Date: 5/5/18 9:18 pm From: ALAN ANDERSON <casresearch...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Plum Creek Forest Preserve (Cook) highlights
Despite finding no grassland sparrows today, I still found 83 bird species at Plum Creek FP in far SE Cook County, for the Illinois Spring Count. I added four more species at Oak Forest Heritage Preserve.
Highlights at Plum Creek were four species that appeared or called when I found a great spot to just sit at the edge of the creek in the woods, and many species showed up. Those four highlight species were a BARRED OWL ('hoo-ah' call twice), a pair of TUFTED TITMOUSE, a singing CAROLINA WREN and a flyover PILEATED WOODPECKER (it called first and then flew right in front of me over the creek).
I found 13 warbler species (one 'singing' Blue-winged Warbler among them) and 4 vireo species (one singing White-eyed Vireo). No chats today.
Other species or numbers of note: at least 8 SORA calling in the north wetland area (at least two pairs together, and one other Sora that appeared to be giving a loud warning note constantly), three PIED-BILLED GREBES (2 calling and one pair), 10 GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSHES (the highest # I can remember seeing on a spring count; must have hit a great overnight flight of this species; there was also 2 Veery, 3 Wood Thrush, 11 Swainson's Thrushes and two pairs and another male E. Bluebirds, but I found no Hermit Thrushes).
Also encountered was an adult Black-crowned Night-Heron, a Sandhill Crane, and 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers (separate locations).
The only 'grassland species' I found were three pairs of Eastern Meadowlarks. The grasses were still very short after being mowed since last year (and the hill on the far southwest side has too many shrubs coming in). In the wetland in the northern section of the southwest grassland were three shorebirds: single GREATER YELLOWLEGS, SOLITARY SANDPIPER and a Killdeer.
Among the species I added at Oak Forest Heritage Preserve were two BANK SWALLOWS (they kept on flying over the wetland, so I got many good looks).
Looking forward to seeing more reports from Cook County as already it appears we'll have quite a few more species than last year.