On Friday, we learned that Phil Schwab saw a Blue Grosbeak at the feeder at Severson Dells FP. Yesterday, Phil confirmed his sighting and said that he saw the bird on Wednesday of last week. He said that the bird was a young male. This morning, Barbara and I went to Severson Dells, arriving about 0930. We heard a Blue Grosbeak calling from NW of the visitor center, behind a patch of trees, but we could not see it. It stopped calling briefly, then called from further to the northwest (once). We left around 11:30 but did not see the bird during our visit.
Severson fills the feeders in the morning. The feeders were empty this morning. So, if you are around Severson Dells in the morning, keep your eye on the feeders and be familiar with the song of Blue Grosbeak.
We walked several trails and visited the pond. We were surprised to see a Red-eared Slider (turtle) in the pond with the Painted Turtles and a Snapping Turtle. There are a lot of dragonflies and mayflies laying eggs on the pond.
Yesterday, June 14, Tom Little called me to report a Northern Mockingbird on Weldon Road in the vicinity where the Western Kingbird was being seen. He was unable to find the kingbird, though.
The mockingbird is hanging out at the intersection of Weldon Road and the gravel driveway that leads back to the Perks Ranch sheds on the west side of the road.
When I went there at noon today, the mockingbird was calling from the trees and fence on the east side of the road opposite the lane into the Perks Ranch buildings.
On Saturday, Eric Walters and Jeff Donaldson found a Western Kingbird on Weldon Road in Ogle County, just S of the county line with Winnebago Co. and immediately S of Severson Dells FP. The bird was sitting on a wire fence along the farm lane to 12681 Weldon Road, which is on the east side of the road. It is the last driveway to the east before the road enters the woods at Colman Dells.
The bird was still there today, Sunday. First notice of the sighting was relayed to the NCIOS telephone calling network.
Barbara and I spent the morning in the area of the lower picnic shelter at Severson Dells, plus near the pond and dells. While we were there, we were pleased to discover some migrants. Barbara had a small flock of warblers that included a Blue-winged, a Chestnut-sided, and an American Redstart. We both heard a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and I found 2 Olive-sided Flycatchers, together with 4 Great Crested Flycatcher and what I suspect to be a Willow Flycatcher at the pond.
An American Goldfinch was building a nest in an oak by the parking lot, and there were a lot of Eastern Kingbirds around. A Pileated Woodpecker was in the dells area.
Barbara and I just received a call (2:00 p.m. on Sunday) that there are 3 more Trumpeter Swans (2 adults and a cygnet) on a farm pond along Montague Road just west of Severson Dells Forest Preserve in SW Winnebago County. One swan (not sure if an adult or the cygnet) has a yellow neck band, which is from the Wisconsin project.