Mississippi Kites at Bloom School neighborhood

Mississippi Kite(s) have returned to the Bloom School area in northeast Rockford.  On Friday, May 20, Trip Theinemann reported that he saw a kite hawking insects over the Rock River at the Auburn Street bridge.  A day or two later, he had 2 kites soaring in the area of Anderson Japanese Garden, which is just E of the same bridge.

On Monday, Gary Jahnke spotted a kite that was perched in the vicinity of Highcrest and Council Crest Roads in the Bloom neighborhood.  Phil Doncheck responded and located one about an hour later that was perched along Winthrop Road.

Today (5/25), I had a single kite soaring over the Bloom School Park around 1:10 p.m.  A homeowner who lives on Buckingham just W of Westchester said that he had a kite perched in a dead tree over the weekend.

Please do not enter the school grounds on weekdays when school is in session. Also, be aware that the school parking lot is now posted against entry or trespass.  I do not know if this ban is applicable after school is out for the summer.  Please do not enter the parking lot.

NCIOS Field trip to Horicon Marsh 5-22-16

IMG_2839The NCIOS bird club visited Horicon Marsh on a field trip lead by Neil McLaughlin on Sunday May 22.  40 some species of birds were observed on the pontoon boat trip.  Notable birds were Double-crested cormorants, American White Pelicans, a Bald-eagle nest with young birds and the adult bringing in a fish, Sandhill cranes, Black terns, a Great Horned Owl, Eastern Kingbirds, Marsh Wrens, and Swamp sparrows.  Phil Doncheck informed the group that a White-winged Tern was found at the Manitowac Harbor.  Most of the group decided to go and try to find the bird, so after lunch they proceeded to Manitowac.  The bird was located easily as there were a good group looking at it when we arrived.  Also found were 4-5 Little Gulls, many common terns, and Caspian terns.  The White-winged gull was a life bird for everyone as were the Little gulls.  Fortunately a fellow named Walter took a picture through my telescope and it is included here.

Jack and Joyce Armstrong

Northwest Winnebago Co. on Tuesday

I took a quick drive to check some shorebird spots in NW Winnebago Co. this afternoon.  Entering Pecatonica on Telegraph Rd., I spotted a male Wilson’s Phalarope in a wet area just on the E side of town.  The only other shorebirds in the fluddle were 2 Solitary Sandpipers and 2 Killdeer.

Next was a large fluddle on the east side of Telegraph Rd. north of town.  The heat haze was pretty terrible, so I was unable to identify the 6 dowitchers there with certainty as to species, but I thought that 2 of them were probably Long-billed.  There were also 2 Dunlin and 5 Lesser Yellowlegs there.

A stop at the yellow gate on Best Road at Lake Summerset produced 3 species of terns-Black (3), Forster’s (7), and Common (2).  An immature Common Loon was still on the lake near the dam, as was 1 Pied-billed Grebe and 3 Ruddy Ducks.

A Short-billed Dowitcher and 2 American Pipits were in the fluddle on Oliver Road.

Yesterday’s Spring Bird Count

Highlights from our count yesterday included a Harris’s Sparrow near the shelterhouse on Best Road in Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve. I think it is called the “Arrowhead” Sheterhouse.
Two Long-billed Dowitchers were in the company of a variety of other shorebirds in a flooded spot on the north side of Telegraph Road about a quarter mile east of Pecatonica.

Barbara Williams