Date: 8/25/19 1:43 pm From: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...> Subject: IBET Old News From Saturday 8-24-19 Laughing Gull & Fulvous Whistling Duck In Southern Illinois
Hello Bird People,
I am just getting to this report although it's now a full day old. Left Sat at 3 a.m. & didn't get home until 11 p.m so no report yesterday & today I had to get up early to get to Sewage Pond Trip #2 so no report this early a.m. either. Still others have reported so I'll just tell the story of our day which started rather poorly but got better later on. I was accompanied on this major adventure by Andy Sigler & Bob Erickson.
On Friday Keith M, Colin D & Frank H all saw a Swallow Tailed Kite in Madison Co & the bird stayed for quite a while leading us to believe it might still be there the next day. So we spent 2 hours trying to find it but failed to do so. Strike 1.
This delay caused us to be late getting to Cahokia Mounds so the usual Yellow Crowned Herons were no longer in view feeding. Looked for them roosting in the trees but no luck. Strike 2.
Then we went to Horseshoe Lake & searched for Eurasian Tree Sparrow which are often found here but they seemed to not be around. Strike 3.
Now normally it's 3 strikes & you're out but we kept on going. Next to the Melvin Price Dam & we 1st looked from the Illinois side of the dam but only found 7 Ring Billed Gulls & 2 Pigeons. Then to the Missouri side of the dam (but in Illinois) where after a bit of a search Bob E found the immature LAUGHING GULL. Then Andy spent quite some time making sure the bird was in Illinois & not Missouri but it passed the "Andy test" & instead of strike 4 we had a new Illinois year bird.
Then we had a group conference & decided to head south to try for the on again off again Fulvous Duck. thus guaranteeing we would not get home at a reasonable hour which we had agreed we would do. Took a while but at least we knew from reports by Allen G & Rhonda that the duck was there at least earlier. Finally arrived about 3 p,m. & two ladies from Indiana had the bird in view. So we had scope views (theirs & ours scopes) right off the bat. The FULVOUS WHISTLING DUCK was a new Illinois State Bird for both Bob & I. And I think that duck is a fine looking creature to boot.
We then spent about an hour looking at all the Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Little Blue Herons & small numbers of shorebirds. Also saw a Mississippi Kite, Black Vulture & a Red Shouldered Hawk. Had 2 Stilt Sandpipers with a Yellowlegs & quite a few Black Necked Stilts plus about 2 or 3 Black Terns. Heard a Fish Crow or 2.
Any time you see a new State Bird it's a good day even if the misses outnumbered the hits. Bird-Of-The-Day to the Fulvous Whistling Duck & Runner-Up to the young Laughing Gull.
Good license plates seen were from Delaware & Maine.
Al Stokie In the St Louis area & far southern Illinois on Saturday
------------------------------------ Posted by: Al Stokie <alstokie99...> ------------------------------------