Date: 6/24/18 7:33 pm From: Jeff Bilsky <jbilsky...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Weekend Birding - McHenry and Cook Counties
Saturday, I went to Pleasant Valley in McHenry County. List with photos/video: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46743424 Highlights here in the grasslands were the huge amounts of somewhat aggressive BOBOLINKS, a bunch of HENSLOW'S SPARROWS, a couple of SEDGE WRENS etc. In the woods I had a pair of SCARLET TANAGERS.
Sunday, I went to Skokie Lagoons. I usually go north of Willow Road but after seeing what I thought were 2 Cuckoos fly over the road heading south, I felt like maybe today would be a good day to check the south trails. Lesson of the story - if you think you see cuckoos, follow them! Shortly after beginning my hike south, I did indeed verify I had seen YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOOS. There were a pair of them likely in the vicinity of a nest. I continued to hike south to see what else I could find. I had a couple of adult and one young BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERONS. Further down I started hearing a couple of singing WOOD THRUSHES. I hiked all the way south along the river until I hit I-94 and then turned around and headed back. The trail gets a bit bush-whacky and spider-web-y south of Winnetka road. On the way back I heard a screeching raptor. I never got eyes on it, but sounded pretty spot-on for a BROAD-WINGED HAWK (presumably a nest in the area?). Final highlight, I confirmed a couple of CLIFF SWALLOWS amongst the Barns that are nesting under the Willow road bridge (best viewed from the south side of the bridge based on their behavior).