Date: 11/10/17 12:44 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Both Techny Locations, Gillson Park (Sort Of) & 2 Small Des Plaines Lakes Friday 11-10-17
Hello Bird People,
Back feeling better today so off I went but kept my walking to low levels so as to be ready for Saturday's big field trip hike. Wanted to do another Gillson Lake Watch but the east winds weren't going to arrive until late a.m. so I stopped at Techny Basin & Techny North 1st & then headed over to Gillson Park.
Techny Basin (7:55-8:35 a.m.)
The stream being flowing water remains ice free but all side sections were frozen as was the low level actual basin. There was 1 Great Blue Heron in the stream & (more of a surprise) 2 Great Egrets in the "pond" area. All Heron/Egrets were hunched up & standing in the water looking like they realized they had made a mistake in not leaving earlier. The only ducks were Mallards (24) & in the park at the north end near Willow Rd were 61 Canada Geese. Two Ring Billed Gulls flew by. The only land birds were Robins (2), Starling (1), Tree Sparrow (1) & Goldfinch. Thought I had my 1st Black Duck of the Fall but the top & back of it's head was Mallard green so it must be a hybrid.
Techny North (8:40-9 a.m.)
Mud flats remain but too late for shorebirds I suppose. One Great Blue Heron was feeding, 1 Red Tailed Hawk was resting & 6 Ring Billed Gulls were milling around. No Geese at all & the 4 species of ducks were Mallard (44), Gadwall (1-PR), Green Winged Teal (8) & Hooded Merganser (1-F). No land birds at all.
Gillson Park Lake Watch
Arrived about 9:40 to find that John L, Jeff S & Craig T were already there but by waiting for better winds I arrived too late to see anything due to all the snow & fog blocking the view. So I saw nothing here although John L, who was 1st there, saw 1-2 Red Throated Loons & Black Scoters. Jeff mentioned a couple White Winged Scoters as well. This time trying to time my arrival turned out to be a bad idea.
Lake Opeka In Des Plaines (11:15-11:40 a.m.)
No snow on arrival but plenty of it later on. Best bird was what seemed to be a small Loon but by the time I got my scope out of the car the snow was so hard I could only just barely see the Loon. Probably just a slightly smaller Common Loon but if you look there check it out. Also here were 126 Canada Geese, 3 male Mallards, Ring Billed (14) & Herring (2) Gulls & Crows (2).
Axehead Lake (11:45-noon)
Still snowing but not as hard as at Opeka. Only water birds were Canada Geese (94) & Mallards (7). Land birds included Red Bellied Woodpecker (1), W.B. Nuthatch (1) & Junco's (6)
Pretty slow day mainly caused by not seeing anything at Gillson Park due to the weather problems. Bird-Of-The-Day to the Black Duck/Mallard hybrid as that's the closest I've been to seeing a Black Duck so far. Runner-Up to the 2 cold looking Great Egrets at Techny Basin. Mid November is getting late for Egrets although not Great Blues.
Al Stokie Doing local birding in Cook County today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------