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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 07/27/2015 - 8:28pm

Event date:

Saturday, July 25, 2015 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

We had a nice walk back and forth through Bobolink Meadow, and finished before the sun set to bake the earth. 

Wooded Island is still a mess. The paths are gravel and thus unfinished. The Lagoons have more water, but there is a long way to go for a full refill. Two inch PVC irrigation pipes are connected along the shores. Sedge grass is beginning to be planted and the irrigation system must be in place first.

No Shows today were Baltimore Orioles, Green and Black-crowned Night Herons, and Eastern Bluebird. They may still be in the area, but we did not see or hear them. 

The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest was quiet when Jennie checked on it. This is the nest northeast of Darrow Bridge, along the shore of the North Lagoon.

pale Mallard was spotted in the East Lagoon, with a single companion. Just like “Mother Goose” with the white head patches, this pale duck will become a favorite of the birders, if it remains in the area.

BIRDERS:      14.       Tracy W. – photographer who provided photos of pale Mallard;

                                    Tracy P.; Thea C. Southern Californian student doing nesting research on

                                    Dickcissels in Iowa; Bruce M.; Leo H.; Carolyn H.; Jenny B.; Sandra N.;

                                    Mark N.; Jennie S.; Patti T.; Karin D.; Karin C.; and Pat D.

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

PLACES:                    Bobolink Meadow with views of East Lagoon and eastside of Wooded


WEATHER:                Partly Sunny. Temperature 77 – 88 F., Winds SW 5 – 10 mph.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

  1. Canada Goose ~ 6. South end of East Lagoon, wearing neck tagged collars. BTW, we have not seen “Mother Goose” and her mate since late spring. Mother Goose has a white patch on her head and back of her neck. She and her mate produced two offspring late in breeding season last year.

  2. Mallard  - 16, plus a new brood in north end of West Lagoon.

  3. Double-crested Cormorant – 6. South end of  East Lagoon.

  4. Great Blue Heron – 2.

  5. Red-tailed Hawk – 2. Spotted on Wooded Island from the Music Bridge. Thought to be juveniles.

  6. Spotted Sandpiper – 1. North end of East Lagoon.

  7. Ring-billed Gull – 1.

  8. Caspian Tern – 1.

  9. Chimney Swift – 12.

  10. Downy Woodpecker – 1. Heard in trees SW of golf shack.

  11. Eastern Kingbird – 2.

  12. Purple Martin – 6. Overhead of their white condos.

  13. Barn Swallow – X.

  14. Black-capped Chickadee – 1. Others heard.

  15. House Wren – 1.

  16. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 1.

  17. American Robin – 2. Gobbling up mulberries near the golf shack.

  18. European Starling – X. Flocks of half dozen or more perched on branches.

  19. Yellow Warbler – 4. Nice to see them on Heron Island and the edge of Bobolink Meadow. Looks like nesting was successful despite all the commotion.

  20. Song Sparrow – 2. They can really belt out their song atop a shrub!

  21. Northern Cardinal – 4.

  22. Indigo Bunting – 1.

  23. Red-winged Blackbird – 1. Others heard.

  24. American Goldfinch – 10. “You look marvelous!” as Billy Crystal would say. They are late nesters. The males looked great. To attract them in your garden is reason enough to plant sunflowers and provide thistle seed.

  25. House Sparrow – 6. Near golf shack.

This is a group report, with many birders contributing to the list. Most of the birds were seen by a least several or all 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. Birders always show up near Darrow Bridge at the start times. Newcomers are warmly welcomed. 

Noteon 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 east side 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.

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 preferred.There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 58th to 56thStreet.

Best of Birding to All,                    

Patricia Durkin

Earlier Event: July 18
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: August 1
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report