Date: 10/28/17 6:06 pm
From: Jeff Bilsky <jbilsky...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Lake County Today
Skip the story and go straight to the lists here:

Waukegan Beach link with photos: View this checklist online at
Lyons Woods link with photos: View this checklist online at
More photos from today:

Spent the whole day in Lake county today. I started at Waukegan Beach
around 11am and stayed for nearly 4 hours, wandering the beach, dunes and
pier. There was plenty to see although much of it took patience. The pier
had a few DUNLIN including one I pondered as something else due to its
shorter bill and slight appearance, but in the end I decided it was just
one of its brethren. Stumbled on a SHORT-EARED OWL just sitting on the
beach, pondering the waves. A few SNOW BUNTINGS flew over, and one sat on
the beach and allowed some good photos. I wandered the marsh for quite some
time and found an AMERICAN BITTERN and a WILSON'S SNIPE in appropriate
habitat. Amongst the brushy dunes, were a few PALM WARBLERS, a LE CONTE'S
SPARROW, and the aforementioned by Al Stokie, CLAY-COLORED SPARROW (wasn't
able to get photos of most of these skulkers). Throughout the day, an eye
to the sky saw several migrant raptors, including a handful of MERLINS, a
juv BALD EAGLE, and a NORTHERN HARRIER. An additional Harrier was hunting
the marsh intermittently throughout the time I was there. I kept thinking I
would leave but ended up re-walking my tracks and getting teased by the
skulking sparrows everywhere, not wanting to miss one.

I finally headed over to Lyons Woods as daylight was fading. Huge sparrow
flocks kept making me think I'd spot a Harris's, but no such luck. However
a single flock of 20+ FOX SPARROWS was not something I have ever seen...
and the WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS were all over the ground like fallen
leaves. The RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS were noisy and entertaining. The most
unexpected (probably) bird of the day was a BUNTING that was in a mixed
sparrow flock. I saw flashes of blue wings and initially assumed blue-bird
but after a closer look while it sat, I saw it was a molting indigo/laz
bunting. Time of year and the lack of getting photos/closer looks will have
me leaving this as INDIGO/LAZULI.

It was a great day of fall birding.

Waukegan Beach, Lake, Illinois, US
Oct 28, 2017 11:17 AM - 3:08 PM
Protocol: Traveling
4.56 mile(s)
Comments: I wandered the marshes and Beach and Pier for several hours
repeating walks through the same areas
27 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 40
Mallard 6
Red-breasted Merganser 6 Flock flying past
duck sp. 40 Flyover flocks
Double-crested Cormorant 5
American Bittern 1 Flushed from marsh
Northern Harrier 2 One migrating, one hunting
Sharp-shinned Hawk 6
Cooper's Hawk 4
Bald Eagle 1 Juvenile migrating
Red-tailed Hawk 10 Many migrants
Dunlin 5 1 apparent juv, smaller, shorter bill, slight variations in
molt vs others but still dunlin-esque in appearance
Wilson's Snipe 1
Ring-billed Gull 80
Herring Gull 25
Mourning Dove 2
Short-eared Owl 1 Sitting on beach
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
European Starling 40
Snow Bunting 8 2 on beach, few flyovers, calling
Palm Warbler 4 Had at least four unique Individuals as I wandered the
LeConte's Sparrow 1 Yellow on face and boldly patterned back. Skulking
on the ground in front of me in marsh area. Flushed and was unable to get a
Clay-colored Sparrow 1 First came upon the bird low on the ground and
it flushed up into a small bush. I had about 10 seconds to study it.
Narrowed down to spizella. Clean breast and nape, strong eyeline, Buffy
tones throughout and pale lores had me conclude ccsp. I relocated the bird
one more time but could not get it to sit still long enough for a photo.
White-throated Sparrow 7
Song Sparrow 4
Swamp Sparrow 8
American Goldfinch 20

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Lyons Woods Forest Preserve (Lake Co.), Lake, Illinois, US
Oct 28, 2017 3:48 PM - 5:32 PM
Protocol: Traveling
1.64 mile(s)
26 species (+1 other taxa)

Canada Goose 2
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Mourning Dove 6
Red-headed Woodpecker 5
Red-bellied Woodpecker 3
Downy Woodpecker 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Blue Jay 10
American Crow 4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 1
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1
American Robin 8
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1
American Tree Sparrow 6
Field Sparrow 4
Fox Sparrow (Red) 30 One large flock of at least 20 Birds
Dark-eyed Junco 10
White-crowned Sparrow 4
White-throated Sparrow 100 Massive flock feeding on ground and in low
Song Sparrow 5
Swamp Sparrow 8
Eastern Towhee 2
Northern Cardinal 6
Lazuli/Indigo Bunting 1 The first thing I saw was blue wings and
initially thought I was seeing an eastern bluebird. But then as I looked
over the bird I realized it was brown with hints of blue in its face and
chest and back and appeared to be molting. Other features as well like
shape and bill made it a bunting. I didn't get a long enough look to
differentiate between the two species. Considering the time of year I
figured it best to leave it as open to either one. Unable to get a photo;
it was a striking
bird. It was in a sparrow flock with field, American tree, and swamp.
American Goldfinch 10

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Jeff Bilsky

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