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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable 

Hello to All, 

It was a remarkably warm winter morning which brought out birders, but not that many birds, although we had a few nice surprises.  It was a great day to walk off all the Thanksgiving turkey though, so a fine time was had by all. 

BIRDERS:  Marian, Karin Gary, Chris, Steve, Jennie and welcome back to Paul, Cathy and Wes.    

TIME:   8:00 to 10:00am           

PLACES: Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow and the Outer Harbor           

Many thanks to Paul for sharing his e-bird report for the Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area: 

Jackson Park, Chicago--Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area, Cook, Illinois, US

Nov 24, 2018 8:03 AM - 10:20 AM

Protocol: Traveling

2.44 mile(s)

Comments:    Cloudy becoming mostly cloudy; weather readings (Chicago/Northerly Island) at 08:00: 45F, winds SW 12 mph; readings at 10:30: 47F, winds SW 12 mph; forecast high 47F. Sunrise 06:50. Site includes data west of Lake Shore Dr. to Stony Island Ave. and north of Hayes Dr. to 56th St. Entire route on foot. [Routing: 08:03 Stony Island Ave. & 56th St. to North Lagoon, Wooded Island; 09:19 Soccer Field, Bobolink Meadow, Music Court, North Lagoon to 56th St. & Stony Island Ave. 10:20 end.]

26 species (+1 other taxa) 

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  379    +/-

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa)  1    male at North Lagoon

Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)  1    fem./imm. at East Lagoon

Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)  10    5 males, 5 fem./imm.

Common Merganser (Mergus merganser)  2    fem./imm. at East Lagoon

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)  59

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)  1    northbound at North Lagoon

Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  16

Larus sp. (Larus sp.)  1    fly-over

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)  1    at Japanese Garden

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)  2    at Wooded Island

Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon)  1    male at East Lagoon

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)  1    near Darrow Bridge

Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens)  2

Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) (Colaptes auratus auratus/luteus)  2

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  6

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  6

Brown Creeper (Certhia americana)  1    at Bobolink Meadow

Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa)  1    at Bobolink Meadow

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  5    at Music Court

European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  363    +/-

American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  1    at Bobolink Meadow

Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) (Junco hyemalis hyemalis/carolinensis)  4    near Darrow Bridge

Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana)  1    at North Lagoon

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  1    imm. male at Bobolink Meadow near Driving Range fence and near bank of islet at SE corner of East Lagoon. Unmarked olive above (no wing-bars); bright yellow on throat grading to pale, dirty buff underparts (undertail area not seen); ill-defined blackish "mask". Seen in dense weedy area less than a meter above ground. Observed by at least three members of party.

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)  7    4 males, 2 females, 1 heard

House Sparrow (Passer domesticus)  1    heard near Museum of Science & Industry 

Outer Harbor (list by me, from memory, with no counts)

Red-breasted Merganser




Ring-billed Gull

Herring Gull

Canada Goose

Possible Scoter – the dark color suggested a Scoter but it was sleeping and refused to lift its head up for us, even though we asked nicely, so we couldn’t make a definite ID.

And the surprise of the day – 2 Merlins, one perched in a tree next to the turnaround area, and another that flew to the tree across the driveway. 

This is a group report, with many birders contributing to the list. Most of the birds were seen by at least several or all of the birders. 

Corrections, additions and comments are welcome. 

Recordings are not used to attract birds. 

The Walks are free and open to one and all. They are held year round. Newcomers are warmly welcomed.  

Saturday morning walks: Start at 8:00 a.m. covers a distance of two miles.  Birders walk counterclockwise around the Columbia Basin (North Lagoon) onto Wooded Island. Exiting Wooded Island at the south end, the birders walk along the soccer field and enter the south end of Bobolink Meadow. The Meadow’s path leads to the Music Bridge and back to the East Parking Lot. In late fall, winter and early spring, the birders check for birds on the lakefront and Outer Harbor near LaRabida Hospital, and the Inner Harbor. 

Directions:  Exit Lake Shore Drive at Science Drive, which is the stoplight just south of the major 57th Drive intersection by the Museum of Science and Industry.  Turn Left (south) at the stop sign at the intersection of Science Drive and Columbia Drive. Go through the parking lot to the southwest end.  Metered parking is available and birders meet in the southwest corner of the east parking lot. 

Good birding everyone, 



Earlier Event: November 10
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: January 12
Wooded Island Bird Walk