Date: 12/30/17 4:58 pm From: Robert D. Hughes <rhughes.enteract...> Subject: [IN-BIRD-L] LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area Gray Catbird, 12/30
I checked LaSalle Fish and Wildlife Area in northwestern Newton County today, December 30. I didn't have high hopes given the bitterly cold temps, but I found a couple goodies and I stumbled on an area heretofore unknown to me that was highly productive for songbirds. My best find was a Gray Catbird in the ditch that parallels CR 1050 N east of CR 475 W. This ditch was loaded with passerines, mostly Dark-eyed Juncos, American Goldfinches, and House Finches, but I also found Song, Fox, White-crowned, and White-throated Sparrows, a couple Hermit Thrushes and American Robins, a few Red-winged and Rusty Blackbirds, and a Brown Thrasher nearby. This is probably the best concentration of winter passerines (volume and variety) I've ever had in the Midwest. The ditch had a little open water, which probably explains why, at least in part, it held so many birds. In addition, many of the sparrows and finches were moving back and forth between the ditch and the field immediately to the south. If it wasn't so cold I would have walked around this field and done a more thorough check. I ended up with 31 species in my 2 hours of birding LaSalle. Link to my eBird checklist below.