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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 08/24/2015 - 8:15pm

Event date:

Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

The highlight of this morning’s Walk was the close up views of a Lesser Yellowlegs.Tracy W. took a wonderful series of photos that are attached above. A local Spotted Sandpiperflew in to lay down the law. Their interaction went something like this:

Photo 1: Lesser Yellowlegs (LEYE) lands along shore of East Lagoon. Thinking: “Nice spot. I’ll fatten up some before moving further south.”

Photo 2: Spotted Sandpiper (SPSA) flies onto the same log occupied by LEYE.

SPSA: “Hey, dude. This is my ‘hood. Don’t make yourself too comfortable.”

LEYE: “Hey, Shorty.”

SPSA:  “The name is Spotty.”

LEYE:  “Whatever. I’m just passing through. Need to rest and fill my beak before moving on.”

Photo 3:  SPSA: “You’re eating up my bugs, fish and tasty crustaceans. Don’t make a pig of yourself.”

LEYE:  “Hey, Shorty, I mean, Spotty, let’s not get into a wing flap over the bounty. I’ll be gone by sundown.”

Photo 4: SPSA takes a moment to reconsider confrontation.

Photo 5: SPSA decides discretion is the better part of valor. “Don’t wear out your welcome. I’ll be back come sundown.” [SPSA exits west in flight.] [LEYE resumes feasting, serenaded by a Song Sparrow.]

BIRDERS:      13.       (1) Bruce M., (2) Marian N., (3) Leo H., (4) Caroline H., (5) Sandra N., (6) Mark N., (7) Jennie S., (8) Tracy W., (9) Karin C., (10) Karin D., (11) Mark W., accompanied by (12) his eight and one half year old daughter Emma, who came prepared with binoculars and Terry Bear packback. Emma is into birds, bugs, buds and butterflies – a perfect set of interests for the Walks, and (13) Pat D.         

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

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

WEATHER:    Perfect! Sunny. Temperature 70 – 75 F., Light winds SW 5 – 10 mph


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. Mark Webster shared his list for this report.

  1. Canada Goose – 34

  2. Wood Duck – 1. Male? In eclipse/molt.

  3. Mallard – 16 alive plus 1 mortuum afloat.

  4. Northern Shoveler – 1. Female. Big orange spatula bill.

  5. Hooded Merganser – 1. Female.

  6. Double-crested Cormorant – 4.

  7. Great Blue Heron – 5.

  8. Green Heron – 1.

  9. Black-crowned Night Heron – 1. Juvenile.

  10. Cooper’s Hawk – 2. Juveniles. What an air show they provided! Chased by crows. Chasing each other, then occupying same snag at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock.  All action above Wooded Island.

  11. Spotted Sandpiper – 1. Feisty.

  12. Lesser Yellowlegs – 1. Very close views. Feeding from a short log near the shore at the north end of Bobolink Meadow. This is the log where the confrontation with a Spotted Sandpiper took place. (photos attached)

  13. Ring-billed Gull – X. Fly overs. Note: No Caspian Tern today.

  14. Herring Gull – 1. First winter. Walking along the path parallel to the east parking lot. Looked confused and lost. Able to fly and did finally relocate to the East Lagoon.

  15. Chimney Swift – X.

  16. Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1. Near golf shack.

  17. Belted Kingfisher – 1. Heard. Reported by Mark N.

  18. Northern Flicker – 1. Heard. Reported by Mark W.

  19. Eastern Wood Pewee – 1. Heard. Reported by Mark W.

  20. Eastern Kingbird – 4. Two young perched very close to the birders.

  21. Warbling Vireo – 1. Great views. In the company of the two Tennessee Warblers. Located in the tree NW edge of Music Bridge.

  22. Red-eyed Vireo – 1. Heard. Reported by Mark W.

  23. American Crow – 3.

  24. Barn Swallow – X. Did not note any Purple Martins but still may be around.

  25. Black-capped Chickadee – X. Heard.

  26. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – X. Heard.

  27. American Robin – X.

  28. Gray Catbird – X. Heard.

  29. European Starling – X. Fly overs.

  30. Cedar Waxwing – 30. A large flock perched overhead at the north end of Bobolink Meadow.

  31. Tennessee Warbler – 2. Good Views. Tree NW of Music Bridge.

  32. Northern Waterthrush – 1. Reported by Mark W.

  33. Eastern Towhee – 1. Heard.

  34. Song Sparrow – 2.

  35. Northern Cardinal – 2. Males.

  36. Rose-breasted Grosbeak – 1. Female. Near golf shack.

  37. Baltimore Oriole – 1.

  38. American Goldfinch – X.

  39. House Sparrow – 1. Female

Butterflies: Monarch and Eastern Tiger Swallowtails were floating/flying/landing on the meadow flowers.

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 15
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: August 29
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report