Purple Martins!

This morning I received a call from David at Rock Valley Greenhouse and Garden Center informing me that there are at least a dozen Purple Martins nesting in their Martin house. He invited members of the Birdclub to come out and enjoy them. Apparently you can get fairly close, look, listen and photograph them. If you go make sure you stop in and tell them we appreciate the tip and everything they do on behalf of NCIOS.

Thank you, Fred Stellema.

Garlic Mustard Pesto

Here is the recipe for those interested. Thanks to all for trying it out at last meeting!

Garlic Mustard Pesto

Pull up entire plant and get rid of the roots~ young leaves taste best

— 1 and 1/2 cups of fresh garlic leaves chopped very fine
— 1 Clove of garlic
— 1/4 cup of Pin Nuts or Walnuts
— 3/4 cup of parmesan cheese
— 3/4 cup Olive Oil

Mix all the ingredients well and serve on bread, crackers, or even pasta.

Upland Sandpipers, Henslow’s Sparrows, et al.

I was pleased to locate 2 Upland Sandpipers while doing one of my Breeding Bird Survey routes in northwest Ogle county this morning. They were along Coffman Road, 1/2 and 1 1/2 miles west of IL 26, respectively, along the north side of the road. This area does not look like Uppie habitat–it is corn and soybeans, but there must be some hay fields just over the ridge to the north, because that is the place where they were flying and calling.

Just east of the corner of Lightsville and Rock City Road, in the SE corner of the intersection and stretching nearly 1/2 mile back to the east on the south side of Lightsville Rd, is a CRP set aside field. It had a nice mixture of Bobolinks, Dickcissels, and about 6 calling Henslow’s Sparrows. Red-headed Woodpeckers were calling from the trees north of the road, across another grass field, and there were a couple of Grasshopper Sparrows on that side..

Upland Sandpipers, Henslow’s Sparrows, et al.

I was pleased to locate 2 Upland Sandpipers while doing one of my Breeding Bird Survey routes in northwest Ogle county this morning. They were along Coffman Road, 1/2 and 1 1/2 miles west of IL 26, respectively, along the north side of the road. This area does not look like Uppie habitat–it is corn and soybeans, but there must be some hay fields just over the ridge to the north, because that is the place where they were flying and calling.

Just east of the corner of Lightsville and Rock City Road, in the SE corner of the intersection and stretching nearly 1/2 mile back to the east on the south side of Lightsville Rd, is a CRP set aside field. It had a nice mixture of Bobolinks, Dickcissels, and about 6 calling Henslow’s Sparrows. Red-headed Woodpeckers were calling from the trees north of the road, across another grass field, and there were a couple of Grasshopper Sparrows on that side..

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Yesterday I discovered a Ruby-throat just starting to build a nest. By this morning she had it about half finished. I’ve had the telescope set on the spot and it’s been fascinating to watch her hard at work on it. Also this morning we’ve had an Acadian Flycatcher and a Kentucky Warbler calling from behind the house. We live on the south side of Anna Page Park, which is an underbirded spot as far as we can tell. WE don’t even get out into the park itself very often and we live right here. Interestingly, there are aparently almost no cicadas in these woods. We’ve heard exactly ONE! So if you are tired of being deafened in other parks, come try Anna Page!

Barbara

Deer Run Forest Preserve

Deer Run Forest Preserve doesn’t have the cicadas as Blackhawk Springs and Kishwaukee do, but the prairie birds are everyhwere! I took Dakota and Sammie (my 9-year-old son and 8-year-old niece) to find Dickcissels and we did! Very close wonderful views of them and also Grasshopper Sparrows. It was hot, but we had a great time.
Coneflowers
The Dickcissel pictures weren’t that great, but the coneflowers turned out. The prairie is looking beautiful!

Possible Nature Photography Club Startup

I was contacted by the owner of the Lone Rock Cafe, the concessionaire at Rock Cut State Park about getting new clubs/organizations to meet at the park as a way to attract visitors (and of course, customers too). One thing mentioned was the lack of a photography club and meeting at Rock Cut would be great since there is so much to photograph there.

I was curious if any NCIOS members would want to be a part of a photography club that meets once (or twice) a month at Rock Cut. So far details are limited. A possible working name would be Winnebago Wild Photography Club and would focus on nature photography county-wide (and elsewhere too).

The cafe has internet access and I am planning on getting more details when I visit (this Sunday) but wanted to know if anyone was interested in being a part. We could use the internet to host all our photos (digital) and that way everyone can view and comment on them. (Examples of this can be found here) I would love to learn photography tips from others and this would be a wonderful way to get non-birders interested in birds.

Feel free to email me directly birdfreak@birdfreak.com if you are interested (you don’t have to join/attend anything, I just want an idea of people interested before I talk to the owner of the cafe). As for cost of being a member that is also open for debate… a membership on the photosharing site Flickr is $24.95 a year (I think) and would allow everyone to upload their photos, organize them by categories, sets, etc. and is really quite fun.

Thanks,

Eddie Callaway

Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve

Hi Birders!

I went birding today (with my son Dakota and my niece Sammie) at Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve and the Cicadas are sooo loud! We saw Baltimore Orioles, Red-eyed Vireos, Indigo Buntings, and a lot of other cool birds! We saw a bunch of Eastern Bluebirds feasting on the cicadas that were flying all over.

Monday, we went to Afton Forest Preserve in Dekalb County and found Sedge Wrens and Bobolinks! Dad came with on this trip and it was fun. I am always excited to find Bobolinks in Northern Illinois.