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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Mon, 04/18/2016 - 6:11pm

Event date:

Saturday, April 16, 2016 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

On Thursday afternoon, Tracy Weiner discovered and photographed a Common Loon in the East Lagoon.  We did not find it at the start of the Walk, but then, there it was. We all had great close up views. The loon stayed at the north end of the East Lagoon, resting, diving and stretching its’ wings. This is a great find for the East Lagoon.  The lack of competition and danger from fishing tackle, etc. may have made the quiet of the lagoon attractive. Karin C. still talks of the last Common Loon she found resting in the early morning in the West Lagoon near the North Bridge. That was many a year ago.  Loons are magical and memorable.

Ducks in flights are another great sight. The Blue-winged Teals flew low in close formation and landed near us on the East Lagoon.  We saw Mallards, Wood Ducks and a Northern Shoveler all in take offs and landings on the lagoons.

BIRDERS:      12.       (1) Marian N. from Merrillville, IN, an official Wooded Island Regular,

(2) Ben S., a sophomore from Evanston, beefing up his Life List with USA travels,

(3) Caroline H., (4) Tracy W. who provided today’s photos, (5) Kristin D. and (6) Cile B. – new birders to Jackson Park, (7) Eric G. who just returned from Hong Kong where he was able to bird in a restricted nature preserve, (8) Raman S., (9) Karin C., (10) Karin D., (11) Edith H. and (12) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.         

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow, N & E Lagoons, Lakefront and Outer Harbor

WEATHER:    Sunny. Temperature 53 – 59 F. Winds ENE 5 – 15 mph


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

  1. Canada Goose – X. A few are on nests. Of the nearly 150 geese captured two years ago, and forced into a tight hard plastic neck band, less than a dozen are seen on our Walk.  Mission accomplished. Eradication program, disguised as crap science, succeeded.

  2. Wood Duck – 2. A male and female. North Lagoon. Flew off heading west.

  3. Mallard – X. Male/female pairs found on all water sites.

  4. Blue-winged Teal – 4. Three males with one female. The group flew onto the East Lagoon in formation. Lovely sight.

  5. Northern Shoveler – 1. Male. Landed in East Lagoon, coming from the south.

  6. Bufflehead – 1. Female. East Lagoon.

  7. Red-breasted Merganser – X. Three males and one female in North Lagoon. One female in the Marina. Several in the Outer Harbor and out on the Lake beyond the 63rd St. Pier.

  8. COMMON LOON – 1. North end of East Lagoon.

  9. Pied-billed Grebe – 1. East Lagoon.

  10. Horned Grebe – 1. East Lagoon.

  11. Double-crested Cormorant – X. One in North Lagoon. Four in East Lagoon Five fly overs of East Lagoon and thirty in a flock flew along the lakefront heading north.

  12. American Coot – 1. Remains at the south end of the East Lagoon.

  13. Ring-billed Gull – X. Not so many on the docks. Harbors are preparing for boat mooring.

  14. Caspian Tern – 3. One was working the lagoons in regular flight pattern. Two were in the exact same location as seen last week, on the northern most dock in the Outer Harbor. No, theywere not windup or motorized decoys.

  15. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 2. Females.

  16. Downy Woodpecker – 3. One male and two females. Calling sounds heard.

  17. Northern Flicker – X. Thirty were on the ground on the driving range. Three more were seen in the trees bordering the East Lagoon.

  18. Eastern Phoebe – 1.

  19. TREE SWALLOW – 2. On willow tree at the south end of the East Lagoon. Together.

  20. Northern Rough-winged Swallow – X. A few were about on branches in the East Lagoon.

  21. Barn Swallow – X. A few were in flight over the East Lagoon.

  22. Black-capped Chickadee – 1.

  23. White-breasted Nuthatch – 1. North end of Bobolink Meadow in the trees.

  24. Brown Creeper – 4.

  25. Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 1.


  27. American Robin – X.

  28. European Starling – X.

  29. Yellow-rumped Warbler – 3.

  30. PINE WARBLER – 1. In, where else, the pine trees in Bobolink Meadow. Found by Eric.

  31. Chipping Sparrow – 1. Found by Eric G.

  32. Field Sparrow – 1. Another Eric find.

  33. Song Sparrow – 1 – 2.

  34. Northern Cardinal – 1.

  35. Red-winged Blackbird – X. A few were in the Meadow. A flock of thirty flew south over the East Lagoon.

  36. Common Grackle – 1.

  37. Brown-headed Cowbird – 3. Golf driving range.

  38. American Goldfinch – X.

  39. House Sparrow – X.

Note: a salad plate size turtle and a couple of frogs were seen at the SE end of the East Lagoon.

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: April 2
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: July 23
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report