Saturday, July 2, 2011

Trumpeter Swan - Illinois Trip, Day One

Tuesday, June 14th

Left Florida with my daughter to visit with family in the Chicago area. After arriving at Midway Airport and collecting our rental car, we were ready to go birding.

Made three stops at southern Cook County forest preserves. Started at Little red Schoolhouse nature Center.  found the location very busy, but the trail was much more peaceful.  American Robins were everywhere and the most commonly seen birds seen for the week.  Other birds sighted included Great Egrets, Tree Swallows, Red-tailed Hawk, a Belted Kingfisher, Blue-Gray Gnatcatchers, White-breasted Nuthatches, Common Yellowthroat, House Sparrows, Red-eyed Vireo, American Goldfinches and Red-winged Blackbirds.  Misses included red-headed woodpecker, canada geese, mallards and wood thrushes.

Barn Swallows at McGinnis Slough
Next stop was McGinnis Slough to look for waterfowl, including Trumpeter Swans. They were present, but did not see any other waterfowl of note.  Which means they were too far away to make out.  Most commonly seen birds seen here were Red-winged Blackbirds and Tree Swallows.  Was watching and listening for any rails as I had a sora here last year, but did get any today.  Did observe a Coopers Hawk being mobbed by Grackles, plus sighted several Cedar Waxwings.  I had dipped on waxwings all this past winter in Florida, so has glad to be able to add them now.  Waxwings turned out to be a very commonly located bird all week in Illinois.  Was also able to add a Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Gray Catbird, Barn Swallow and Northern Cardinal.

Last stop was at the Orland Grasslands Preserve.Was met in the parking lot by an Eastern Bluebird and a singing Song Sparrow. An Indigo Bunting also found singing nearby as well.  Walked the lane along the tree line with the idea that may be I could locate a henslow sparrow or a dickcissel today. The only other sparrow I was able to ID was a Savannah Sparrow. I also added another Coopers Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk, a Blue-winged Teal, Killdeer, American Crows, Barn and Tree Swallows, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Egret, Ring-billed Gulls, more Red-winged Blackbirds, an Eastern Meadowlark and heard a Black-capped Chickadee.  Now it was time to met family.

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