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.

eBird Checklist

Robert D. Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

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