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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Tue, 09/22/2015 - 8:44pm

Event date:

Saturday, September 19, 2015 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

First a tree identification correction from Wednesday’s An Evening on Wooded Island report: I thought that the favorite snag along the footpath, southwest of the Rose Garden was the tall snag favored by raptors and woodpeckers. It was informally known as the Hal Cohen’s Snag. Hal went to bat with the Park District to save this twenty foot tall snag.  Sad to report, the Hal Cohen Snag was cut down. The short snag that I photographed (photo attached) was the twelve foot snag along the footpath that was occasionally used as a daybed by raccoons.

It was a good morning for birding. The migrants came out of their hiding places as the sun warmed the earth and the gnats came out.

BIRDERS:      9.         Jennie S., Leo H., Caroline H., Bruce M., Eric G., Tobias G., Karin C., Karin D., and Pat D.

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

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow with views of North and East Lagoons and eastside of Wooded Island.

WEATHER:    Sunny skies after a day and night of rain. Soggy ground and flooded areas in Bobolink Meadow where buried remains of the Nike Missile Base have shallow soil cover. High water levels in the lagoon. Water was lapping over the Music Bridge embankment towards the Lake. Temperature 56 – 64 F. Winds NNW 10 – 12mph.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

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.

  1. Canada Goose – Flying squadrons.

  2. Mallard – X.

  3. Hooded Merganser – 1. Female. Summer resident. Alone. Showing white wing feathers.

  4. Pied-billed Grebe- 1. Found by Randy S. near the shore at the golf shack.  Dived and came up with a good-sized crayfish. Early lunch.

  5. Double-crested Cormorant – 4.

  6. Great Blue Heron – 4.

  7. Black-crowned Night Heron – 2. Juveniles. Found by Eric &Tobias near Darrow Bridge.

  8. Accipter Hawk species – 1. Small. Reported by Eric & Tobias. Chased by crows.

  9. Spotted Sandpiper – 1. Bet it is the same feisty one that had a confrontation with a Lesser Yellowlegs a couple of weeks ago. Was occupying same log.

  10. Ring-billed Gull – X. Fly overs.

  11. Chimney Swift – X.

  12. Downy Woodpecker – 1. Female.

  13. Northern Flicker – 2.

  14. Great Crested Flycatcher – 1. Reported by Eric & Tobias, near Darrow Bridge.

  15. Blue-headed Vireo – 1. Spotted by Tobias, and then seen by other birders. Parking lot.

  16. Blue Jay – 1. Flyover and calling, “Make way! Here I come!” Or something close to it.

  17. American Crow – 2. On hawk patrol.

  18. Black-capped Chickadee – X. Heard and seen. Parking lot and North Meadow.

  19. Grey-cheeked Thrush – 1. Near shore west of parking lot.

  20. Swainson’s Thrush – 5.

  21. American Robin – 16. Parking lot puddles near grassy areas. Good worm hunting.

  22. Gray Catbird – 2.

  23. Nashville Warbler – 1.

  24. Chestnut-sided Warber – 1.

  25. Magnolia Warbler – 1.

  26. Cape May Warbler – 1.

  27. Yellow-rumped Warbler – X.

  28. Black-throated Green Warbler – 2.

  29. Palm Warbler – X.

  30. Blackpoll Warbler – X.

  31. Black-and-white Warbler – 2.

  32. American Redstart – 3.

  33. Louisiana Warbler – 1. Found by Eric & Tobias near Darrow Bridge.

  34. Wilson’s Warbler – 2.

  35. Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1.

  36. White-throated Sparrow – 1. Found by Eric & Tobias near Darrow Bridge.

  37. Dark-eyed Junco – 1. Found by Eric & Tobias near Darrow Bridge.

  38. Northern Cardinal – X. Heard.

  39. House Sparrow – X.

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: September 12
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: September 26
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report