Date: 9/7/19 5:39 pm
From: <ericwalters7...> [ILbirds] <ILbirds-noreply...>
Subject: IBET Zion Neotropic Cormorant/new Cormorant nesting colony
Back on Aug 31st, I discovered a large, active Double-crested Cormorant colony in Zion, only about 200 meters south of the Wisconsin state line. This is part of the eBird hotspot called Zion Dump and Golf Course, which has the Dump/Golf Course on the east, Trumpet Rd on the west, Stateline on the north and 9th Ave on the south side (https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4884883 https://ebird.org/hotspot/L4884883).


This colony had 114 active nests, with nestlings looking like they would be fledglings over the next 10 days, so I came back midday yesterday, Sep 6th, to examine colony status. While there, I had a thought that perhaps I should look for a Neotropic Cormorant within the nearly 300 DC’s and I was taken by surprise that within 5 minutes I found one on a huge log stump, separated by about 5 feet from the rest of the Double-crested Cormorants on same log. Later it flew up to the north-central tree island where it perched and slept. This bird is an adult, with all the standard markings, so much easier to identify, especially in the midst of a huge colony of juvenile cormorants.


I revisited the site this afternoon and it took about 20 minutes to find it, even though it perched separated from the other cormorants. When it sleeps, it can be challenging to find, as its main markings are then hidden. As well, afternoon sun is in your face, so best to visit midday or even better during a morning.


Bird likely has been present for a few weeks or perhaps a month+ and could stay for a few more weeks here.


Exact site of this marsh/swamp is in Zion, along Trumpet Road, less than .25 mile south of the Wisconsin/Illinois state line. One can take Hwy 94 all the way to the last exit at Russell Road and then head east on Russel, which becomes stateline and then you’ll reach Trumpet Road after 2.5 miles. Or, if you’re visiting North Point Marina, from Winthrop Harbor’s Sheridan Road, you can head west on 9th Ave. for about 3.5 miles to Trumpet Road, where you’d go north about .5 mile.


{As an aside, the pond within this site that I call ‘FedEx pond’ (because it’s just north of the FedEx parking lot) has historically been excellent when the water is lower. Unfortunately its water level is the highest I’ve seen. It’s more reliable for shorebirds than even North Point Marina. Sora has summered/breed here, Hooded Merganser in summer/Pintail in fall… also Clay-colored and Vesper Sparrow and Northern Shrike have used the weedy field across the street from this pond… so if you visit this area in another season/year, it might be worth checking this pond area}


eBird photos of this bird can be found here:
Sep 6th https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59592439
Sep 7th https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59592548 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59592548




Eric Walters

Zion, IL/Grandview. MO
 
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