Date: 6/9/18 1:03 pm
From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Barn Owl Repeat At Montrose Friday 6-8-18
Hello Bird People,

Went to Montrose to get some late Spring shorebirds for my shorebird
list. I certainly never expected to re-find the Barn Owl as they are
almost always one day wonders & not seen again. Fran & I could only
find Sanderlings (4 in breeding plumage) as well as the usual Killdeer
(3) & Spotted Sandpiper (6) but no Dunlin or Semi-Plovers. Tried for a
late Nelson's Sparrow but failed there too. Guess I'll have to wait
for Fall to try again. The only excitement was when a Red Winged
Blackbird dive bombed me & pecked my cap 3 times to let me know he was
watching me.

The only Warblers were Yellow (4), Common Yellowthroat (3) & I heard 1
Ovenbird singing (Fran had 3 of them). Best bird to that point was a
calling ALDER FLYCATCHER which I "sort of" saw. Of interest to some is
that there are now 21 Barn Swallow nest holes & counting.

Fran had left & absolutely no one was present when I walked by the
hedge & suddenly all the blackbirds set up a very loud racket when
they had not made any noise before. Must have found something but I
figured it was probably the local Red Trailed Hawk. But Hawk or Owl
something was there to upset the blackbird gang. It took me 15-20 min
of looking before I found 1/2 of an Owl but not it's head. (A good
birder would not have taken so long!) As the leaves moved in the wind
I could see the head & it was the face of a BARN OWL. The Grackles
(mainly) were all over the Owl but it was really using the leaves &
branches for protection so the Grackles could only irritate it.

Finally found 2 other birders to share the Owl with once we could
re-find it that is. Then as we were trying to get another birder on it
all hell broke out with lightening, thunder & rain coming down. I had
called Fran on the other birders phone but when he got there it was
raining hard. Waited a while & when the rain slowed we went back to
look. Also, Andrew A showed up & we all looked. But I was due to be
elsewhere & I was late so I left the Owl search to Fran & Andrew who
don't need any help from the likes of me. I don't know if they found
the Owl or not as it may have retreated from where I saw it in the
deluge.

If you go to look just do as Bob H said before & let the blackbirds do
the "heavy lifting" of finding the Owl & then try & locate it
yourself.

Guess you know that the Bird-Of-The-Day is the Barn Owl & the
Runner-Up is the Alder Flycatcher.
I have not been as lucky as Bob H as this was my 1st Barn Owl at
Montrose having just missed one a few years ago, but it's my 3rd Cook
County record in 35 years.

Al Stokie
Not finding what I expected but more than glad to find the unexpected


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Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...>
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