After 2 "rain days" with no birding it was back in action today & although I did not get all the birds seen by others at the same places I was at I did well enough.
Waukegan Beach & Park (7:25-8:45 a.m.)
Waves were crashing over the pier so no birds there. The only birds on the beach were a few Ring Billed Gulls. But in the inlet were P.B. Grebe (2), Canada Goose (63), Mallard (8), Gadwall (5), Green Wing Teal (1) & Coots (3). Still 2 Cormorants toward Greenwood & 9 Red Winged Blackbirds flew by. Sad to say today was my 1st "shorebird shutout" at Waukegan with my 1st visit being on July 6th followed by 24 more visits without ever missing at least 1 shorebird. I had hoped to get into November before the shutout but not this year. I once made it into the 1st weekend of Dec without a shutout when a Ruddy Turnstone remained into Dec. But in a normal year the 1st shutout comes in late Oct or early Nov so it was on schedule. Later Eric & Ethan G had a Snipe & an American Bittern in the backwaters & the Snipe would saved me one more time but it wasn't to be.
In the small park I saw both Kinglets (1 male Ruby Crowned was actually flashing it's red crown), 3 Hermit Thrushes, Myrtle Warblers & 4 species of Sparrows among other birds.
Lyons Woods (9-9:50 a.m.)
Here I was with Eric & Ethan G for part of the time but not long enough I'm afraid. They returned via the conifers & their reward was to hear & briefly see the Red Crossbill reported by Ethan. I returned via the field loop trail & my only reward was to hear about their Crossbill.
Birds I did get included Eastern Phoebe, both Red & White Breasted Nuthatches, Eastern Bluebirds, Hermit Thrushes, an ORANGE CROWNED WARBLER, an Eastern Towhee, more Sparrows & about 6-8 SISKINS near the parking lot.
Illinois Beach North Unit Hawk Watch (10:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)
My visit was not long based on the others who were there but long enough to see the following:
Turkey Vulture (16), BALD EAGLE (6), good numbers of Sharpe Shinned & Red Tailed Hawks plus a few Cooper's Hawks & 2 Merlins. Highlight for me & probably everyone else was a NORTHERN GOSHAWK which flew by with a Red Tailed Hawk right over us & Paul's photos of the 2 together proved the I.D. of the Goshawk beyond a doubt. Also flying by were flocks of Canada Geese & Cormorants & 1 Great Egret flying north not south? Land birds near the site included 2 Eastern Phoebes, a distant NORTHERN SHRIKE found 1st by Ethan, over 10 Bluebirds & good looks at 2 LECONTES SPARROWS in the usual place south of the shelter building. I am sure the hawk watch folks will have many more raptors by day's end.
Bird-Of-The-Day goes to the Goshawk especially as I missed that species last year & maybe the year before as well. Runner-Up to the LeConte's Sparrow which gave us a nice long look which seldom happens for me.
Al Stokie In N.E. Lake County today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------