Date: 8/26/17 4:15 pm
From: <BFisher928...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Chautauqua shorebirds on Friday and Saturday
Karen and I, along with birding friends Urs G and Vicky S, spent a good
part of Friday and Saturday AM at Chautauqua, mostly at the center dike. In
aggregate, we tallied 20 species of shorebirds. Highlights included a
single Am. Avocet, 2 Marbled Godwits, and all 3 phalaropes (a dozen or more
Red-necks, a lone Red and scattered Wilson's).

L Yellowlegs, Pecs and Stilt Sandpipers were the 3 most numerous species.
Peeps were not there in big numbers, and we searched in vain for a Western
among the small groups of Semipalmated Sandpipers. One highlight for me was
a flock of 30 peeps which flew in and landed in the S pool, very close to
the center dike - all were Baird's, the most I've ever seen in a single
group.

An odd gull found by Vicky S was an apparent adult Ring-billed, but with
an all black bill. This bird was at the front of a group of Ring-bills and
was seemingly just another Ring-bill , except for the bill. Close scope views
indicated the bill was actually black, not just mud covered. Melanism in a
bill - who knew.

As is typical, many/most of the shorebirds were at some distance, requiring
scopes. The main concentrations of birds were in the NE corner of the S
pool adjacent to the centerdike, and the S center of the north pool (where
there was a mixture of pools of water and sand/mud flats). Karen and I never
checked out Goofy Ridge, but scope scanning of that end of the N pool
indicated very few shorebirds. And we also never got over to either Globe unit
at Emiquon.

Hundreds of dabbling ducks - both common teal sp., shovelers, pintails,
gadwalls and mallards, were scattered all across both the N and S pools, and
swallows were there in very large, uncountable numbers, predominantly Banks,
and Rough-wings, but with Trees and Barns mixed in. I don't think we ever
saw a Cliff. A small number of Black Terns were still hanging around.

For this location at this time of year, the weather was spectacular - cool
with a light NE breeze, some clouds, very little heat haze, with all those
swallows clearly reducing the biting fly population to a minimum. I
suspect any fly daring to fly above the weeds became a swallow snack very quickly.
Regards
Bob Fisher
Downers Grove
DuPage County
 
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