Had a few Warblers at Seward Bluff’s F.P. around 1:00 p.m. today. Black-Throated Green, Black-White,Orange-Throated,Tennesse. Also, had an Oven Bird at Severson Dells by the education center. Many Yellow-Rumps, both Kinglets around. Actually, trying to find some shore birds in the Pec. Wetlands, only had a Solitary Sand-Piper, & a S.B. Dowither at the Wetlands.

More spring arrivals

On Monday, April 28, Barbara and I took a short walk in Anna Page Park. The cool, damp weather kept a lot of birds near the ground. Besides large numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, we had our first Blue-headed Vireo and Black and White Warbler. Palm Warblers were also well represented.

Since there were so many birds, I decided to check Rock Cut SP later in the morning. Highlights there were my first Yellow Warblers, another Black and White, a singing Louisiana Waterthrush, 2 singing White-crowned Sparrows, a Green Heron, 3 Bank Swallows and a number of Cliff Swallows. 43 Ruddy Ducks were on Pierce Lake, plus 1 Double-crested Cormorant.

Last evening around 5:30, a Lincoln’s Sparrow showed up under our feeders.

This morning, 4/29, a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak was at the sunflower feeder, plus 2 male Black-throated Green Warblers were singing in the trees overhead. Another Black and White Warbler was gleaning insects from the tree bark, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets are singing everywhere. A White-crowned Sparrow joined the 20 or so White-throated Sparrows out on the lawn under the feeders.

At 4:30 p.m., a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird showed up at our feeder.

Birding on 4-25-14 in Northern Winnebago Co.

Joyce and I wandered around the northern part of the county this morning and found the following birds:
Many Shovelers, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, two immature Bald eagles, Sandhill Cranes, and loads of Coots at Winter’s old farm.
We found a Yellow-throated Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bluebird, and Red-breasted Nuthatch at Sugar River forest preserve.
At Nygren from the observation deck- we found a pair of Hooded Mergansers, Many Blue-winged Teal, the nest of a Sandhill Crane(just to the east from the deck) with an egg, and a swan-with plumage the was difficult to determine whether it was a Tundra or not.
I saw a Lesser Yellowlegs along the creek along the Swanson Path between the two ponds earlier in the morning. There was a Spotted Sandpiper there earlier in the week.

Jack Armstrong

White Pelicans and other migrants

While doing a bird survey near the confluence of the Kishwaukee and Rock rivers this morning, I spotted a flock of 18 White Pelicans circling as they slowly moved up the Rock River. Yesterday, I was told that there have also been some pelicans in the Rock River in the Roscoe area.

Migrants and new species are only trickling in slowly. Today I had my first Winnebago County House Wrens, but they were everywhere I stopped, including Kilbuck Bluffs FP and Anna Page Park. Barbara and I found a Palm Warbler in Anna Page Park this afternoon while scouting for her wildflower walk that will take place this evening, weather permitting. Blue-gray Gnatcatchers seem to be everywhere now, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, which have been moving through for a while, are now singing a lot. A Brown Creeper was still in Page Park along the creek.

Two male Yellow-throated Warblers were in the trees opposite the large picnic shelter at Kilbuck Bluffs around noon today. They weren’t singing, though. Just making chip notes.

Jeff Donaldson reports that David Olson had a Rose-breasted Grosbeak at his feeder “a couple of days ago.” That is pretty early: about two weeks ahead of the average arrival.

Shorebirds are still in short supply. Most numerous are Wilson’s Snipe. On Monday, I found 13 in the fluddle at Eddie/Knapp Roads, 3 on Oliver Road, and 5 at Winters. There were probably a lot more at Winters, but I didn’t have time to walk a long way down the levee.

2014 Crane Count results for Winnebago County

All counts have been received for Winnebago County for this year’s Midwest Crane Count, held on Saturday, 4/12.    This year, we had 22 counters at 15 sites.  Only two sites didn’t hear or see any cranes.  Reports included 16 unison calling pairs reported, three on nest, and 49 individuals, for a total of 84 Sandhill Cranes.  Thanks to all who participated this year!

Oh, and a new yard bird for me last Saturday–a winter wren probing around stacked firewood!

New arrivals at Rock Cut SP

I birded Rock Cut from 11:30 a.m. To 1:00 p.m. On Thursday, April 17. New arrivals were Louisiana Waterthrush (2), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2), and Broad-winged Hawk (1), all along the creek below the dam at Pierce Lake.

Pierce Lake still had loons(4), Horned (5) and Pied-billed (47) grebes, Double-crested Cormorants (3), and Osprey (4), plus a mixture of ducks. Fishermen flushed most of the ducks over to Olson Lake.

Yellow-headed Blackbird in Rochelle

Around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday evening (tonight) Jeff Donaldson and I arrived at the Rochelle Intermodal Ponds after an unsuccessful search for a pair of Whimbrels that had been reported earlier in the afternoon near White Pines SP. Jeff was the 1st to spot a male Yellow-headed Blackbird (there were a couple of others, too). Pretty rare bird in Ogle County.

On closer fronts, Tom Little reported a Western Meadowlark at Bell Bowl, by the Rockford airport. It was still there around 11:00 today. And, Kilbuck FP was full of Hermit Thrushes and a couple of Winter Wrens at noon. No Yellow-throated Warblers or Carolina Wrens were heard or seen during my visit.

Crane count update

Many thanks to those that participated in this year’s Midwest Crane Count last Saturday.  Results are still coming in, but 26 signed up this year to participate!

I pinch hit this year at Pecatonica River Forest Preserve.  Weather was beautiful at 5:30am–54 degrees and calm.  I am SO glad the wind and hail didn’t arrive until a few hours later!  I heard three distinct groups of cranes calling from the observation deck, but all out of sight.  Calls were heard from the SSE, South, and Southwest, with the last group being the most distant.

Upon arrival, I was greeting by a great-horned owl and three barred owls.  Highlights were a singing winter wren at the observation deck and a singing ruby-crowned kinglet near the boat launch.