Around 12:30 p.m. today, I found an adult Yellow-crowned Night-heron at Sugar River FP in northwest Winnebago Co. The bird was in the swamp which is inside the one-way loop road in the river bottom forest. I watched it catch and eat a crayfish. I don’t know if any YCNH have been seen there since Memorial Day weekend–at least, I haven’t seen any posts. If anyone goes there and sees one or more, particularly if you see immatures, please post those sightings. Thanks.
Phil Schwab and I were stationed at Nygren wetland this morning for the Wildflower Weekend. Although the birdlife seemed sparse, species-wise, there were a few highlights: An American Bittern flew over at a distance, and kept going, over the observation deck and toward the north. A Bald Eagle was over the Pec River to the SE, a pair of juvenile Pied-billed Grebes was in view most of the morning, and a single Solitary Sandpiper was out on a small mud flat.
Shorebirds are beginning to show up in northern IL. There have been scattered reports on IBET regarding various puddles where shorebirds are appearing, albeit for short periods of time. Nevertheless, it is useful to regularly visit those puddles while there is water in them because the birds do come and go, usually not lingering very long.
A small puddle that looks like it has been around for a long time on O’Brien road, just N of Melms Road, in NW Kane County, has attracted some Short-billed Dowitchers, one (two?) Wilson’s Phalaropes, both species of yellowlegs, Least, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers. Willets came and went from Afton FP in DeKalb Co, as well as LaSalle Lake down by Marseilles.
There are some shorebirds at the Rockford airport quarry, but that is closed, so you have to scope from Belt Line Road, making peeps virtually impossible to identify. But, you can see yellowlegs, Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, and Ring-billed Gulls right now. Larger shorebirds should be readily identifiable. A little further east on Belt Line, east of the radar starion, there is a storm water retention basin that has shallow water and is attracting shorebirds–I saw Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers there this evening, plus a few Lesser Yellowlegs.