Field trip report for Nygren Wetland on October 20

Twelve persons, including 2 Illinois young birders, attended the Sunday morning field trip to Nygren Wetland in Rockton, IL lead by Barbara and me.

The group met in the parking lot at the overlook. The ground fog at that time was pretty heavy, and there was zero visibility from the overlook, but we could hear Sandhill Cranes calling from the marsh in addition to the Canada Geese. We were able to find 6 species of sparrows around the parking lot and overlook area, including a nice group of White-crowned Sparrows. White-throated Sparrows were calling frequently.

The fog started to lift around 0730, so, after briefly looking at some Coots and other waterfowl silhouettes out in the marsh, we started our hike on the Dianne Nora nature trail to the east. The prairie planting immediately east of the parking lot was full of sparrows, mostly Song and Swamp. Red-headed Woodpeckers were in their usual place in the savanna restoration area. Also there was an Orange=crowned Warbler (among the Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers) and a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew in and perched for quite a while, allowing everyone good looks.

From the east side of the marsh, with the sun behind us, we found Great Egrets, Wilson’s Snipe, 2 Pectoral Sandpipers, Ring-billed Gulls, and a nice variety of waterfowl, including Green-winged Teal, Am. Black Duck, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Ring-necked Duck, 2 Lesser Scaup males, and a female Hooded Merganser, plus a few Pied-billed Grebes.

Along the old railroad bed, there were a lot of passerines feeding on poison ivy berries and wild grapes. These were mostly Myrtle Warblers, but also E. Bluebirds, N. Flickers, and a variety of sparrows, including Fox.

The trip ended around 10:45 a.m. A full list of species and numbers of individuals is recorded on ebird. The link to the list follows here: