Birding



As many may have suspected, kites nested in the Bloom School neighborhood this summer. A juvenile bird, which cannot yet fly very well, is still being fed by the adults. Here are a couple of pictures.

Adult brings food

Adult brings food

I took this photo on 8-24-08 at Bloom School about 8:15a.m.
This one was in the process of scrathing its self
Augie

On Friday, Aug 22, Eric Secker stopped by Bloom School to see the Mississippi Kites. He saw two adults as well as an immature. This is the first sighting of an immature bird that we have heard about. Kite-watchers should keep an eye out for the kitelet and see if there is more than one!
It is interesting to try to see what prey the kites are catching. On Wednesday Marjory Rand and I saw one of the adult kites come in to the dead elm tree carrying prey and being chased by a Chimney Swift. The prey item turned out to be another Chimney Swift! It must have been tasty because later in the day I looked under the tree and found nothing but two primary feathers from the swift.

I met Mike Madsen, Andy Sigler, and Bob and Karen Fisher at Bloom School at noon today. Andy and Mike had just come from Cooling Sod Farm, where they reported up to 7 Buff-breasted Sandpipers and a couple of Upland Sandpipers among the hundreds of Killdeer. Best viewing of these birds today was along Cherry Valley Road at the entrance to the sod farm (gravel driveway by a pump house). Do not enter the driveway, it is private property. You can park near the road (there is plenty of room by the driveway entrance) and scope the fields. Some of the birds are quite far away. A scope is essential.

By the way, 2 kites were coming and going around the perch at Bloom School, and an immature Broad-winged Hawk was in the neighborhood, which seemed to upset the kites. Whenever the hawk showed itself, the kites started calling. Interesting to hear them vocalize.

The kites were easy to find this morning between 7:45 and 9:15 at Emma Lundgren Arboretum. Don’t know where that is? Don’t bother Googling it. It’s actually the small clump of trees between the Bloom School parking lot and Grenham Place. The perch most often used was in the dead tree with no bark at the base, just a few feet from the bike rack in the parking lot. There are a couple of kestrels to be found there, and every once in a while the kites and kestrels would chase each other. Just to add to the raptor fun, also to be found are two Cooper’s Hawks—an adult and a juvenile.kite1.jpgkite2.jpgkite3.jpg

This is the one I was looking for help on,I think
it is a Tennessee Warbler,if not what is it?
Augie
untitled-2.jpg

I was out the other day at Deer Run and managed to get some pictures of this guy or gal.
I can’t seem to id it. would appreciate an help.
I can e-mail you some pictures of it.
Thanks
Augie

Barbara and I checked various flooded spots this morning. No special highlights, but I thought that a general report on what birds were where might be of interest in case you were thinking about going out yourself. At the intersection of Roscoe/Gleasman Road, there were about 7-8 peeps, with 2 being Semipalmated Sandpipers.

Moody/Blodgett had the best mixture, but the birds were quite a distance east of the cul-de-sac at the eatern terminus of Moody (don’t go past the mail box on to the private drive). You will need a scope. There were approximately 30 Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 Greater Yellowlegs, and 3 Short-billed Dowitchers. Some peeps were visible, but they were so far away that I couldn’t make any definite identification, except the ones I could see had the color and behavior of Least Sandpipers. A Pied-billed Grebe, a pair of Sandhill Cranes, 10 Ring-billed Gulls and 74 Great Blue Herons rounded out the show at the watery areas.

The pond ne of the Meridian/IL75 intersection was empty. More gulls were further up the road nearer to the bridge over the river, but way out on the west side.

Today was the Deer Run Forest Preserve field trip, led by Jack Armstrong. 15 birders attended and we met around 7:30AM in the Deer Run parking lot. We saw around 50 species or so and enjoyed warm sunshine as we hiked around the preserve.

Dickcissel
Dickcissel {Spiza americana}

The shorebird list included Killdeer and one Spotted Sandpiper. On the warbler end of things we found three Yellow Warblers, a few Common Yellowthroats, and one calling American Redstart. The sparrows had to be the highlight of the trip. Jack Armstrong brought along his scope and we were able to see close-ups of both Grasshopper and Henslow’s Sparrows. Getting a good look of these little guys can be tricky, so that was great. The scope also brought us a bit closer to a singing Dickcissel high in a tree.

In addition, we saw many Lark Sparrows, Field Sparrows, Eastern Kingbirds, Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, a Brown Thrasher, Eastern Meadowlarks, and Red-winged Blackbirds.

Spiderwort
Spiderwort

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