Nygren Wetlands water levels

I drove out to Nygren Wetlands overlook this evening about 6:45 p.m. The water level has dropped considerably just from Saturday. A lot of dead grasses and some mud flats are now exposed, and shorebirds are moving in. The fluddles on Meridian Road and at the east end of Moody Road are pretty much dried up. I saw a flock of 20 Lesser Yellowlegs and Solitary Sandpipers fly in. A pair of Sandhill Cranes (without a colt) flew in.

There is only a very small puddle visible from the east end of Moody Road (scope is required). Other than both species of yellowlegs, Pectoral, Solitary and Least Sandpipers, I saw 1 Semipalmated Plover and 2 Stilt Sandpipers.

3 Yellow-crowned Night-herons!

This morning, Larry Balch, Eric Walters, Barbara and I found 3 adult Yellow-crowned Night-herons in the swamp inside the loop road at Sugar River FP. Prior to today, only one had been reported off and on since mid-May. A Yellow-throated Warbler was still singing, and the mosquitoes were forming in battalion strength.

A stop at the east end of Moody Road revealed a lot of shorebirds, but they were all back lit in the morning sun. 7:00 p.m. might be the best time to check there because the sun will be behind you and the heat haze should have dissipated. There was also a Common Tern there, plus 13 Great Egrets, some Hooded Mergansers, and Ring-billed Gulls.

A stop on Porter Road to check the Anna Page Park dry dam resulted in 3 Henslow’s Sparrows, several Sedge Wrens, but no Bell’s Vireo was heard at its usual spot.

Yellow-crowned Night-heron, Caspian Terns

I saw the Yellow-crowned Night-heron today at Sugar River FP around 3:25 p.m. It was in the same area as before, about 3/4 of the way around the loop with the swamp in the middle, on the left hand side of the road, near the road.

3 Caspian Terns were on the flooded field at the east end of Moody Road. Don’t drive past the mailbox. Stop in the cul-de-sac. A scope is absolutely necessary. There were several hundred shorebirds there, but the heat haze around 4:00 p.m. was terrible. Looked like both species of yellowlegs, probably some Stilt Sandpipers, a bunch of Pectorals and peeps, plus what appeared to be some kind of phalarope, but that was only based on behavior. Who knows what else. We’re going back tomorrow (Saturday morning, early) to see what might be in better focus before the heat haze takes over.

Sunday morning west of Roscoe & Rockton

Barbara and I checked various flooded spots this morning. No special highlights, but I thought that a general report on what birds were where might be of interest in case you were thinking about going out yourself. At the intersection of Roscoe/Gleasman Road, there were about 7-8 peeps, with 2 being Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Moody/Blodgett had the best mixture, but the birds were quite a distance east of the cul-de-sac at the eatern terminus of Moody (don’t go past the mail box on to the private drive). You will need a scope. There were approximately 30 Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 Greater Yellowlegs, and 3 Short-billed Dowitchers. Some peeps were visible, but they were so far away that I couldn’t make any definite identification, except the ones I could see had the color and behavior of Least Sandpipers. A Pied-billed Grebe, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, 10 Ring-billed Gulls and 74 Great Blue Herons rounded out the show at the watery areas.

The pond ne of the Meridian/IL75 intersection was empty. More gulls were further up the road nearer to the bridge over the river, but way out on the west side.

Stilt Sandpipers

3 Stilt Sandpipers were in the first puddle on the east side of Meridian Road just N of its intersection with IL 75. Also present were about 8 peeps, but they were on the far east edge of the pond, and I could identify only Least and Semipalmated Sandpipers. They were there around noon today.

Two Solitary Sandpipers were in the flooded fields at the intersection of Roscoe Road and Gleasman Road.