Tuesday Pelicans

Tonight, Barbara and I went to Anderson Gardens to attend the Jodi Beach concert, which also featured the Groove Hotel. All are very talented musicians. BUT, there were birds around, too.

During the concert, first 4, then 22 more, Am.White Pelicans flew over around 7:00 p.m. They were headed south, and I assume that they were headed for the dam in Oregon, where a lot of them have been spending time since early May.

A Mississippi Kite was in the vicinity of Highcrest and Winthrop, northeast of Bloom School, around 11:00 a.m.

Mockingbird and other airport sightings

Tom Little called me this morning (6/25) and reported a Mockingbird from the area of the Rockford airport. Specifically, it was south of Belt Line Road and immediately east of the bridge over the Kishwaukee River. There is a short road that goes back about 500″ and dead ends at a red gate. From there, look east along the two parallel wire fences that run E-W. When I got there, the Mockingbird was feeding in a Mulberry tree that was loaded with fruit about 300 feet down the fence line. (Thanks, Tom!)(

After seeing the Mockingbird, I drove over to the far western end of Cessna Drive and back to Bell Bowl prairie. I heard a Yellow-breasted Chat and 2 Bell’s Vireos there, plus saw a female Orchard Oriole and a male Blue Grosbeak. There was a Grasshopper Sparrow singing from the alfalfa field, and I heard 3 Western Meadowlarks.

Boone County, June 23

I hadn’t visited Boone County for a while, so I decided to stop at a few spots yesterday. I started at Garden Prairie slough on Garden Prairie Road. Highlights there was a Common Gallinule feeding at the edge of the cattails at the back of the open water. While I was trying to get a few photos of that, a male Yellow-headed Blackbird flew over. That species has nested at this location in the recent past. CAUTION: If you go to Garden Prairie Slough, both sides of the road are private property and posted against entry. I birded from the public right-of-way.

Eurasian Collared-doves were in the usual place near the grain elevator just south of Garden Prairie.

After Garden Prairie, I headed to LIB Conservation Area on Newburg Road on the south side of the Kishwaukee River. I found 50 species there. Highlights were a Northern Mockingbird (at the parking lot), Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and White-eyed Vireo.

Sugar River Alder FP

I walked the long loop trail (3.75 miles) at the Alder Tract this morning. Despite a late start (I stopped at Nygren first), it was pretty bird with a lot of birds in song and carrying food.

Highlights were singing Blue Grosbeak, Summer Tanager, Orchard Oriole, 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and 2 Yellow-breasted Chats. Species confirmed to be nesting/have nested were Lark Sparrow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Baltimore Oriole, Brown Thrasher, Black-capped Chickadee, and Eastern Bluebird.

Happily, although I was there for nearly 3 hours, I did not see or hear a Starling, Rock Pogeon or House Sparrow!

Mississippi Kites

I thought that we might use this blog to report MIKI sightings in Rockford this summer. Here is a summary of what I have learned, mostly from others, so far this year:

On May 8, Alan Branhagen and I spotted an adult kite soaring over Westchester Drive by the baseball diamond at Bloom School. A single kite was also seen in that vicinity on May 9 during the spring count.

On June 6, Mike Eickman spotted 2 kites soaring in the area of S. Mulford and Harrison Avenue in SE Rockford. This is a new spot for kite reports. John Longhenry called to tell me that he had a single kite soaring about 1/2 mile East of Bloom School on June 8. On June 12, 3 Chicago birders spotted a kite at the intersection of Highcrest Road and Winthrop, about 3 blocks from Bloom.
Finally, I was told that a birder (whose name I don’t know) spotted 2 kites in the air at S. Mulford and Charles St in SE Rockford. So, we should be checking in the S. Mulford area as well. Arlington Cemetery is down in that area, as well as some subdivisions that have similar vegetation patterns as the Bloom area.

Nygren Gallinule continues 0n 6/18

I stopped by Nygren around 10:30 a.m. today and hung out on the observation deck for a while. Around 10:50 a.m. or so, the Common Gallinule swam out from behind some vegetation and across the open water immediately south of the deck and then into the largest patch of cattails with the while measuring pole in it. (Sorry, Mary) Once there, it began to sing several times.

Also seen was a family of Hooded Mergansers, two families of Wood Ducks, and a Mallard hen with 5 downy chicks. 2 Green Herons flew across and back, and 4 Great Blue Herons were present, or at least that is what I could see. 2 of them flew up from a place that I could not see from the deck. A Sora sang while I was there.

Chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches were feeding young in the trees right behind the deck. Several Baltimore Orioles were around the parking lot and trees, and a Yellow-throated Vireo and a Rose-breasted Grosbeak were singing from the tree line west of the deck.

Rock Cut SP

I spent two hours in Rock Cut this afternoon from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Highlights were Blue-winged and Hooded Warblers, 2 Alder Flycatchers, a Veery, and a White-eyed Vireo. The Veery was singing from the tree line along the intermittent stream immediately north of the campground wastewater treatment facility. Also there was a singing Willow Flycatcher.

The WE Vireo and Blue-winged Warbler were just north of the intersection of the hard-surface rec trail and its junction with the mountain bike trail west of the dam parking lot. The vireo was about 100 yards north of the intersection.

The two Alder Flycatchers were singing from the scrub tree field that is enclosed by the hard-surface rec trail and the mountain bike trails north of the rec trail. The mountain bike trails form a loop circuit, and the flycatchers were heard along the E-W bike trail that parallels the hard-surface trail.

The Hooded Warbler was singing from the woods along the main park road north of the Pierce Lake dam. Hooded Warblers have been in this area for several years. I did not hear or see a Cerulean Warbler along the same area of main road. Has anyone heard/seen them in that area this year?