Good birding day in Winnebago County

Kevin Kaltenbach, Joyce and I birded around Winnebago County and found some good birds. At Bell Bowl Prairie we flushed a Short Eared Owl. Along Rt. 70 just west of Winnebago Rd/ we saw three species of Teal- Blue-winged, Green winged, and Cinnamon. At Rockcut State Park on Pierce Lake at the handicap pier we observed an Eared Grebe. And, at Kevin’s house on Post Dr. a Worm-eating Warbler was seen and photographed. We also, saw many other species.

Cinnamon Teal in Winnebago County

An adult male Cinnamon Teal has been at the Tipton farm on IL 70, 1/4 mile W of Winnebago Road, since at least 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26. Greg Neise posted it to IL Birder’s Forum around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday (today) April 27. Subsequently, word was spread around, somewhat slowly at first, but many birders were able to get out there to see the teal. Barbara and I stopped there this evening around 7:30 p.m. and it was still there.

The bird is with a large group of Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal in a flooded farm field on the north side of the road just past the Tipton barns that are on the north side of the road. Be careful where you park-the shoulder of the road is narrow and this is a busy highway with high speed cars.

If anyone has a good photo, please post it here. Thanks.

Marbled Godwit on Belt Line Road

Last night, April 26, Brad Grover found a Marbled Godwit in a flooded cornfield on Belt Line Road, south of the Rockford airport. The flooded field was between the sand and gravel quarry and the radar tower. It was still present this morning. Also there were Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted and Pectoral Sandpipers. Larry Balch saw 2 American Golden-plovers there around 7:00 a.m. but they flew away while he was still there and apparently have not returned.

The Wilson’s Phalaropes first reported by Mary Kisamore are still present in the fluddle along Kishwaukee Road across from the entrance to the new warehouse south of the UPS building.

Some Bank Swallows are going in and out of nest cavities in the old sand pile at the Quarry. They are visible from Belt Line Road.

IOS Spring Birding Weekend – May 31 to June 2, 2013

The IOS Spring Birding Weekend will be held May 31 to June 2, 2013. This year we will be based in Mount Sterling and will explore the underbirded region of the state around Siloam Springs State Park where the stars of the show will be the few pairs of Bewick’s Wrens that breed there each year. Breeding season will be in full swing and the field trips will visit a variety of habitats to find warblers, sparrows, wetland birds and night birds.

A wine-tasting is included in with the Saturday night buffet dinner!

Hotel reservations must be made by May 10th.
For full details and registration form see the IOS website at
Questions? Contact Bob Montgomery at or call him at (847) 428-8219.

Upland Sandpipers at Rockford airport

This morning, I found 2 Upland Sandpipers in an alfalfa field along Cessna Drive. The birds were near the gravel road that goes out to the nature preserve and which parallels the airport fence line. (For reference, there are 4 yellow posts around a pipe of some sort at the end of the gravel road near by the nature preserve fence. Here is a photo:

Upland Sandpipers

The Kishwaukee and Rock Rivers are flooding and the fields along Belt Line Road are substantially under water. Edson Road, on the Winnebago/Ogle line, south of the airport, is under water in several places. I didn’t drive down Edson as a result. Once the water starts to recede, all of these areas should be checked for migrating shorebirds.

More loons

I found more Common Loons today in Winnebago and Ogle Counties. All had already molted into breeding plumage.

The first was at Lake Sule, in Rochelle. That is the lake at the northwest corner of the intersections of I-39 and I-88. The road leading to the lake is off of Caron Road. Also there were 7 Horned Grebes (6 in breeding plumage) and a nice variety of ducks, including 5 Red-breasted Mergansers.

2 more Common Loons were in the old quarry on the north side of Beltline Road between Kishwaukee Road and Cessna Drive. I did not check the south quarry pond because it was in operation.