Yesterday when I was getting off work at Wild Birds Unlimited, I heard a call and I looked up and saw an Osprey circling. Probably the most interesting bird I’ve ever seen in the parking lot there.
This morning I decided to bike down to Deer Run FP. Had a pretty good ride, picked up a Eurasian Colored-Dove at someone’s feeders on the way, and at Deer Run had Henslow’s Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Dickcissel, and a couple of Sandhill Cranes. On the way back, I saw a few Bank Swallows and Cliff Swallows.
As some of you may be aware, I was attempting a big year in Boone Cty this last year. I ended up with 215 species, which was a little lower than the 230 I was hoping for, but this was not a very good year for shorebirds, and that was one area that I ended up being distinctly low on. The first bird I had at the beginning of the year was Red-bellied Woodpecker, and the last bird was Peregrine Falcon.
215 is definitely better than the 198 I had last year, but I do have some big gaps in the list, as I said I ended being low on shorebirds, but I also missed pelican, a few warblers, all of the Terns, and surprisingly enough, any swans.
Some that I did managed to find were: American & Least Bittern, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Hooded Warbler, Black-billed & Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, Red-shouldered Hawk, Snowy Owl, Long-eared Owl, Surf Scoter, Carolina Wren, Northern Pintail, and of course, the Townsend’s Solitaire from the Christmas Bird Count.
Overall, I am pleased with this number, although I hope to turn out a better year in the future.
I have seen several Surf Scoters in the area in the last few days. Dan called me about one that turned up in Candlewick last week which appears to have stuck around. And two days ago I went out there again and there were 3 Surf Scoters. Then in Rock Cut the same day there was another one.
I had a friend call me this evening about an American Bittern in Boone County. I went out and managed to find it on Avery Rd south of Dewayne Rd. It was in the grass between the road and the corn.
Yesterday I was hitting some of the sites that I have been watching this summer along the Kishwaukee river from Belvidere to the county line. I managed to find most of birds that I have been checking, including one of the Bobolinks, the Grasshopper Sparrows, Bell’s Vireos, Sedge Wren, Henslow’s Sparrow, and one of the Brewer’s Blackbirds.
On Tuesday I found an adult male Summer Tanager in Kinnikinnick Creek CA in Boone Cty. He was in the NE part of the site on the Green Trail. A young male was seen back in May in the general area, so there is the possibility that this is the same one.
This morning I met up with Scott along the Kishwaukee River in Boone Cty where we checked several sites west of Belvidere. We managed to find, Bobolink, Grasshopper Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, Bell’s Vireo, and Green Heron.
In the last couple of months, there has been a group of about four Brewer’s Blackbirds in Boone Cty at the sod farm on Wheeler Rd and Bus20. Main place that I usually see them is on Rosetter Rd. I have seen at least one female in the group in the times that I have been out there.
Lately I have been spending quite a bit of time in Spencer in Belvidere. It has proved to be an excellent spot to look for spring migrants. This morning, I had several vireos on the river trail, a Yellow-billed Cuckoo in the wetland and looking into the fenced in landfill I saw Eastern Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrows and Bobolinks.