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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sun, 07/24/2016 - 3:49pm

Event date:

Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

As I drove into the east parking lot, I realized that I had missed one hell of a party last night.  Empty liquor bottles, beer cans and cartons were strewn across the parking lot and on the grassy areas.  I removed an empty bottle of Hennessy Cognac and Silver Patron Tequila that were in the path driving lanes.  So where is the Chicago Police Department’s Summer Mobile Park Unit to enforce the ban on alcohol?  If anyone can follow up with the authorities, such as the Alderwoman or Community Police Representative, it would be appreciated. These drunken bacchanals are a source of magnificently drunk drivers. No one appears to pick up after themselves. The trash cans were mostly empty.  Litter, cans, bottles, trash were all over the place.

The second assault to the senses occurred just getting out of the car. My glasses instantly steamed up. The heat and humidity limited the ground we covered, but we saw some great birds as we were drenched in sweat. 

Paul C. lament over the lack of European Starlings has been addressed. They were around in good numbers, although they all looked rather homely. 

The best sighting were a group of five, yes, FIVE, Great Crested Flycatchers.  They did not call out too much, as they stuffed themselves on mulberries. I don’t care if mulberries are the Snicker’s Bar for birds.  When hungry, the berries hit the spot and supply energy, even if they are equivalent to a sugar rush.

Birders have continued to gather each week for the group walk. I just fell off writing a weekly report.

BIRDERS:      10.       (1) Caroline H., (2) Jennie S., (3) Marian N., (4) Jen L. from San Diego, (5) Perren Y. – great vision who spotted the East Kingbird nest., (6) Karin D., (7) Bruce M., (8) Raman S., (9) Tracy W., (10) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow, north end only due to weather conditions.        

WEATHER:    Air Quality Alert. Steamy. Hot. Humid. Temperature 84 - 86 F. Dew Point 76%. ESE wind 5 - 10 mph mostly absent.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

  1. Canada Goose  37    

  2. Wood Duck  4

  3. Mallard  9

  4. Double-crested Cormorant  2

  5. Great Blue Heron  5

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  4

  7. Spotted Sandpiper  1

  8. Ring-billed Gull  X     Occasional fly overs.

  9. Caspian Tern  1

  10. Downy Woodpecker  1

  11. Great Crested Flycatcher  5     Highest count ever seen in one small area! Perched in two trees, one a mulberry tree in which they partook of the berries. Trees are located between the SW corner of the east parking lot, south of the Museum, and the East Lagoon.  At one time I saw three together in my binocular view.

  12. Eastern Kingbird  3     One was on a nest.

  13. Warbling Vireo  3     Seen & heard.

  14. Purple Martin  X     Adults and young near houses.

  15. Barn Swallow  6

  16. Black-capped Chickadee  3

  17. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1

  18. American Robin  11     Young and adults together.

  19. European Starling  79     Singles & doubles here & there: 7. Flock on ground in parking lot grove: 22. Flock perched in the two snags,SW corner of East parking lot: 50

  20. Cedar Waxwing  3

  21. Common Yellowthroat  1

  22. Yellow Warbler  2

  23. Red-winged Blackbird  5

  24. Brown-headed Cowbird  3

  25. Baltimore Oriole  2     One was on Heron Island perched on a Hibiscus plant, bugging away.

  26. American Goldfinch  4

  27. House Sparrow  6


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 more than a year. 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: April 16
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: August 6
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report