Date: 11/11/17 7:23 pm
From: 'Bailey, Steven D' <sdbailey...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET 1st Illinois Beach S.P. Dead River hike results
It was a rather quiet but pleasant hike into the normally closed area at Illinois Beach State Park this morning. As I parked my car and got out of my car, 3 PINE SISKINS immediately flew over calling, heading south, a good beginning to the morning. However, it was pretty quiet in the pines... and nearly birdless on the hike to the Dead River. However, along the edge of the beach near the Dead River, about 6 SNOW BUNTINGS gave everyone good looks. Unfortunately, no crossbills or better birds were noted in the pines and swales south of the Dead River. A flyover flock of 25-30 PINE SISKINS heading south gave brief excitement for some of us. Otherwise, below are about the only birds seen or heard in the woods, grasslands and wetland swales:
Hooded Merganser 1 (seen briefly in Dead River)
BALD EAGLE 1 (flying low over dunes near beach)
Hairy Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 3
Blue Jay 5-6
BC Chickadee 3-4
Red-breasted Nuthatch 5
Swamp Sparrow 4
Dark-eyed Junco 6
White-crowned Sparrow 1

On the walk back along the beach, finally a good bird, a LONG-TAILED DUCK, by itself not too far out on the lake. However, there were otherwise only small numbers of GREATER SCAUP. However, as these trips sometimes go, some of the remaining good birds were only seen by some of the group, either just before the hike started, in nearby areas as the group began to break-up, or were leaving the park. They included:
LONG-TAILED DUCK 2 (others besides above bird, with close to shore looks by several of us behind the lodge, w/Bufflehead)
Bufflehead 10-12
Common Loon 1 (seen by Al Stokie just before hike from lake overlook)
Dunlin 2 (seen by Craig Taylor as he exited from area near Dead River mouth)
Northern Shrike 1 (Al & Bob saw as they were leaving park)

Sheryl & I stopped at Lyons Woods F.P. after leaving Illinois Beach S.P. It was rather quiet there but a small flock just north of the parking lot contained a FOX SPARROW, and just down the trail was a calling BROWN CREEPER and another RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH as well as ~20 flyover AMERICAN ROBINS. As we left, I had a quick look at a flyover MERLIN cutting through the conifers. Good luck to Al and the others going on the November 19th hike south of the Dead River. Call Theresa Hahl at Illinois Beach S.P. to sign up on one of the future hikes at 847-662-4811. Again, the trips will leave at 8:00 AM from the Nature Center parking lot, which is just before you get to the park lodge, in the South Unit. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED, to ensure that group limits are not exceeded and to make the trips more enjoyable for all participants. A waiting list of names will be kept for trips that fill up, in case there are cancelations, for folks that can only go on specific dates. Participants will be limited to only 15 people per trip, plus leaders. At this time, please limit your reservations to no more than two trips/dates. Other future trips will be on Saturday, Nov. 25th, Sunday, Dec. 3rd & Sat. Dec. 9th. Next weekend's hike on Sunday, Nov. 19th is currently full, but you can call and asked to be placed on a waiting list, in case anyone cancels. Good birding!

Steve Bailey
Mundelein (Lake County)

Join us on Facebook!