At Waukegan, met Paul Sweet for the count (after being stuck for 2 hours from a highway closure due to an accident) and he quickly got me on the massive WILLET flock (75+?) and a PIPING PLOVER (he had had an additional one prior to my arrival). We wandered the area for a while adding lots of species. A YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER was a great find. Also had a GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER here briefly. The dunes produced a couple of GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS. A distant egret flying by that was initially dismissed as a Great, appeared to be a SNOWY upon further examination. Paul should have better photos than me, showing yellow lores and feet. Lots of CLAY-COLORED sparrows and many of them singing - which was pretty cool.
Off to Van Patten to meet the rest of our group (sans Al who headed to St. Mary's) and we wandered the area in a couple of different groups. The highlights for me were stunning CAPE MAY WARBLERS and the fortuitous find, loss, and re-find of a WORM-EATING WARBLER. I picked up this bird, got my cohorts on it and then it disappeared for close to 20 minutes or so only to fly in again and land right over my head where it allowed some decent photos before heading off again. We called it a count and I headed to Captain Porky's Seafood and BBQ with Paul and Janice. If you haven't been to Captain Porky's, you need to do yourself a favor and go there.
During the final tally I realized we had been having a prolific warbler day. Having never seen more than 19 in a day (I've done most of my birding out west and this is only year two in Illinois for me) I wanted to push my run and see what I could do. I headed to my "home-field" of Skokie Lagoons to see what I could add. It took a few minutes but once I headed into the woods, I found some flocks and quickly added several I needed including MAGNOLIA (somehow had missed it all day), BLACKPOLL, TENNESSEE and BLACK-THROATED BLUE. Then a NORTHERN PARULA gave me warbler neck, a singing PROTHONOTARY and a waterthrush that I felt pretty good calling a LOUISIANA got me to 25. Other stuff at Skokie Lagoons included a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER and the continuing good looks at SORAS that are offered by the flooded areas. A young SHARP-SHINNED HAWK briefly zipped through the woods looking for food and a WILSON'S SNIPE flushed from a flooded area - giving me Skokie Lagoons life birds 145 and 146 (considering I only started birding there on 4/1/17, this is a pretty decent list showing the effect of continuing to hit the same spot).
I decided to take things a little easier today and headed to Montrose this morning. Added a WILSON'S WARBLER and some other pretty good stuff, but nothing out of the ordinary. Spent a lot of time picking through the sparrow flocks.
Good birding all!
Waukegan Beach, Lake, Illinois, US May 5, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM Protocol: Traveling 1.0 mile(s) 69 species
Canada Goose 2 Blue-winged Teal 4 Northern Shoveler 2 Mallard 2 Green-winged Teal 2 Red-breasted Merganser 6 Great Blue Heron 2 Snowy Egret 1 flew by north to south - golden feet, yellow lores - distant photos that don't show much unfortunately. However, Paul should have better pics. Green Heron 3 Turkey Vulture 1 Sora 1 Sandhill Crane 2 Piping Plover 1 Killdeer 2 Willet 75 incredible flock! Ring-billed Gull 40 Herring Gull 20 Caspian Tern 50 Forster's Tern 20 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2 Mourning Dove 2 Chimney Swift 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker 1 Downy Woodpecker 1 Northern Flicker 2 Eastern Kingbird 1 Warbling Vireo 1 Blue Jay 1 American Crow 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow X Tree Swallow X Barn Swallow X House Wren 2 Marsh Wren 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 Swainson's Thrush 4 American Robin 15 Gray Catbird 5 Brown Thrasher 4 European Starling 5 Ovenbird 1 Northern Waterthrush 1 Golden-winged Warbler 1 Black-and-white Warbler 2 Orange-crowned Warbler 1 Nashville Warbler 5 American Redstart 2 Yellow Warbler 5 Palm Warbler 30 Yellow-rumped Warbler 30 Yellow-throated Warbler 1 Grasshopper Sparrow 2 Chipping Sparrow 15 Clay-colored Sparrow 8 several singing and foraging with chipping sparrows (photos) White-crowned Sparrow 10 White-throated Sparrow 30 Song Sparrow 5 Lincoln's Sparrow 2 Eastern Towhee 4 Northern Cardinal 2 Eastern Meadowlark 3 Baltimore Oriole 1 Red-winged Blackbird X Brown-headed Cowbird X Common Grackle X House Finch 1 European Goldfinch 2 American Goldfinch 8