Shorebirds and kites

Weekend birders traveling to Rockford to see kites might like to know that they were very conspicuous around 11:00 today. Donna and I saw them as soon as we got to Stratford and Buckingham. Between there and west of James on Burrmont, we saw at least four, and probably five, adult kites. At James and Pelham, we had two adult males together only 50 feet over our heads. We saw kites north of Highcrest, but not at the school or south of there. They were putting on quite a show in this beautiful, breezy weather, flying at less than 200 feet altitude most of the time. There was hardly a period for 15 minutes that one was not in sight as we cruised around looking for (and not finding) a young bird.

Around 1:30, we detoured from errands to run by Oliver Road. Along the oxbows there, we found 26 Great Egrets and perhaps 100 shorebirds. In order of abundance, they were Killdeers and Lesser Yellowlegs, Pectorals, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Snipes, Spotted Sandpiper, and Wilson’s Phalarope. Certainly worth checking again tomorrow morning—heat haze won’t be a problem, and something really good could drop in at any time.

Donut lovers: Edwards Orchard store on Cemetery Road opened today.

3 thoughts on “Shorebirds and kites”

  1. After kites, the best news in your report was the announcement about donuts at Edwards’ orchard! A big “woo-hoo” for that!

  2. Barbara and I took a drive out to Oliver Road this morning and had the pleasure of meeting Steve and Dottie Cooper there. There were still some shorebirds, but not quite as many as Larry and Donna reported from Friday. The Wilson’s Phalarope L&D reported (presumably the same one) was still present, along with 8 Greater Yellowlegs, about 5 Lessers, a Wilson’s Snipe, 6-8 Semipalmated Plovers, 1 Least Sandpiper, 1 Spotted Sandpiper, 6 Pectoral Sandpipers, and 2 Baird’s Sandpipers. Nearly 12 Great Egrets were in the trees and flying around behind the pasture to the north of the road.

    Along Telegraph Road, just E of Pecatonica, we found another Baird’s Sandpiper, 4 Semipalmated Sandpipers, 6 Least Sandpipes, a SemiPlover, a couple of Pectorals and both species of yellowlegs.

  3. I checked the puddle on Meridian Road north of IL 75 yesterday at around 9:30 a.m. Only a handful of birds, but I saw one Green Heron and four sandpiper species – Solitary, Least, Pectoral and Spotted.

    Before there, I walked the trail around Nygren (arrived about about 7:00 a.m.). Highlights included a Great Horned Owl which I nearly walked right under before it took off – it perched in a tree a little ways down the trail and offered great looks. Also had an American Bittern and a Palm Warbler…

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