Close to home in Cook County today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------