Date: 8/23/17 5:52 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Hits & Misses In N.E. Lake County But Mostly Misses Wed 8-23-17
Hello Bird People,
When You're Hot You're Hot & When You're Not You're Not!
I guess I had a fairly good day today although I missed several special birds that others had at the same places I went to but at different times. I started at Waukegan Beach, then to Illinois Beach South Unit, back to Waukegan & then to State Line Beach. On the way home I made another stop at Techny Basin North to add more shorebird species.
First here's a list of all the birds others saw but I missed due to not being at the right spot at the right time. As I arrived at Illinois Beach I saw Steve M & Andy Stewart leaving & their best sighting was of 2 Ruddy Turnstones actually flipping stones! But I walked the entire beach & found no Turnstones. Then at the mouth of the Dead River Paul Sweet arrived to say he had just had an EARED GREBE off the fisherman's pier as well as 2 Black Bellied Plovers on the north beach. This was about 1 hour after I left there. Hurried back to Waukegan but along with the McClellan's, Andy Stewart & Scott L we did not find either species. To add insult to injury Scott said a Baird's Sandpiper had just been on the pier but it was gone as well. The worst miss was by far the Eared Grebe which I don't see every year in Illinois. So near & yet so far!
But I did manage to see a few special species after all.
Waukegan Beach, Pier & Backwaters (6:30-7:45 a.m.)
Shorebirds on the pier were Spotted (1-AD) & Semipalmated (3) Sandpipers & Sanderling (1) By the backwater inlet was 1 Pectoral Sandpiper. On the swimming beach with the regular Gulls was 1 juvenile BONAPARTE'S GULL. But later the Gull concentration became the target for a fast flying PEREGRINE which flushed all the Gulls. Also one Caspian Tern flew by. On the pier & towers by Greenwood were about 250 D.C. Cormorants. On my failed Grebe visit a MERLIN flew by.
Illinois Beach South Unit (8:15-9:45 a.m.)
The pile up of water at the mouth of the Dead River is gone as the river has broken through sending all the beach water into the lake. But the former "pond" area still has a mud base & the shorebirds seem to like it even with the water gone or will like it until everything dries up.
In the mud & on the beach were Semipalmated Plover (3), Killdeer (2), Solitary (1) & Spotted (2) Sandpipers, Sanderling (4), Least (4) & Semipalmated (8) Sandpipers. Also on the beach were Horned Lake (1-JUV) & Brewer's Blackbird, a young one that's been hanging around.
State Line Beach (12:05-12:25 p.m.)
Two Cormorants few by & 2 Sandhill Cranes were calling to the west of the beach. On the beach were Semipalmated Plover (1), Ring Billed (42) & Herring (3) Gulls & 1 Caspian Tern. (It's getting harder to find Caspians in the last week or so.)
Techny Basin North (1:20-2:30 p.m.)
D.C. Cormorant (3), Great Blues (5) & Great Egret (1) Canada Geese (44), Mallard (~10) & Wood Duck (~20) Killdeer (41), Greater (1) & Lesser (3) Yellowlegs Least (22), Semipalmated (9), Solitary (7), Spotted (5) & Pectoral (5) Sandpipers Finally found 1 of the 2 Wilson's Snipe that have been here lately & also a very had to I.D. large Plover. Hard to I.D. as it was a "molting mess". First I thought it was Black Bellied but then changed my mind based on the smaller bill, sort of a red cap & black mottling on the chest, belly & under tail coverts. This pointed to Golden Plover but I like positive I.D.'s if possible which meant that for the next 20 min solid I never took my eyes off the Plover until it finally started preening which included a few second look at uplifted wings. No black "arm pits/wing pits" so it was a for sure AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER.
Had 12 species of shorebirds & missed 2 more so I could have had a really good total but no use crying over missed shorebirds! Bird-Of-The-Day to the American Golden Plover which I had to work hard to I.D. Runners-Up to the Falcon duo the Peregrine & the Merlin & the young Bonaparte's Gull.
Al Stokie Making the best of it in Lake & Cook Co's today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------