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