Date: 7/31/17 12:32 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Kaneville Buff Breasted Sandpipers (2) Flushed By An Incoming Cooper's Hawk Monday 7-31-17
Hello Bird People,
I am never overly confident when I go by myself to search a large area like a sod farm but I thought maybe someone else would already be there looking a Buffie. However, I arrived at the small street south of Main at 7:55 a.m. to find no one else there. So I had to get to work on my own. Looking east the sun was right in my eyes so I went south so I could look N.E. instead of east. Worked pretty well. There were 250-300 Killdeer, over 150 Starlings & a few Red Wings, Cowbirds & Horned Larks on the sod. About 25 Barn Swallows were also hunting the area from the air.
Scanned the farther birds as that's where Buffie's usually are but found none. Then I noticed that there was a good sized group of Killdeer & Starlings way to the north near an irrigation pipe. I figured that was way too close to the road for a Buffie but I figured wrong as there was Buffie #1 & it was about as close a look as I've ever had. Good lighting too as I was looking mostly north. Then I went back to scanning to the east & about 100 yards out was Buffie #2. Not as close but still a good look. A photographer then arrived & I re-found Buffie #1 so she could get photo's & she got a lot of them. It was time to do a Killdeer count & look for more Buffie's but as I started every single bird flushed & flew away. The reason for this was an incoming (a very fast incoming) Cooper's Hawk which left us not only with no Buffie's but no birds at all. This happened at 8:25 & the party was over for now. Waited a few minutes but less than 10 Killdeer returned so I went elsewhere.
Came back this way later but at 10:30 a.m. only about 50 Killdeer were back & they were all very far out to the east & I decided not to fight the sunlight as I had already seen the Buffie's very well. I see that Joan C did see one Buffie later so at least 1 returned.
Made a visit to Afton F.P. in DeKalb Co as it's close by but water levels were much higher than last time & the only shorebirds 3 Killdeer & they were on the entrance road & the parking lot as there's no mud flats for them right now. Where mud flats should be are now vegetated heavily as the lack of water since late Spring means that plants are everywhere that the mud flats should be.
Bird-Of-The-Day to both Buff Breasted Sandpipers & Runner-Up to an Eurasian Collared Dove who flew by at the sod farm. Trouble Maker Of The Day to the Cooper's Hawk but it's got to find food too. And I owe the Hawk a thank you for not flushing all the birds before I got there. At least it gave me 15-20 min of good looks before the panic attack.
Al Stokie In Kane & DeKalb Co's today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------