Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The First Day

Hi all,

So, as many of you know, today was the first day of my Cook County Big Year! Before I tell you all about my day, let's get some more technical things to get out of the way.
1. I will count heard-only birds on my list.
2. If I see a bird that is outside of Cook County, even if I am standing in the county watching it, it will not count.
3. If you want specific directions to a bird, feel free to email me. But, if I say that the bird's location is secret or that it is on private property, please don't ask for directions.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let's begin:

The day started off at a secret location in which I got my first bird of the year, a Long-Eared Owl! After we left that place, my yearlist was:

1. Long-Eared Owl
2. American Crow (They didn't bother the owl, don't worry)

Then, we went to Burnham Harbor. There, we targeted gulls and a long staying Long-Tailed Duck. We got both! My list after that was:

3. House Sparrow (I know, impressive bird :p)
4. Common Goldeneye
5. Herring Gull
6. Ring-Billed Gull
7. Mallard
8. Canada Goose
9. American Coot
10. Red-Breasted Merganser
11. American Tree-Sparrow
12. Long-Tailed Duck
13. Redhead
14. Thayer's Gull
15. Common Merganser

After here, we went to Skokie Lagoons. Along the way, I got to do my first real roadside birding. That yielded:

16. Rock Pigeon
17. European Starling
18. Red-Tailed Hawk

When we got to Skokie Lagoons, there was a lot of human activity in the form of a canoeing club taking up some of the last open water in the area. This lead to limited birding. The Barrow's Goldeneye was not found. My list did grow though:

19. Downy Woodpecker
20. Bufflehead
21. American Goldfinch
22. Northern Cardinal

Next, we went to the Chicago Botanic Gardens, or CBG for short. On the way, we found:

23. American Robin

At CBG, we quickly found what we were looking for, the redpoll flock that has been hanging around. We also quickly found our target bird, a Hoary Redpoll. After that, we wandered around a bit in the gardens but didn't muster up any new birds and decided to leave. Here is how my list looked when we left:

24. Dark-Eyed Junco
25. Black-Capped Chickadee
26. Common Redpoll
27. Pine Siskin
28. Cedar Waxwing
29. White-Throated Sparrow
30. Hoary Redpoll

We then wanted to check the lagoons one more time and got:

31. Song Sparrow
32. Mourning Dove
33. Belted Kingfisher

We returned back to the lakefront after that to chum for gulls. We started at Navy Pier. Our chumming proved ineffective but we did get 3 Thayer's Gulls. I got nothing new until we just about pulled out of Navy Pier.

34. Pied-Billed Grebe

With only a couple hours of daylight left, we went to LaRabida Harbor. That harbored (see what I did there):

35. Lesser Scaup
36. Greater Scaup
37. Gadwall
38. Hooded Merganser

We then went to the Bend of the Calumet River, where I got:

39. Mute Swan
40. Northern Shoveler
41. Northern Pintail
42. American Black Duck
43. Ring-Necked Duck

The last place I got yearbirds, or any good birds, was Wolf Lake. The issue was that it was closed. I was able to quickly get out our spotting scope from our trunk and I found what I was looking for! One even had a neckband.

44. Trumpeter Swan
45. Hairy Woodpecker

That is it! This is probably one of the more report heavy posts I will do this year, so don't worry, there will be more stories to come!

1 comment:

  1. Off to a great start, AG!

    I'm staying tuned :)

    Happy New Year and good luck :) :)