Date: 5/6/18 5:52 pm
From: Tamima Itani <tamimaitani...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Fw: Global Big Day and Spring Bird Count - North Shore Channel, Harms Woods and Techny Basin North
Just realized I sent the email below to the wrong distribution. Better late than never!


Good morning,

It sounds like everyone had a highly productive count day yesterday! We were so fortunate with the beautiful weather we had!

Amanda Tichacek and I combined efforts to count the North Short Channel in Evanston (Oakton St to McCormick Blvd/Greenbay Road), Harms Woods in Glenview and Techny Basin North. We ended the day with 90 species and 699 individual birds, and had a greatly enjoyable day overall!

We started early at Harms Woods, with hopes of spotting the Great Horned Owl seen there on a few occasions, but did not find it. We were treated to a cloud of warblers (just a bit of an exaggeration) as we stood on the bridge at the entrance of Glenview Road entrance to the woods. We had 27 species there. Highlights include the following:

- BLUE-WINGED WARBLER (a lifer for me!)








31 PALM WARBLERS and 18 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS contributed to the "warbler cloud" effect.

The full checklist with photos is available at this link:

Next, we spent nearly 5 hrs over 3.7 miles of the North Shore Channel, starting at Oakton St and ending at Greenbay Roaharbd, with a lengthy detour via Harbert Park, with hopes of finding the whip-poor-will spotted there the prior day. Poor Will we did not find, but there was not shortage of interesting birds. We had 66 species there. Highlights include the following:

- A GREEN HERON, unfazed by the rowing crews flying by

- A SOLITARY SANDPIPER who landed in front of us in a puddle of water at Harbert Park














- SUMMER TANAGER (MALE, IMMATURE) - As we were wrapping up our North Channel walk, we were treated to a Summer Tanager East of the Evanston Ecology Center.

While we saw a variety of thrushes, we were surprised that the number was relatively low.

Sweet little PALM WARBLERS kept us company the entire time, hopping ahead of us in the grass.

The full checklist with photos is available at this link:

After a lunch break to take care of our respective pets, we headed to Techny Basin North. As we arrived, Ben Sanders and Isoo O'Brien were headed out, and kindly mentioned the Short-billed Dowitcher they had seen, among 8 species of shorebirds. The pressure was on to match their findings! Gladly, we did, using Amanda's brand new spotting scope. We finished at Techny North with 29 species, avoided a sunburn in the hot afternoon sun, and had the pleasure to meet Suzanne Coleman, who has an incredible ear for bird songs!

To our great chagrin, we did not find the pigeons that usually hang around at Techny, and that were needed for our species count!

The full checklist with photos (not so great, distant shore birds) at this link:

We decided to go back to Harms Woods/Glenview Woods. Our energy level was waning, so we decided we would only bird the bridge that had been so productive in the morning. But the "warbler cloud" had dissipated, and while we found some of the same species as in the morning, the abundance level was much lower. However, as we were standing there with our binoculars and cameras, a lady approached us and shared with us that she a friend of hers had seen a Pileated Woodpecker in late April, and that she, herself, had sat across the river from the bird for over an hour, observing it. She gave us the exact location of where it had been. Surprised but energized, we walked the three-quarters of a mile or so to the spot, but did not find any Pileated Woodpecker. Later in the evening, Amanda did some sleuthing on ebird, and found that someone had reported a Red-headed Woodpecker in late April. There were no reports of Pileated ever at Harms.

The highlight of this last stop at Harms Woods were two WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCHES. I had been lamenting that we had not seen any all day, when the first showed-up, then a second. I then wished for a Grosbeak, an Indigo Bunting, a Summer Tanager, a Great-horned Owl, a Hummingbird - whatever would get us to 100 species, but they did not materialize and we were done for the day! We had 18 species on this second, short visit to Harms.

The full checklist is available at this link:

Bird-of-the Day for me is the burst of sunshine that is the BLUE-WINGED WARBLER, and I venture to guess that for Amanda it was the SUMMER TANAGER.

This was an absolutely wonderful experience and day. Amanda is an ace spotter, and I learned tons birding with her!

Happy Sunday and happy birding!

Tamima Itani

Evanston, Cook County

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