Over the weekend, the following migrant species have turned up at Anna Page Park in northwest Rockford (with date of April arrival noted): Ovenbird (30), Blackpoll Warbler (30), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (27), Indigo Bunting (28), Red-headed Woodpecker (27).
Larry Balch and I heard Warbling Vireos at several locations on Sunday the 29th, plus Grasshopper Sparrow in NW Winnebago Co. on the 29th.
5 hearty souls went on the field trip to Deer Run Forest Preserve on Sat. April 28. 59 bird species were observed. Birds of note: 2 Blue-winged Teal, 7 Wild Turkeys, 2 Sandhill Cranes, 1 Solitary Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, Tree Swallows, N. Rough-winged Swallow and Barn Swallows, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-Rumped Warbler, E. Towhee, 8 Sparrow species- Chipping, field, Lark-(Scoped from 20 feet), Savannah, Grasshopper, Song, Swamp, White-Throated, Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, N. Oriole.
Some wind- about 20-30 MPH, little rain and a delightful 45-8 degrees .
While Barbara was watching Broad-wings over our house, I checked out a few places at Rock Cut SP this morning.
Highlights were a White-eyed vireo calling from the thicket at the start of the equestrian trail that runs South from Hart Road, south of the equestrian campground. This trail goes back to the old hay field that has had Henslow’s Sparrows for a number of years now. In the field, I counted at least 3 Henslow’s, but it is likely that there are at least 4. A pair of Cooper’s Hawks were in display flight over the woods south of the field.
A pair of Broad-wings was circling and calling over the hardwood forest on the south side of the creek below the dam on Pierce Lake. The woods below the dam were full of Yellow-rumped Warblers, gnatcatchers, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. A lot of Eastern Towhees and Field Sparrows were heard from the scrub growth on the north side of the paved trail and along the entrance road coming in from the north.
3 Yellow-throated Warblers were heard, two of which were in the White Pines east of the Red Oak day use area driveway entrance.
A pair of Osprey, one with a fish in its talons, were flying over the east end of Pierce Lake. There was a flock of Ruddy Ducks (15) on Pierce Lake, and a smattering of puddle ducks plus some Lesser Scaup on Olson Lake. Other than Killdeer, the only shorebird was a solitary Solitary Sandpiper along the muddy edge at the Pierce Lake dam parking lot.
Seven Broad-wings have already passed over our house (west of town near Anna Page Park) already this morning (10:00 a.m.). Long distance migrants are beginning to arrive!
I was amazed to see a male Cerulean Warbler in our yard this evening along with a few Yellow-rumped and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. A first for our yard, and one I didn’t expect to get. I know we are on the fly-way to Rock Cut NP, and that they are found there. Still a nice bird to see well. We have had a sprinkling of Kinglets and a group of 9 White-throated Sparrows hanging around.
At about 2:30 today there were 34 White Pelicans circling over West Riverside Blvd. and moving slowly west. Recently there have been pelicans at Nygren Wetlands and at Neiman’s Pond, west on Rte. 20 toward Freeport.
Barn Swallows, House Wrens and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers have shown up in our yard.
On Tues. afternoon, Joyce and I found a few Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Bald Eagle, numerous Field Sparrows, a bushel of Red Admiral butterflies, a Bluebird, and a N. Mockingbird (between the bridge on the east side and mile marker .25.
Barbara and I took a walk in our woods and into Anna Page Park this morning. We heard and saw our first Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (5), House Wrens (4) and Chimney Swifts (2) of the spring. 3 Pine Warblers were heard (1 seen), and a Cooper’s Hawk was in display flight over the woods. Sapsuckers (at least 4) were pretty noisy and active, and a Sandhill Crane was heard but not seen.
Large white Trillium are blooming in large clumps in several places, and the Skunk Cabbages along Kent Creek have really expanded and are thriving. Red Admirals are numerous, particularly in the openings where there are blooming dandelions, and we saw a Tiger Swallowtail.
This morning around 10:30 a.m. I located 2 Franklin’s Gulls in a very wet and partially flooded field on the north side of Ridott Road about 1/2 mile west of Farwell Bridge Road. The gulls were gone by 1:30 when Larry Balch arrived there.
This spot looks like it could be a good shorebird spot for the next week or so. A scope is necessary. The flooded spots are a long way from the road.
This species has been present the last few years in two places in Sinnissippi Park. One is the stand of white pines on the north side of the park road where Arlington Avenue ends. The second place is where I heard one singing this afternoon, which is farther up the road going east another 0.3 mile. More precisely, it was singing in the white pines across the road from the parking lot for the Golf Course Shelter 1 &2 and the Music Shell, about 75 yds northeast of Gilbey’s Place. In past years, I’ve also heard them in the pines another 120 yards up the road.