I’m relaying this sighting from Fred Stillema:
On Friday, July 7 Hilda and I were traveling along Highway 24 in the vicinity of Fairbury when I spotted an Upland Sandpiper sitting on a fencepost next to a soybean field.
The temperature was about 105 degrees, the highway was busy, but we turned around, pulled off the road and got a picture. When I got out of the car to try and get a lower camera angle the bird flew, called, and disappeared. So I got back in the car and we turned around and slowly approached the same spot and the bird was back. There were soybeans on both sides of the road, but the one field had a wide, grassy waterway.
If this bird was on territory the chicks may have been in the grass, or perhaps trying to find some shade under the soybeans. I had not seen an “Uppy” in at least 20 years and thought I would share it.
I attended the festivities last night in Rockford for the 4th of July. We were at a private party on the river front close to the launch site for the fireworks and saw at least 8 Common Nighthawks ( the most that were in view at any one time) hawking insects for half an hour or so after dusk. The area is largely industrial and it is possible the birds are breeding in the area.
I hadn’t been to the Alder Tract in a month, so I decided to get up early and walk a big loop before it got too hot. It was very birdy. A lot of adults were feeding chicks. I recorded Baltimore Oriole, Lark Sparrow, E. Bluebird, and Field Sparrow adults carrying food, and a pair of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks were feeding begging young that had fledged. Happily, the young were also Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and not cowbirds.
A Yellow-breasted Chat is on territory in the same spot I found one on May 31. A Hooded Warbler was calling from the woods in the far NE portion of the preserve.