Date: 1/1/18 1:15 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET A Very Cold X-Mas Count At St Mary's Seminary In Mundelein Monday 1-1-18
Welcome to 2018 Bird People,
As Bob Fisher said in his report it was indeed COLD today! Joining me today to do the St Mary's part of the Waukegan X-Mas Count were Tom Kreeling, Paul Sweet & Jeff Bilsky. I have been doing this count since 1989 & Tom K even longer. It was 6 below zero at the start & was up to zero at the end. We were walking for the whole 2 hours at which point my hands were so cold I needed help to get the coat zipper open & I could only get the car door open because my key has a button to unlock it. I don't think I have ever been in the "Great Outdoors" for 2 hours of below zero temps. And if it never happens again it's o.k. with me. The other counters on this count will have similar tales to tell. Eventually my hands warmed up with the car heater on but my left little finger has turned a funny shade of red in places & it hurts. Nothing like starting the year with a little frost bite.
We saw the following expected Winter & year round residents:
Canada Geese (~500, somehow they have managed to keep some open water in the lake) Cooper's Hawk (1-AD) Red Tailed Hawk (1-AD) Red Bellied, Downy & Hairy Woodpeckers Blue Jays (6-7) Chickadee (2) White Breasted Nuthatch (4-5) American Robins (18 for me, some always winter here) Dark Eyed Junco (2) Goldfinch (heard flying by)
The totals above are my counts but the rest of the bunch had higher totals in some cases.
As a reward for freezing our highlight rewards were:
Common Merganser (2-M still with the Geese after I had seen them on Thursday) Red Breasted Nuthatch (1 also remaining from Thursday spotted by Paul) HERMIT THRUSH (1 with Robins in a berry tree area, also spotted by Paul) RED CROSSBILL (1 calling fly-by unfortunately only heard by me & I never saw it) (Although this may, or may not, be accepted for the count it won't make my year list as I never saw it & in the case of a Crossbill I think it needs to be seen. Seems like a waste of a special bird though)
Nan's Feeders At Ryerson
On my way to St Mary's I did a 5 min stop at Nan B's feeders near the Ryerson farm buildings. Among the common feeder birds was at least 1 female PURPLE FINCH.
Bird-Of-The-Day goes to the Hermit Thrush & Runner-Up to the female Purple Finch. Birder-Of-The-Day goes to all the Waukegan X-Mas Count birders for doing the count on a cold day like this one!
In the license plate department I am pleased to report that the 2 cars with ALASKA plates were still present near my home. This is the 3rd year they have been here for X-Mas but the 1st time they have stayed for the new year. A bigger surprise was one car with a WYOMING plate parked about 100 yards from the Alaska plates! So of my only 4 U.S. plates seen in 2018 two were stunners.
Al Stokie Recovering from the cold found in Lake County today
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------