1st annual WBC big day

At 3:45 AM Lucas R. and Derek D. started off the day at Rollins Savanna finding only some Canada Geese. Next, they went to IBSP once again finding very little. However, they did find some calling Eastern Whip-poor-wills. After that, they drove down to Montrose Point where I met up with them at 5:45. At Montrose, Lucas and Derek immediately found Nashville and Blackburnian Warblers. If you read other reports from today, you would not imagine that Montrose could be good and you are right. We spent an hour walking the magic hedge and exploring the beach and then met up with Isoo O’Brien, Jake Cvetas, and Eddie Kasper to explore the hedge some more  – finding only 5 warbler species (although that includes the elusive but photo friendly Hooded Warbler) and only 2 shorebird species (Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper). After pretty much failing at Montrose, Isoo O’Brien told us we should check out Washington Park. At Washington Park, after Isoo, Jake, and Eddie split off, we found six Black-crowned Night-Herons, Warbling Vireos, and various species of waterfowl. Our next stop was at Plum Creek and along the way we stopped at Big Marsh where we found Soras, a Solitary Sandpiper, Chipping Sparrows, and a Vesper Sparrow. Once we got there, we immediately started searching for the White-eyed Vireos and Orchard Orioles seen there recently.  Just as we started walking through the shrubs, Lucas played the White-eyed Vireo Call and a bird answered it right back in the parking lot! We walked some more – not finding much.  So we moved onto Orland Grassland – South where we found Sora, Blue-winged Teal, Savannah Sparrow, Semipalmated Sandpiper, and a Horned Lark. At our next stop, McClaughry Springs Woods, we found almost nothing. The only new bird for the day was a heard only Carolina Wren. After a short stop at McClaughry Springs, we headed over to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to try to find some of its specialties like Northern Mockingbird, Loggerhead Shrike, and Grasshopper & Henslow’s Sparrows. It took us awhile before we found any of those but we did end up finding 3 of the 4 targets (3 Northern Mockingbirds, 2 Loggerhead Shrikes, and 1 extremely cooperative Grasshopper Sparrow (which stayed within 5 feet of us for over a minute) plus, a Bank Swallow which was new for the day.  We ended our big day with a long drive to Dixon Waterfowl Refuge. There we found a nice male Yellow-headed Blackbird, 3 Canvasbacks, a couple Red-headed Woodpeckers, lots of American White Pelicans, tons of Palm & Yellow-rumped Warblers, Purple Martins, Least Sandpiper, and 3 Lesser Yellowlegs.


Canada Goose
Mute Swan
Trumpeter Swan
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ruddy Duck
Wild Turkey
Common Loon
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Turkey Vulture
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Least Sandpiper
Semipalmated Sandpiper
Wilson’s Snipe
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Caspian Tern
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Loggerhead Shrike
White-eyed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Tree Swallow
Bank Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Hooded Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Grasshopper Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Published by Oliver Burrus


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