Back to All Events

Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Fri, 03/06/2015 - 8:26pm

Event date:

Saturday, February 28, 2015 - 8:30pm 



Hello to All,

Today’s report is provided by Randy Shonkwiler.

I joined Pat Durkin, Mark Webster and Paul Clyne to bird Chicago's Jackson Park yesterday.  Later Pat, Mark and I checked a few other south side spots.

Our first stop was the BOHEMIAN WAXWING, which Mark had dipped on in an earlier visit.  He was on his favorite island when we arrived.  There was also an immature RED-TAILED HAWK perched in a tree on the island.

We then did the circle of the meadow and Wooded Island.  Despite all the work going on (though not much yesterday) there were a few other birds in the area. 4 A. TREE SPARROWS were on Turtle Island (the island south of Bobolink Meadow) and in the open area that used to be theRose Garden were the continuing 2 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS joined by a DARK-EYED JUNCO. A pair of HAIRY WOODPECKERS was at the north end of the Wooded Island. 

We drove over to La Rabida but the best two birds were another HAIRY WOODPECKER and another A. TREE SPARROW.  The only duck here was a dead White-winged Scoter on the ice at the harbor entryway.  However, as we drove out, we noticed some open water under the Lake Shore Dr. bridge between the harbors. Here we found 14 GREATER SCAUP and a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER.  We didn't check the beach as we could see from La Rabida that the only open water was way out.  Paul left us to check the golf course, while Pat, Mark and I headed to the 31st Street Harbor/Beach area.

At 31st we got brief looks at the RED-THROATED LOON.  I counted 16 WHITE-WINGED SCOTERS there when we arrived but another 13 flew in from the south.  The loon was a State bird for Mark; we then went to Wolf Lake to get Mark a state lifer Common Redpoll and a world lifer Hoary Redpoll.  Unlike last weekend the redpoll flock was present at the alders by the parking lot.  There were ~8 COMMON REDPOLLS and we eventually were able to pick out the obvious HOARY REDPOLL, which was feeding next to the more borderline Hoary (darker above, but with white undertail coverts and little streaking on the side).  We looked for the Red-shouldered Hawk seen last time along State Line Road but didn't find it.  At the only open water by the Visitors’Center among ~300 Canada Geese and 34 Mallards were 2 REDHEADS and 8 GREATER SCAUP. 

We found little of note at 126th Street Marsh/Calumet River and a drive along 122nd and Stony Island produced only 2 RED-TAILED HAWKS.

Randy Shonkwiler
Hyde Park/Chicago

BIRDERS:      5.         Paul C., Mark W., Randy S., Laurel R., Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Wooded Island & Bobolink Meadow           

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow, 66th Harbors and Lakefront,

Extension Trip to31st. Lakefront, Wolf Lake (Wm. Powers  Conservation Area), 126thMarsh, 122nd to 103rd Stony Island Ave.

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature low 20’s F., Mild SSE wind.

TOTAL SPECIES COUNT: Jackson Park:  14 (+1 other taxa), Beyond Jackson Park: 16

Jackson Park, Chicago--Wooded Island/Bobolink Meadow area, Cook, US-IL Feb 28, 2015 8:11 AM - 9:24 AM

Protocol: Transect

1.53 mile(s)

12 species (+1 other taxa)

 Common Merganser  3     Seen by Paul flying over Wooded Island.

Red-tailed Hawk  1     Immature

Gull sp.  1

Downy Woodpecker  3     1 m., 1 fem. 1 ?

Hairy Woodpecker  2     m. and fem. seen together at north end of W.I.

American Crow  4

Black-capped Chickadee  5

Bohemian Waxwing  1     Continuing bird.

American Tree Sparrow  4

White-throated Sparrow  2

Dark-eyed Junco  1

Northern Cardinal  7     2 m., 2 fem., 2 ?

House Sparrow  2

 Jackson Park, Chicago--Inner/Outer Harbors, Cook, US-IL Feb 28, 2015 9:27 AM - 10:06 AM

Protocol: Transect

0.82 mile(s)

Comments:     1 dead White-winged Scoter on ice at entrance of outer harbor. All (living) waterfowl under Lake Shore Drive bridge between the harbors, which was the only place with open water.

10 species

 Greater Scaup  14

Red-breasted Merganser  1

Ring-billed Gull  45

Herring Gull  1

Hairy Woodpecker  1

American Crow  1

Black-capped Chickadee  2

American Tree Sparrow  1

Northern Cardinal  1     Male

House Sparrow  5

 Burnham  Park--31st St. Beach area (Cook Co.), Cook, US-IL Feb 28, 2015 10:15 AM - 10:52 AM

Protocol: Point Count

7 species (+1 other taxa)

 Canada Goose  5

Greater/Lesser Scaup  3

White-winged Scoter  29

Common Goldeneye  6

Common Merganser  137     87 m., 50 fem.

Red-breasted Merganser  1     Fem.

Red-throated Loon  1     Previously found by Doug Stotz.  Some were thinking it might be a Pacific Loon but a photo shown to me revealed random-looking white spots on the back.  The bird was rather dark and may have been a juvenile/immature bird. Held its beak up like a Red-throated Loon.  Beak not as long and thick as Common Loon.

Herring Gull  19

 Wolf Lake/Powers State Recreation Area, Chicago, Cook, US-IL Feb 28, 2015 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Protocol: Transect

5.1 mile(s)

10 species

 Canada Goose  305

Mute Swan  2

Mallard  34     24 m., 10 fem.

Redhead  2     males

Greater Scaup  8     6 m., 2 fem.

Common Goldeneye  1     Fem.

Downy Woodpecker  1

Common Redpoll  8

Hoary Redpoll  2     Continuing birds.  One much paler above than Common Redpolls, white rump, white undertail, little streaking on sides; another darker above than the first but with white undertail coverts and little streaking on sides.

House Sparrow  7

 Stony Is. from 122nd to Big Marsh, Cook, US-IL Feb 28, 2015 12:48 PM - 12:53 PM

Protocol: Transect

2.57 mile(s)

2 species

 Red-tailed Hawk  2

European Starling  1000

 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. Birders always show up near Darrow Bridge at the start times. Newcomers are warmly welcomed.  Come to Darrow Bridge to meet with the other birders.

Noteon Darrow Bridge: Darrow Bridge has been barricaded by the Department of Transportation but there are openings at each end that allows for foot traffic. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe. Birders continue to meet on Darrow Bridge at the start times, even during the multi-year restoration of Wooded Island and other areas within Jackson Park.

The Walks start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, and at 7:15 a.m. on Wednesday. 

Birders gather on Darrow Bridge, which is located south of the Museum of Science and Industry.

Metered parking is available east of Darrow Bridge and 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 near Darrow Bridge.

Note on 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 lot is the preferred one, as it is located nearest the Darrow Bridge. The southwest parking lot would require that the entire Wooded Island be walked northward, and to cross the North Bridge to reach Darrow Bridge.  There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 58th to 56th Street.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: February 21
Copy of Wooded Island Bird Walk Report