Date: 12/25/18 6:50 pm
From: <rlshonkw...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Jackson Park portion of Chicago Lake Front CBC: A pretty good day
I covered most of Jackson Park for the Chicago Lake Front CBC today with help from Dan Lory early and late. It was a rewarding if tiring day! Here are the highlights. Dan and I started the morning checking the ducks in the Outer and Inner Harbors. The highlight here was a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. I looked in vain for a Cackling Goose, but one was seen by me and the Audubon group on Saturday, which is Count Week. Dan had to attend family Christmas celebrations but came back afternoon. In the meantime I birded Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow, the golf course, and looked for land birds (and new ducks) in the harbor areas. In Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow the BELTED KINGFISHER that's been around still was despite the lagoons being frozen, again. In the plantings southwest of the driving range some sparrows flushed, I began to pish and a tiny bird flew towards me and landed in a tree behind me. The first thing I noticed was its raised red crest: RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET! I also found a SWAMP SPARROW, plus a few AMERICAN TREE and WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS and the first of many DARK-EYED JUNCOS. Four NORTHERN FLICKERS, which have been around for a while, flew off in succession from the plantings towards Wooded Island.
I made a good decision to swing by the new plantings along 63rd St./Hayes. I found 9 very cooperative COMMON REDPOLLS feeding in the plantings here, and they flew up in a close tree for easy views and photos. I later found another at the north parking lot feeding with some goldfinches in the plantings there. I found a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER at the south end of Wooded Island; I found two more, one on the golf course and one at the south end of the Inner Harbor. Just southwest of the Darrow Bridge I spotted a dark bird in a tree, which turned out to be an EASTERN PHOEBE, likely the one seen by Eric Ginsberg a week or so ago in the park. I tried to get a photo but it took off to the east and I couldn't find it again.
The only species added on the golf course was a BROWN CREEPER. I added a GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET at the south end of the Inner Harbor.
Dan rejoined me and we decided to do a little birding south of the count circle at Park 566. There were hundreds of Aythya in the bay and lake between Park 566 and Rainbow Beach Park, mostly scaup, but there was a close flock of CANVASBACKS in the bay. Being footsore I let Dan bird the rest of the park while I scanned the Aythya flocks. Then Dan called me saying he had a loon of some type to the south. By time I got there it had swam off out of view. Dan showed me his photos: it was a RED-THROATED LOON! While scanning for the loon I spotted a SNOWY OWL on the breakwater at Steel Workers Park (Indiana territory)! We went over to Steel Workers to see if the loon was there but no luck. We headed back to 63rd Street Beach, the only part of the park that I hadn't yet checked (except North Lake Front covered by Paul C.). I added another SWAMP SPARROW here with a lot more Ringed-billed gulls than seen elsewhere. Then we called it a day, and not a bad one at that!

Randy Shonkwiler

Join us on Facebook!