We have been waiting to write about what we have been seeing around town over the past few days, but the birding has been SLOW. We spent most of the day downtown or on the lakefront and while there were a few different birds around, both overall numbers and species counts were extremely low. The reports we've gotten from elsewhere in the city have been pretty similar. The most exciting thing we saw today was a small group of homeless people in the alley behind the YMCA yelling and cheering. We stopped to take a look and were nearly blinded by two more homeless people having sex in the alley.
Memo to BINAC: Next time, don't look!!!
We had a Northern Waterthrush on the lawn at our building on Tuesday, and had crippling looks at a first-year male Hooded Warbler later that day on the softball fields nearby. The bird was incredibly tame, following us around, even begging us for food. Does that happen in other places? Very cool.
Tomorrow is the day we're pinning all of our hopes on, The weather is supposed to warm up to 80 degrees or more,the warm air flowing into Chicago on very strong SSW winds overnight. If that weather pattern holds, the NEXRAD radar should be light up tonight all over the Midwest, and conditions should be ripe for a very nice migration tomorrow morning. Still a bit early here for huge numbers of tanagers, grosbeaks, etc., but we will probably get the first massive sparrow movement tomorrow morning, along with a good number of warblers and a generally strong overall movement of birds.
During spring migration, we like to spend one day of each weekend in the 'burbs, and one day along the lakefront, but we're going to break that rule tomorrow and stick close to the lake. When the weekend is as nice as this, you have to get to places on the north lakefront (Montrose, Lincoln Park Bird Sanctuary, etc.) early and then work your way south before the northern areas get flooded with people, cars, boats, airplanes, whatever.
The anticipation is almost killing us, it will be hard to sleep tonight, let's keep our fingers crossed that tomorrow will be a great birding day.