Wednesday, January 11, 2006

From the Field: Target Birding in the Southern Suburbs, Snowy and Short-eared Owls.

On Saturday, I managed to sneak away to do some quick target birding in the southern portion of the Chicago area.

First, I stopped by at Wolf Lake and picked up the Ross' Goose that was hanging around, and two Trumpeter Swans. Didn't have time to look at anything else. ROGO is a City bird for me, and I haven't seen one in ages. I have seen Trumpeters at Wolf Lake before they were "countable" in Illinois, so I don't have to worry about "countability" any more.

Then I zoomed down to Kankakee where I was lucky enough to see one of the (2-3?) Snowy Owls that has been hanging around down there. Now that I have a 1 GB Memory Stick for my Sony digital camera (7.2 megapixels, so the photo files are pretty large) I just snap away at anything with wings. Didn't turn out too bad, considering how far away the bird was:

After heading north from Kankakee, I played a hunch and drove to Bartel Grasslands in the southern part of Cook County. I got lucky and had great views at dusk of a Short-eared Owl hunting just south of Vollmer Road. This has been a good spot for SEOW's the last few, but no one has publicly reported any from this spot so far this year.

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