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:
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).

Cliff Swallow and YB Cuckoo were birds 155 and 156 for my Skokie Lagoons
life patch list which I started tracking on 4/1/17.
List with photos/video:

Full lists pasted below:

Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, McHenry, Illinois, US
Jun 23, 2018 10:57 AM - 2:11 PM
Protocol: Traveling
3.74 mile(s)
42 species

Great Blue Heron 1
Green Heron 1
Turkey Vulture 5
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Red-headed Woodpecker 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 3
Eastern Wood-Pewee 4
Willow Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Eastern Kingbird 3
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 2
Tree Swallow 10
White-breasted Nuthatch 3
House Wren 5
Sedge Wren 2
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 26
Gray Catbird 10
European Starling 9
Cedar Waxwing 6
Common Yellowthroat 16
Yellow Warbler 6
Henslow's Sparrow 7
Field Sparrow 12
Savannah Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 8
Eastern Towhee 5
Scarlet Tanager 2
Northern Cardinal 3
Indigo Bunting 6
Bobolink 14
Eastern Meadowlark 5
Baltimore Oriole 2
Red-winged Blackbird 16
Brown-headed Cowbird 10
Common Grackle 6
American Goldfinch 12

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve--South of Willow Rd., Cook, Illinois, US
Jun 24, 2018 4:42 PM - 7:54 PM
Protocol: Traveling
4.11 mile(s)
42 species

Canada Goose 2
Wood Duck 1
Mallard 6
Great Blue Heron 1
Black-crowned Night-Heron 3
Broad-winged Hawk 1
Ring-billed Gull 2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 2
Mourning Dove 7
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 2
Chimney Swift 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Downy Woodpecker 5
Hairy Woodpecker 3
Northern Flicker 2
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 2
Red-eyed Vireo 2
Blue Jay 5
Northern Rough-winged Swallow 5
Tree Swallow 2
Barn Swallow 5
Cliff Swallow 2
Black-capped Chickadee 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 1
House Wren 1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 4
Wood Thrush 3
American Robin 20
Gray Catbird 12
European Starling 5
Cedar Waxwing 8
Song Sparrow 2
Northern Cardinal 10
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 4
Baltimore Oriole 2
Red-winged Blackbird 14
Brown-headed Cowbird 6
Common Grackle 20
American Goldfinch 3

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Jeff Bilsky

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