Date: 11/3/18 7:52 pm From: douglas stotz <dfstotz...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Grundy County birds, including Eared Grebe
I birded Heidecke Lake, Goose Lake Prairie, and the Dresden Cooling Pond in eastern Grundy Co. this morning. I observed 54 species. The best bird was an Eared Grebe at Heidecke Lake. I saw it from the boat launch at the south edge of the lake. Note that sometime between 10:15 and 11:20 the gate across the road into the lake was closed. Other interesting birds seen there were a Barn Swallow (dreamed of Cave Swallow when I saw a swallow flying over lake, but no such luck), an immature Black-crowned Night Heron, 7 Bonaparte's Gulls and a Purple Finch. At Goose Lake Prairie, I saw a White Pelican, 7 Black Ducks, 4 Sandhill Cranes and 3 Rusty Blackbirds. At the Dresden Cooling Pond, there was a female merganser I couldn't certainly ID, but leaned toward Common, another Bonaparte's Gull, and a flock of several hundred blackbirds.
One other thing I found interesting was a total of 6 Great Egrets, with 3 at Heidecke Lake, 2 at Dresden Cooling Lake and 1 at Goose Lake Prairie. I still think of egrets as rare in northern Illinois by November. They have clearly increased into November and December over the last couple of decades, but of course the species as a whole has increased in our region. At the time of Mlodinow's Chicago Area Birds (1984), it had regular occurrence ending at end of October, and mentioned only a Jasper-Pulaski record for November.
-- Douglas Stotz Conservation Ecologist/Ornithologist Environmental and Conservation Programs Field Museum of Natural History 1400 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60605