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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 08/31/2015 - 8:05pm

Event date:

Saturday, August 29, 2015 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

Despite the lingering morning drizzle, three birders showed up. There was a break in the rain after the first half hour, and we were able to make the circuit back and forth walk through Bobolink Meadow in splendid solitude.

Spotty, the feisty sandpiper, had the East Lagoon to itself. It seems to love checking its perimeter.

The Marsh Wren was first heard, and then seen in the Meadow. At one point the wren had a foot on separate grass stems and stared at us.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk reduced the rodent population by one as we looked on.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, which looks like a peanut-sized guided missile in flight, attacked a Chimney Swift. The strength of hormones on board seems not proportional to size.

At the end of our Walk, two species of warblers showed up, with a buddy White-breasted Nuthatch.

BIRDERS:      3.         (1) Jennie S who walked to the east parking lot, (2) Eric G. to biked to the east parking lot, and (3) Pat D. who drove to the east parking lot.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.         

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow, views of the N. & E. Lagoons & east side of Wooded Island

WEATHER:    Rain during the night. Drizzle stopped at 8:30 a.m. Remained overcast. Temperature 67 – 74 F., Mild breeze SE 5 – 10 mph.


  1. Mallard – 16.

  2. Double-crested Cormorant – 3.

  3. Great Blue Heron – 1. Perched in a tree on Wooded Island.

  4. Black-crowned Night Heron – 2. One adult and one juvenile on the east retaining wall beneath the Music Bridge.

  5. Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1. A good sized Sharpie with coarse brown breast streaks and a squared-off tail. It was perched near Turtle Island and looking down on the ground with great intensity. It suddenly flew to the ground on the Island amidst the vegetation. After a short while it returned to the branch over the water and enjoyed a rodent meal.

  6. Cooper’s Hawk – Wooded Island.

  7. Spotted Sandpiper – 1. Sans spots. Shoulder notch.

  8. Ring-billed Gull – X. Fly overs.

  9. Chimney Swift – X.

  10. Ruby-throated Hummingbird –3 or 4.

  11. Downy Woodpecker – 1.

  12. Northern Flicker – 1.

  13. Eastern Phoebe – 1. Post molt. Now in fall plumage with a yellow lower belly wash and pale olive gray wash on an off white upper breast. Long tail.

  14. Warbling Vireo – 1. Heard.

  15. American Crow – 2.

  16. Barn Swallow – X.

  17. Black-capped Chickadee – Heard.

  18. White-breasted Nuthatch – 1. In the company of the warblers in the trees straight west of the parking lot.

  19. Marsh Wren – 1. Bobolink Meadow. Singing. Audio and visual sighting.

  20. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 1 Heard.

  21. Eastern Bluebird  - 2. They’re back! Near willow tree nesting sight.

  22. Gray Catbird – X. Heard and seen.

  23. Blackburnian Warbler – 1.

  24. American Redstart – 1.

  25. Song Sparrow – 4.

  26. Northern Cardinal – 1 seen. Others heard.

  27. American Goldfinch – 2. Juveniles.

X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

This is a group report.

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: August 22
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: September 5
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report