Monday, April 03, 2006

From the Field: Birding Northerly Island on April Fool's Day

Well, the birding on Saturday was definitely better than it was yesterday. Sparrow migration is in full force, so we headed over to our favorite former airport at Northerly Island.

It was colder than it looked, and pretty windy, but the birds made up for it. We saw about 30 species:

2 Pied-billed Grebe
5 Horned Grebe
Canada Goose
7 Northern Shoveler
15 Lesser Scaup
1 Common Goldeneye
2 Bufflehead
1289 Red-breasted Merganser
1 American Coot
8 Killdeer
2 Wilson's Snipe
Ring-billed Gull
9 Mourning Dove
3 Northern Flicker
1 Eastern Phoebe
8 Tree Swallow
1 American Pipit
3 American Crow
European Starling
15 American Tree Sparrow
5 Field Sparrow
3 Vesper Sparrow
3 Savannah Sparrow
1 Henslow's Sparrow
9 Fox Sparrow
121 Song Sparrow
11 Swamp Sparrow
39 Dark-eyed Junco
14 Eastern Meadowlark
Brown-headed Cowbird

The Henslow's Sparrow is very early; without checking very past issue of the Meadowlark, I would guess that April 1 is probably a record early date for Cook County, or very close to it. The average arrival for the whole state is right around April 13-14, so this bird was about two weeks early even for Southern Illinois.

No comments: