I got a ebird RBA that said there was a Iceland Gull at Carpentersville Dam, found by Eric Secker. So, we decided to try for it. We searched through hunderds of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls and after about 30 minutes of looking, we found a adult THAYER’S and later a 1st winter ICELAND GULL, with about 700 Canada Geese around.
We met with our Tuesday birding group at 8am. We waited by the feeders for about thirty minutes with no luck finding the Harris’s Sparrow. We decided to walk to Carbtree Lake, finding about a hundred and fifty Canada Geese, four Hooded Mergansers, and one mystery Duck. We headed back to the feeders to try for the Harris’s Sparrow again. We waited for about fifteen minutes before heading inside the building to look at the feeders from there. At the feeders, we found Fox Sparrows, American Tree Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos, and the HARRIS’S SPARROW at a very close distance (so for those of you that are looking for the Harris’s Sparrow, I highly recommend viewing the feeders from inside the building as the bird will flush as soon as you walk by). After we watched the feeders for about one hour, we decided to head over to Paul Douglas FP to look for Rough-legged Hawks. There we only found four Sandhill Cranes and a Chickadee.
We went looking for a Barrow’s Goldeneye or rare Gulls at the Fox River just south of the dam at 9 am. There, we only found one lone Common Goldeneye, a few domestic and wild Mallards, Canada Geese, and a few Herring Gulls (one was a 3rd year Gull with a black tail band). After searching there for about 25 minutes, I thought that the Goldeneye flock I saw a couple days ago might be at the Dam. So we went up there. North the dam, we found 17 Ring-necked Ducks, about 30 Canada Geese, and Mallards. As we waited a while, Herring Gulls started to fly overhead with one being a THAYER’S GULL. We walked down the trail finding lots of Passerines such as Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Tree Sparrow, and lots of Juncos.
At the end of the paved path, we saw the Goldeneye flock. But we flushed them back to thier origanal spot just south of Main Street bridge. We decided to walk back and drive back to the Goldeneye spot to scan them more thoroughly but found no Barrow’s.
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
American Black Duck Anas rubripes
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
Common Merganser Mergus merganser
Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias
Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis
Herring Gull Larus argentatus
Thayer’s Gull Larus thayeri
Belted Kingfisher Megaceryle alcyon
Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
Downy Woodpecker Picoides pubescens
American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos
Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapillus
White-breasted Nuthatch Sitta carolinensis
Ruby-crowned Kinglet Regulus calendula
Eastern Bluebird Sialia sialis
American Robin Turdus migratorius
European Starling Sturnus vulgaris
American Tree Sparrow Spizelloides arborea
Dark-eyed Junco Junco hyemalis
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
Red-winged Blackbird Agelaius phoeniceus
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
When we were walking to the pier we spotted thousands of ducks (mainly Red-breasted Mergansers and Scaup). Once we got to the pier we saw Sully G. who had the PURPLE SANDPIPER on the rocks just before the flat concrete starts. Then Joel G. came (looking more for Cave Swallows then the PUSA) While he was there (along with 5 other birders) I spotted a Parasitic/Pomarine Jaeger identified by larger fanned tail, and darker then Herring, and two apparent small white flashes on the wing and the large raft of Mergansers and Scaup returned. Also a Snow Bunting was seen on the beach.
We started the day off at Rainbow Beach with 13 birders. The first 30 minutes were spent looking by the parking lot. There was not much there other than about a hundred Coots, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Horned Grebes. After that, we started to hike through the grasses to if there was anything hiding among the Coots and flushed a song sparrow.
Once we got to the best viewing spot of the coots,we saw a few hundred ducks that were directly in the sun. We started to head back to our cars to try to get to the other side of ducks. Along the way, we flushed a swamp sparrow and saw a very cooperative SNOW BUNTING on the beach. Once we got the other side of the ducks, we saw Redhead, Bufflehead, two SURF SCOTERS (found by Eddie Kasper), Greater Scaup, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Megansers, Horned Grebe, and Canada Geese. Then we went to Calumet Park and saw a few hundred Canada Geese in the baseball diamond and a raft of Coots in Indiana -not much else there. After that, we drove Steelworkers Park. Along the way, we found about 50 MONK PARAKEETS at 88th St. After stopping there for a while, we went up to Steelworkers Park and found that was very quiet with the best bird there being a Kestrel.