This morning, Phil Doncheck and I birded Rock Cut SP and Kieselburg Forest Preserve. At Rock Cut, we walked a long loop. Starting at the dam parking lot, we headed west down the paved rec trail, then turned north at the mountain bike trail that enters from the right. Where that trail comes to a “T” intersection, we turned left (W) again and continued until the first trail junction which goes left, back toward the paved trail. At the paved trail, we turned right and followed it across the 1st bridge. Before the second bridge, we turned left into the old forest preserve. Finally, we rejoined the Rock Cut trail up the hill on the paved road past the old shelter house and returned to the main park loop road near the bathrooms at the large picnic area south of the dam. (Whew!)
Highlights were Cerulean, Hooded, and Kentucky warblers, all seen well, plus Acadian Flycatchers, 2 Scarlet Tanagers, and at least 4 calling Yellow-billed Cuckoos. Last Tuesday, 6/17, I had a Black-billed Cuckoo and 2 Veerys along the Rock Cut trail portion, but we didn’t see or hear them today.
A Yellow-breasted Chat was calling from the tree line at the south end of the north entrance prairie. 3 Willow Flycatchers were also singing there. No Sedge Wrens yet, though.
From there, we headed over to Hart Road. The old hay field had 3 singing Henslow’s Sparrows. A Redstart was singing from the area of the large oak tree to the west of the equestrian trail.
At Kieselburg, highlights were a Bell’s Vireo in the thickets along the south edge of the Sedge Fen. A Henslow’s Sparrow was singing from the grassy area south of the model plane flying field. Again, no Sedge Wrens were heard in the Sedge Fen. Maybe in July?