Around 11:15 this morning, Barbara and I were walking our dog around the loop road at Anna Page Park. A Peregrine flew over us from W to E and continued in the general direction of downtown Rockford. I have had sporadic reports of a single Peregrine in downtown Rockford since late summer, but this is the first one I have seen in Winnebago County this year.
Other birds of note in the park were Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown Creeper, and Red-breasted Nuthatch. No siskins or other winter finches heard or seen.
Barbara spotted 2 Red-breasted Nuthatches coming to our sunflower feeder this morning. These are the first two of this species in our yard since back in September.
This afternoon, I found an adult female Black Scoter on Lake Summerset. It was hanging out with a small flock of Ruddy Ducks. A telescope is essential. The flock was in the middle of Lake Summerset just east of the Winnebago/Stephenson County line. This area is best viewed from the emergency vehicle entry gate (yellow) on the west side of Best Road across from the state bank. Park in the bank parking lot and walk across the road with your telescope.
The adult female can look a lot like a Ruddy Duck, except that it is all black and the lower face is off-white, extending back to the sides of the neck. On a Ruddy, the white patch is smaller and concentrated on the cheek. And, of course, the scoter is much larger. The bill appears small in proportion to the head, while a Ruddy has a bill that is proportionally larger in comparison to the head.
The Tree Swallow was on Pierce Lake at Rock Cut SP. It was hunting for food in the bay by the concession stand in the SW part of the lake. There were also 2 Mute Swans on Pierce Lake, but more in the middle about the area of the Red Oak picnic area.
Around 1:00 p.m. today, I spotted a single Greater White-fronted Goose in the Rock River at Blackhawk Park in Rockford. It was just below the 15th Avenue Bridge with a small flock of Canada Geese.
The only other notable sighting was an adult Red-tailed Hawk flying off with a Fox Squirrel in its talons.
Had a Northern Shrike& Purple Finches at Atwood Homestead F. P. about 1:00 today. This Preserve is located off Old River Road.
200+ Sandhill Cranes- 6 Tundra Swans- coots, Mallards, Harrier, & Bald Eagle.
The field trip scheduled for Saturday, November 16th has a meeting place change. Please meet at Olson Lake parking lot on the east side of Rock Cut State Park. The rest of the park is closed for hunting.