Date: 12/19/17 10:32 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Chicago Botanic Garden Plus Two Forest Preserve Lakes Tuesday 12-19-17
Hello Bird People,
Had a tough time finding land birds today at the CBG but a big finish saved the day. Circled the Regenstein Building & found a grand total of one Common Redpoll in the Birches & no birds at the thistle feeders. Visits to other Birch & Alder tree areas added nothing. The only open water was in the pond south of the Regenstein Building & north of Evening Island. There I saw many Canada Geese (~200) & Mallards (136) plus one each Common Goldeneye (female) & HOODED MERGANSER (male). Both Ring Billed (4) & Herring (5) Gulls were scattered with most in the Northern Lake.
Only expected land birds were found including:
Downy Woodpecker (1) Blue Jay (4) Chickadee (6) RED BREASTED NUTHATCH (2) BROWN CREEPER (1) Robin (only 1) (No Juncos today although many are usually present.)
Finches & The Goose Chasing Dog
Finally found a small flock of Finches in some Alder trees near the thistle feeders. From a distance I could see that they were about 8-10 PINE SISKINS but I needed a closer look. However, as I moved closer 2 new arrivals showed up. One was the small but quick goose chasing dog & the other it's lady handler. The dog ran up to the ice edge & the closest geese swam toward the center of the open water & then ignored the dog as if they knew they were safe from dog & handler due to the ice & water combination. But the lady handler did not give up so easily & began jumping up & down to try & flush the geese. This did not flush the geese who figured they were safe but unfortunately it did flush about 45 Finches from some other Alder trees. They flew off to the east & although I tried I did not re-find them so I was not sure what they were other than Finches. The dog & handler left to continue their goose chasing job although I saw no other area where the geese were congregating.
After not finding any Finches on Evening Island I made a 2nd visit to the Fruit & Vegetable Garden Island to see if the Gull numbers were up from earlier but no Gulls remained. Still I got a present in that flying by to the north (& into Lake County) was the adult BALD EAGLE that is seen here every so often. On my way back to the parking lot I completed my big finish when I saw over 40 COMMON REDPOLLS in the usual NW corner Birch trees by the Regenstein Building. I did NOT pick out the Hoary today but the flock left before I could carefully check all 40 birds.
Beck Lake & Big Bend Lake
Canada Geese & both regular gull species were at both places & Beck Lake had 1 Ruddy Duck & 3 Common Mergs plus a Red Tailed Hawk hunting. Big Bend had Mallards & 1 more Common Merganser. All 4 Common Mergs were females.
I think Bird-Of-The-Day will be the adult Bald Eagle as I did not expect to see it whereas I did expect to see a few Redpolls. Runners-Up to the Common Redpolls & the Creeper.
Al Stokie In Cook County searching for Finches & finally finding some
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------