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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Wed, 06/27/2018 - 11:54am

Event date:

Saturday, June 16, 2018 - 8:00am 



Bloomsday – Dublin 1904:  “Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.” Opening line of James Joyce’s “Ulysses.”

Hello to All

The North Lagoon (Columbia Basin) held about twenty dead white fish in its NW corner.  Heavy growth of vegetation is notable from the bottom to the surface of this shallow basin. When aquatic vegetation such as algae, pondweeds and other aquatic plants die and decompose, oxygen is consumed in the process of decay, starting at the bottom layer where the fish live. Oxygen depletion, algal blooms, pesticide toxicity and disease are the most common causes of summer fish kills.  Warm water hold less dissolved oxygen than cold water.

Our summer residents are staying quiet and hidden. Nests are hard to spot. 

BIRDERS:      7.         (1) Gary M., (2) Melinda R. and spouse (3) Michael R. – new birders, (4) Michael B. and father (5) Keven B. – new birders, (6) Steve B. and (7) Pat D.

TIME:             8:00 a.m. to 10:20 a.m.         

PLACES:        North, East & West Lagoons, Wooded Island, Soccer Field, Bobolink Meadow

DISTANCE:    Two miles

WEATHER:    Sunny. Humid from overnight rainstorm. Temperature 72 – 84 F. Wind SW 10 – 15 mph. Bless the soul who added air conditioning to automobiles.


  1. Canada Goose  106

  2. Wood Duck  14     A flock of one female with 6 young swam along the SW shore of the North Lagoon (Columbia Basin) Another flock of one female and 6 young were seen along the shore of Heron Island in the East Lagoon. Possible it was the same flock, but hope that it was two different flocks.

  3. Mallard  16     Males are starting eclipse molting.  One female Mallard was with 8 ducklings in the North Lagoon (Columbia Basin)

  4. Double-crested Cormorant  1     It's head was folded onto its back, as it perched on a log in the East Lagoon.  It stayed on the log throughout our Walk.

  5. Great Blue Heron  1

  6. Black-crowned Night-Heron  5     At start of walk, an adult and juvenile were perched on a log (new?) at the north end of the East Lagoon, seen from the parking lot. Other single sightings were adults.

  7. Ring-billed Gull  2

  8. Caspian Tern  1

  9. Chimney Swift  1     Undercount

  10. Ruby-throated Hummingbird  2     One has been seen regularly on the SW corner of Darrow Bridge.

  11. Downy Woodpecker  1

  12. Eastern Wood-Pewee  1     Wing bars noted by Gary M. who first spotted the flycatcher in the shrubs  along the SW end of the North Lagoon (Columbia Basin)

  13. Yellow-throated Vireo  1     Reported to birders by Randy S. at the north end of Bobolink Meadow.

  14. American Crow  2     Atop the Museum

  15. Purple Martin  10     Adults were in flight or standing on front porches and antennae. The faces of youngsters were seen at opening portals. Their sweet song filled the air.

  16. Barn Swallow  8

  17. House Wren  4

  18. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  2

  19. American Robin  2

  20. Gray Catbird  2

  21. European Starling  15     Giving flight lessons to the young.

  22. Cedar Waxwing  5     The group landed silently on a top branches of a tree along between the East Lagoon and the parking lot. The departure was silent and unnoticed by the birders.

  23. Yellow Warbler  3

  24. Song Sparrow  1

  25. Northern Cardinal  1

  26. Red-winged Blackbird  6

  27. Brown-headed Cowbird  3

  28. House Finch  1


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 documented 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. A high black metal iron fence has been erected on all four sides. The fence will remain in place until Darrow Bridge is completely rebuilt, which could be several years away. The Bridge has been deemed unsafe.

Birders meet on the east side of Darrow Bridge.

Saturday morning walks: Start at 8:00 a.m. covers a distance of two miles.  Birders walk counterclockwise around the Columbia Basin (North Lagoon) onto Wooded Island. Exiting Wooded Island at the south end, the birders walk along the soccer field and enter the south end of Bobolink Meadow. The Meadow’s path leads to the Music Bridge and back to the East Parking Lot. In late fall, winter and early spring, the birders check for birds on the lakefront and Outer Harbor near LaRabida Hospital, and the Inner Harbor.

Metered parking is available in the East Parking Lot that is accessible from South Lake Shore Drive. There is a Stop Light at Science DriveThis Stop Light is approximately 200 yards south of the major intersection with signs for Museum of Science and Industry. Make a turn at the 57th Street and Science Drive 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.

Birders meet in the southwest corner of the East Parking Lot.

Parking and 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: June 2
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: June 30
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report