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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 03/02/2016 - 7:41pm

Event date:

Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

We did not see many birds today.  The weekend belonged to Red-breasted Mergansers.They were everywhere and the males were working themselves up to attract the few females.  They moved over the surface of the water after the females, like a speed boat with bow raised.

The Red-winged Blackbird in the Meadow was nice to hear, although there is no longer much nesting habitat left.  Bobolink Meadow must be an old address in its memory. 

The appearance of a Horned Grebe helped savage on morning of birding, that was more just a nice walk.  Hope the doldrums before spring migration does not last too long.

BIRDERS:      8.         (1) Mark W., (2) Edith H., (3) Jennie S., (4) Eric G., (5) Rick R., (6) Tracy W., (7) Karin C., and (8) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.         

PLACES:        Bobolink Meadow, Lakefront, Outer & Inner Harbors

WEATHER:    Sunny. Windy. Temperature 37 – 45 F. Winds WSW 10 – 20 mph. The lagoons and harbors are free of ice.


X = commonly seen and/or not counted.

  1. Canada Goose – X. Some of our locals with neck tags have returned.

  2. Mallard – X. In East Lagoon and in the harbors.

  3. CANVASBACK – 1. Male. Outer Harbor. Still with us.

  4. Redhead – X. Outer Harbor.

  5. Greater Scaup – X. Outer Harbor.

  6. Lesser Scaup – 2. Outer Harbor.

  7. Bufflehead – 4. Two males and two females. Outer Harbor.

  8. Common Goldeneye – 3. Inner Harbor.

  9. Hooded Merganser – 1. Female. Inner Harbor. Likely the one that never migrated.

  10. Red-breasted Merganser – X. One male in East Lagoon. Seven in Marina. Several scattered flocks out on the Lake.

  11. HORNED GREBE – 1. Flew into the channel to the Outer Harbor. Winter plumage.

  12. American Coot – 14. Two in Outer Harbor. Twelve in the Inner Harbor.

  13. Ring-billed Gull – X. Many on the Outer Harbor docks.

  14. Herring Gull – X. A few mixed in with the Ring-billed Gulls on the docks.

  15. Hairy Woodpecker – 1. Bobolink Meadow.

  16. American Crow – X.

  17. Black-capped Chickadee – X.

  18. Northern Cardinal – 1.

  19. RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD – 1. Bobolink Meadow.

  20. House Sparrow – 4.

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: February 20
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: March 5
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report