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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 04/06/2016 - 8:27pm

Event date:

Saturday, April 2, 2016 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

The weather was wicked for April, and my thought was that the Walk would be quick.  Nothing unusual occurred, until Eric G. unintentionally flushed an American Woodcock into vertical flight. It happened in Bobolink Meadow, near the pine trees.  The bird flew straight up, made a circular flight pattern, and dropped down at the north end of the Meadow.  We thought the show was over. Our advance party saw the Woodcock drop down again in the Meadow.  We slowly entered the Meadow. I heard the classic “peent”.  It flushed up again about twenty yards from its landing spot.  We all were able to see the bird in flight, and I had the additional pleasure of hearing it sound a call.

Randy S. came by to let us know that the Common Loon found by Jane M. yesterday evening graciously stayed overnight. Randy S. found it in the Outer Harbor.  Eric G. relocated the loon in breeding plumage napping along the south side of the 63rd St. Pier. 

The tail bobbing Eastern Phoebe and the Yellow-rumped Warbler confirmed that spring migration has begun.

BIRDERS:      7.         (1) Jennie S., (2) Tracy W., (3) Eric G., (4) Penny E. – new birder,(5) Rob R. – new birder, (6) Karin D. – who is nowCopper’s, our bird dog, favorite human. It all began when Karin brought along dog biscuits. How easily bribed are affections.I received a whack of the tail on his way over to Karin D., to sit and look up with adoration.(7) Pat D. – coping with displacement of a particular canine’s attachment. Even dogs can have a fickle heart. (Sigh)

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

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow, Lakefront and Outer Harbor.     

WEATHER:    Cloudy, cold with strong winds and snow flurries. Temperature 25 – 31 F. Wind from the West 25 – 35 mph, with gusts of 40 – 50 mph.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

  1. Canada Goose – X. The neck bands look tight.

  2. Wood Duck – 3. In close flight pattern over Bobolink Meadow and East Lagoon.

  3. Mallard – X. In mated pairs on water in lagoons, harbor and lakefront.

  4. NORTHERN SHOVELER – 2. A male & female pair has remained at the south end of the East Lagoon.

  5. Bufflehead – 2. North Lagoon/Columbia Basin.

  6. Red-breasted Merganser – X. Three (2 male/1 female) East Lagoon; a male/female pair in the 59th St. Marina; a male/female pair in the Outer Harbor. A few were spotted in the Lake off of the 63rd St. endpoint.

  7. COMMON LOON – 1. In breeding plumage. Napping and diving on the south side of 63rd St. Pier.

  8. Pied-billed Grebe – 4. East Lagoon.

  9. Horned Grebe – 3. Two in the Outer Harbor and one on the Lake channel.

  10. Double-crested Cormorant – 3. Two fly overs of East Lagoon. One over Lake.

  11. American Coot – 2. One remains near the south end of the East Lagoon and the other was in the Outer Harbor.

  12. AMERICAN WOODCOCK – 1. Bobolink Meadow. Seen & heard. In flight twice.

  13. Ring-billed Gull – X. Fly overs and on the docks in the Outer Harbor.

  14. Herring Gull – 1. Adult. Perched for over half an hour, in Socratic contemplation, on a branch over the East Lagoon.

  15. Red-bellied Woodpecker – 1. Bobolink Meadow. Reported by Eric G.

  16. Downy Woodpecker – 1. Bobolink Meadow.

  17. Northern Flicker – 1. Bobolink Meadow. North end.

  18. EASTERN PHOEBE – 1. Bobolink Meadow. North end. Spotted tail bobbing by Eric G.

  19. American Crow – 1.

  20. Black-capped Chickadee – 1.

  21. Golden-crowned Kinglet – 2. Bobolink Meadow. Reported by Eric G.

  22. American Robin – 13.

  23. European Starling – 12. Flock on ground north of Music Bridge.

  24. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER – 1. Bobolink Meadow. North end. Seen by Randy S. and Eric G.

  25. Song Sparrow – 2. Bobolink Meadow.

  26. Northern Cardinal – 2. Bobolink Meadow.

  27. Red-winged Blackbird – 1. Bobolink Meadow.

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.

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: March 12
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: April 16
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report