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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sat, 11/17/2018 - 11:29am

Event date:

Saturday, November 10, 2018 - 8:00am 


Hello to All,

The cold and windy weather guaranteed that our steps would be quickened on this morning’s circuit. The Hooded Mergansers and Ruddy Duck were great sightings. However, the Nashville Warbler was a record breaker for a late date!

Buffleheads and Scaup were in the Outer Harbor. Randy S. and Dan L. reported an American Black Duck in the Inner Harbor.

BIRDERS:      6.         (1) Gary M., (2) Jennie S., (3) Karin D., (4) Catherine G., (5) David P., and (6) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Lagoons, Soccer Field & Bobolink Meadow

DISTANCE:    2 Miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Strong wind from the West 19 – 30 mph, Temperature 23 – 28 F. Wind Chill 15 F.


  1. Canada Goose  35     flocks in flight.

  2. Mallard  2     East Lagoon. A male & female pair.

  3. Hooded Merganser  10     East Lagoon. 2 males and 8 females/juveniles.

  4. Red-breasted Merganser  1     East Lagoon. Female. Swimming with group of Hooded Mergansers.

  5. Ruddy Duck  1     East Lagoon. Non-breeding plumage. Swimming solo and occasionally close  to Hooded Merganser group.

  6. Ring-billed Gull  5     Solitary fly overs

  7. Great Blue Heron  4     The first was discovered in the Japanese Garden, stationary. (Photo above) looking on the thin ice covering a portion of the pond.  The second was perched over the water on the south end of Wooded Island. The third was on the southeast shore of Wooded Island. The fourth was a juvenile, standing on the concrete containment wall beneath the Music Bridge.  Its feet were in several inches of cold water.  The bird took over the position of a fisherman that had just packed up his gear and left.  Birds -> people watching?

  8. Belted Kingfisher  1

  9. Red-bellied Woodpecker  1     Heard in trees on the NE side of the North Bridge to Wooded Island.

  10. Northern Flicker  1

  11. American Crow  2

  12. Black-capped Chickadee  4     Flying in the small trees near the pavilion in the Japanese Garden.

  13. Hermit Thrush  2     In the low shrubs on the east side of the golf shack.

  14. American Robin  26     A large flock was found on the edge of the West Lagoon, SW of the South Bridge to Wooded Island.  They were flying to the water from the low trees near the south parking lot.  Likely migrants, not locals.

  15. European Starling  1     Atop Museum of Science & Industry. East side. Large flocks were seen on the grass of the golf course south of Hayes Drive.

  16. American Goldfinch  1

  17. Dark-eyed Junco  6     South entrance area of Museum of Science & Industry

  18. Song Sparrow  3     Near the golf shack. Last seen foraging on the ground & plants at the east end of the boardwalk.

  19. Nashville Warbler  1     I know this sighting will be flagged. A first year or female was seen by several birders just three steps away.  It was clinging to a prairie plant in a prairie area on the soccer field.  The bird looked hardy.  It had an eye ring, no wing bars, pale yellow chest and breast and coverts.  The head and nap of neck was gray.  We quickly checked our field guide. Yes. A late migrant Nashville Warbler.


According to "Birds of Jackson Park", a private publication, compiled by Paul R. Clyne,               February, 2010, the latest sighting recorded was on November 9, 1982. Today's sighting beats that record by one day!

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.

This report will be documented on eBird as a group report for the Wooded Island Bird Walks.

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

Darrow Bridge: Darrow Bridge has been barricaded by the Department of Transportation. A high black metal iron fence has been erected on all four sides. The fence will remain in place until Darrow Bridge is completely rebuilt, which could be several years away. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe.

Birders meet on the east side of Darrow Bridge.

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.

Metered parking is available in the East Parking Lot that is accessible from South Lake Shore Drive. There is a Stop Light at Science DriveThis Stop Light is approximately 200 yards south of the major intersection with signs for Museum of Science and Industry. Make a turn at the 57th Street and Science Drive Stop Light towards the Museum. Turn Left (south) at the intersection of Science Drive and Columbia Drive. Go through the parking lot to the west end.

Birders meet in the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot.

Parking and Lots: The East Parking Lot is preferred. There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 56th to 59th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: October 27
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: November 24
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report