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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 07/20/2015 - 7:38pm

Event date:

Saturday, July 18, 2015 - 8:00am 



Greetings everyone,

The morning started out hot and sunny, but right about the time we were finishing our walk, an unexpected shift in the wind brought a cool lake breeze.  Ahhh!  The lagoon is filling up with water and pretty much looks like a lagoon again.  The sedge grasses that some of us helped to plant are not looking healthy and we wonder if they were planted too soon after the herbicide was sprayed on the area.

One of the highlights of the morning was the sighting of our resident beaver swimming across the lagoon.  He seemed to be headed for the Osaka Garden.  Maybe he’s been hired by Project 120 to help build “Sky Landing”.

Birders: 11  Bruce, Carol, Leo, Tracy, Eric, Karin D., Karin C., Jennie and newbies Eddie and Tao, as well as Miyoko who is visiting from Seattle.

Weather:  Hazy sun, 70s, humid.

The birds:

  • Double-crested Cormorant; many in the “Cormorant Tree” again, one in the water with a very large fish.

  • Great Blue Heron

  • Green Heron

  • Black-crowned Night Heron; including one juvenile

  • Canada Goose

  • Mallard; one with seven small ducklings

  • Cooper’s Hawk flyover

  • Ring-billed Gull

  • Probable Herring Gull – a very large gull flew over so I’m going with Herring

  • Caspian Tern

  • Downy Woodpecker

  • Warbling Vireo

  • American Crow

  • Purple Martin

  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow

  • Barn Swallow; including a group perched on the horizontal bar of one of the light poles along the parking lot.  It was pretty cute!

  • Chimney Swift

  • Black-capped Chickadee

  • House Wren

  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, on her nest

  • Eastern Bluebird; the male was standing watch in his usual spot near the driving range

  • American Robin

  • Gray Catbird

  • European Starling

  • Yellow Warbler

  • Northern Cardinal

  • Indigo Bunting (heard); as an aside, there’s been an Indigo Bunting in a tree next to the 59th street Metra station that I’ve heard and seen every morning for the past couple weeks.

  • Song Sparrow

  • House Sparrow

  • Brown-headed Cowbird

  • Red-winged Blackbird; the bird without face feathers is still on his territory in the meadow.  He looks funny but seems to be healthy otherwise.

  • American Goldfinch

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. 

Note on 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.

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.

The Walks start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.

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 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.

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 start of the Walk. There is also unmetered parking along Stony Island Avenue from 589h to 56th Street.

Good Birding all,


Earlier Event: July 11
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: July 25
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report