Many of you are already aware that an adult male Barrow’s Goldeneye was found at Rapids City (Rock Island Co) last week and was seen there through Sunday, 2/13. Then, it was refound yesterday at Port Byron, just upstream from Rapids City.
Now, a second adult male Barrow’s Goldeneye has been discovered today by Mike Madsen and Andy Sigler at Lock and Dam 13, but on the Iowa side of the river. And, they saw the adult male Barrow’s at Port Byron, too!
Barbara and I took a drive down the Rock River from Rockford to Rock Falls today. It was a beautiful day to drive IL 2. Best highlights were at Rock Falls, but I’ll start from the beginning.
Blackhawk Park in Rockford had 7 Bald Eagles over the open water below the dam. C. Goldeneyes and a pair of Hooded Mergansers were the only waterfowl other than Canada Geese. It was also the only place where we found a gull- 1 Herring.
Between Rockford and Oregon, we found a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk just S of Rockford. There were Bald Eagles sitting and flying here and there along the river, with the largest concentration (13) perched in the trees along the east bank of the river just downstream from the Byron Nuke plant water discharge station. 3 Turkeys were at the edge of the woods between Rockford and Byron, and one of them was in a Hackberry eating fruits on the way back.
At the Oregon dam, we had 7 Bald Eagles. We counted at least 100 Robins feeding in Hackberry trees along 2nd Street between IL 64 and Webster. Carnation Park, at Webster St. and the river, had 29 Common Mergansers under the railroad trestle. The house with feeders on the second story deck along the entrance drive to the park still has a Carolina Wren. This bird has been there since at least the White Pines CBC on 12/19.
Dixon had 5 more Bald Eagles, plus a hen Bufflehead and a hen C. Goldeneye.
Rock Falls had a large concentration of waterfowl and still more eagles. We were surprised to find a pair of Tundra Swans just below the upstream dam. That spot also had (in no particular order): 24 Bald Eagles, 200+ Canada Geese, 110 Mallards, a pair of Black Ducks, 2 more hen Buffleheads, 62 Common Goldeneyes, 1 Redhead, 2 Hooded Mergansers, 1 Common Merganser, 1 Am. Wigeon, 1 Greater Scaup, and 1 hen/imm. White-winged Scoter! It seems that WW Scoters are being reported from places which are away from Lake Michigan.
Yesterday, Barbara and I shovelled the snow, filled the feeders and bird bath, than hunkered down in the house with a nice fire in the wood stove. As expected, the birds were all at the feeder. I counted 22 species, including a fly-over flock of Rock Pigeons. Oddly, no Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawks came by. Later in the evening, as Barbara was walking the dog, a Great-horned Owl started calling from the pines behind Page Park School, making it #23 for the day. Among the 23 were: 1 N. Flicker, 1 Fox Sparrow, 2 White-throated Sparrows, 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch, and 1 Purple Finch. No siskins-the pair that visited from time to time hasn’t been here in about a week.