Well, we have escaped from the Gulag, and hope to have a bit more on our European Adventure soon. We also have a bunch of IBWO posts lined up for the next few days.
In the meantime, we want to offer our best wishes to a long-time Chicago area birder who was recently injured pretty severely in a car crash while birding. He was on foot at a local birding spot and was swept up into a three-car accident. We had intended to honor this birder's privacy, but since some loudmouth gossip posted it to the Internet already, there's no harm in bringing this subject up.
Another well-known Illinois birder was killed several years ago under similar circumstances, so please keep safety in mind the next time you are doing any roadside birding.