Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dickcissels - Illinois Trip, Day Two

Wednesday, June 15th

Dickcissel at Midewin National Grasslands

Made a quick run down to Midewin National Grasslands near Joliet.  Grassland species are the noted birds including upland plover, henslows sparrow, boblinks, dickcissels, grasshopper sparrows and such.

Because of time constraints and mosquitoes, there was very little trail walking, with most of the birding done road side and from parking lots.  This did work out very well.  I was to dip on the upland plover and henslows sparrow, I get lots of Dickcissels and Bobolinks.  I also got Chipping, Field and Grasshopper Sparrows.  Was able to add Baltimore Orioles, a Turkey Vulture, Coopers Hawk, American Goldfinch, Indigo Bunting, Blue Grosbeak, Eastern Meadowlarks, Red-wing Blackbird, Eastern Wood-pewee, American Crow, Eastern Kingbird, Blue Jay, Red-eyed Vireo, House Finch, Tree Swallows, Barn Swallows, American Robins, Gray Catbird, Cardinals, Cedar Waxwings, Starlings, Common Yellowthroat, Great Egret, Cormorant and Killdeer.

A singing Dickcissel

Tree Swallow directing traffic

Found Baltimore Orioles in these trees

Tryed to get out of the trip into the city to continue birding Midewin, but that was a no go. So headed back to my sister's house and then we were off to the lake front in downtown Chicago. Because today the Shedd Aquarium was offering free admissions. The price was right. the lines were long but it was worth it. I also did not stop birding. Had lots of Ring-billed Gulls along Lake Shore Drive and the harbors. Also had Caspian Terns fishing the Montrose Harbor. It seems that these terns are roof top nesting in the area this year. Around Grant Park and the museums were the usual urban birds, Robins, House Sparrow, lots of Red-winged Blackbirds, Rock Pigeons, Common Grackles, Mallards grazing on the lawn and Canada Geese in the nearby harbor.

Chicago seen from the steps of the Shedd Aquarium

Lines at the aqurium, Field Museum in the background

The Water Tower, One of the few structures to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871

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