Peregrine Falcon at Anna Page Park, Rockford

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.

Black Scoter, Tree Swallow

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.