Date: 10/23/17 10:04 am From: Jim Mountjoy <jmountjo...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Red Crossbill in Knox County, and a few other sightings
This morning I had at least 1 (perhaps 2) RED CROSSBILL fly over my yard in the north end of Galesburg (#142 for my yard list). I also had a PURPLE FINCH, and a flock of 5+ birds that were probably siskins (only one quick call note from the whole group...). Another notable was a single TREE SWALLOW, flying straight south at speed.
Yesterday I did some birding in Lee and Ogle counties. The weather was pretty miserable for much of the day, but I was scheduled to accompany a group of students on a visit to Nachusa Grasslands, so I tried to make the best of the day. My best bird was a MERLIN at one of the restorations (near Flagg Road in Ogle Co.). It perched in a dead tree in front of the group and ate some avian prey while my binoculars were passed around to the whole group. For a county lister, common birds can also be satisfying if they plug a hole in your county list, so finally getting CAROLINA WRENS in Lee County and SWAMP SPARROWS in Ogle County made me happy. It was also nice to see some numbers of dabbling ducks at Rochelle and Nachusa - mostly MALLARDS, some GADWALL, a few N PINTAIL and two AMERICAN WIGEON (at Nachusa).