Ncios Field Trip-11/11

Trip to Miss. River-Lost Mound NWR & other Locations- We had  about 4 high lighted birds- Ross Goose at Sloan’s Marsh- Peregrine Falcon at Ayers Prairie- Northern Shrike at Lost Mound NWR- Red-Breasted Merganser at Thomson Causeway.  Other birds seen were: G.W. Teal-  Gad-well- N. Pintail- Ring-necked Northern-Shoveler- Mallard Ducks. Hundreds of Tundra Swans. Also Red-headed Woodpecker- Pileated Woodpecker- Downey Woodpecker- Red-Bellied Woodpecker. Also seen common birds- Robins- Blue Jays-Juncos-W.B. Nut-hatch. Eagles- Red-Tail Hawks-Rough-Legged Hawk. Weather was cool& a little breezy, but, I think a good time was had by all participants, thanks to Ann S great leadership!

Glen Green Open Space

I was at a new area that opened up back in October yesterday; the Glen Green Open Space. It is a small prairie bordered with a belt of pines and other trees on Bus. 20 and Distillery Rd owned by the Belvidere Park District.
I didn’t get too much of interest, a few sparrows, some waxwings, but there was one interesting find; a very late Common Yellowthroat.

Winter birds.

In the last week or so winter finches have arrived in our area. Thus far both crossbills, purple finches and a lot of pine siskin have been seen. Red-breasted nuthatches seem to be present in good numbers. We should be seeing Lapland Longspurs and snow buntings in our area, as well as rough-legged hawks and merlins. At least two merlins spent a week in Greenwood cemetery recently. Water birds are also on the move. Keep an eye out for swans, loons and especially sea ducks. You never know what might pay us a visit.  Also worth checking open water for gulls.   Saw-whets , short-eared and sometimes snowy owls can appear. Happy hunting

Rusty Blackbirds on Oliver RD

Yesterday around midday, John Longhenry and I ran into a large flock of blackbirds at the twin creeks on Oliver Rd. There were many birds either die feeding and drinking in both creeks. We first located a single rusty taking grit with red-winged blackbirds, grackles and a cowbird. After a little watching it became apparent that there were hundreds of blackbird there. We estimated 500 for the whole flock. Amongst those we estimated 20-30 rusty blackbirds. This is a place that John and I always look for rustles at this time of the year, and quite often encounter one or two. Although we did not see nay Brewer’s, the flock should be gone through thoroughly to see if there are any, or any other stray blackbirds, present. As a side note We trapped a catbird and an orange-crowned warbler yesterday at Sand Bluff