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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sun, 10/30/2016 - 5:31pm

Event date:

Saturday, October 22, 2016 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

It was a great day for birding. The sun was shining and the sky was blue.

We walked south through Bobolink Meadow, then along the soccer field fence, which will remain in place. Lauren from the Park District arrived at the South Bridge onto Wooded Island at the same time our group did.  She unlocked the fence and we were free to walk on our beloved Wooded Island once again.

It was like returning to your home after a disaster, albeit manmade. So much has changed. So many trees have been removed.  No longer is there a fenced in Rose Garden. The cement vista stations are terrible.  Yoko Ono’s sculpture looked like a tossed endive salad stuck in the ground, but is not without its intrigue.  We used them to lean against as we search tree tops in the Japanese Garden.  The steel slabs are a great relief for “warbler neck.”

The immature Red-headed Woodpecker was napping on a branch of the Willow Tree that is located at the SE part of the former Rose Garden.  The identification had us stumped for a while, but we figured it out. The Woodpecker woke up from its rest and started to hunt. 

It is so very nice to be back on Wooded Island.  Even damaged and disfigured, the Island is our home.

BIRDERS:      13.       (1) Rick R., (2) Eric G., (3) Caroline H., (4) Mary Nell M., (5) Marian N. – recently returned from a visit with her good friend Pope Francis, (6) Tracy W., (7) Sandra N. – return visit from new home in NYC, (8) Curt M., (9) Jennie S., (10) Mark W., (11) Karin D., (12) Karin C., (13) Pat D. Plus cameo appearance by Randy S. on Wooded Island.          

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.         

PLACES:        Wooded Island and Bobolink Meadow

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 44 – 50 F., Wind WSW 10 to 15 mph, Humidity 57%, Dew Point 31 degrees.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

  1. Canada Goose  130

  2. Wood Duck  1

  3. Mallard  2

  4. Hooded Merganser  2     a male & female. East Lagoon.

  5. Pied-billed Grebe  1     East Lagoon

  6. Double-crested Cormorant  1     fly over

  7. Great Blue Heron  6

  8. Black-crowned Night-Heron  1     Juvenile

  9. Cooper's Hawk  2

  10. Red-tailed Hawk  1

  11. Ring-billed Gull  5

  12. Belted Kingfisher  1

  13. Red-headed Woodpecker  1     Immature on Wooded Island resting on Willow Tree in the former Rose Garden area

  14. Red-bellied Woodpecker  1

  15. Downy Woodpecker  4

  16. Northern Flicker  1

  17. American Crow  4

  18. Black-capped Chickadee  2

  19. White-breasted Nuthatch  1

  20. Brown Creeper  1

  21. Golden-crowned Kinglet  25

  22. Ruby-crowned Kinglet  3

  23. Hermit Thrush  1

  24. American Robin  10

  25. European Starling  45

  26. Cedar Waxwing  10     flock in flight

  27. Yellow-rumped Warbler  3

  28. American Tree Sparrow  1

  29. Dark-eyed Junco  1

  30. White-throated Sparrow  1     Heard.

  31. Song Sparrow  1

  32. Swamp Sparrow  1

  33. Northern Cardinal  2

  34. Rose-breasted Grosbeak  2     females


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 recorded 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. No one can cross. A high black metal iron fence has been erected on all four sides. It appears that the fence will remain in place until Darrow Bridge is completely rebuilt, which could be several years away. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe.

The Walks start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Birders meet in the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot. Wooded Island is closed off by a fence while work in being done. Birders walk through Bobolink Meadow and view the eastside of Wooded Island and the East Lagoon.

Please note: The Wednesday morning Walks have been decommissioned. An informal group often meets, but the start time varies and the distance traveled can be curtailed.

Metered parking is available in the East Parking Lot that is accessible from South Lake Shore Drive at 57th Street (labeled Science Drive on a small blue street sign). There is a Stop Light at 57th Street. Make a turn at the 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.

Parking and Lots: While restoration is ongoing, heavy equipment has taken over half of the east parking lot, off of South Lake Shore Drive, and half of the southwest parking lot which has an entrance off of Hayes Drive (63rd St.) and just east of Cornell Drive. Birders will be able to find metered parking in both 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 15
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: October 29
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report