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Wooded Island Bird Walk Report

Submitted by Jennie Strable on Sun, 02/11/2018 - 1:08pm

Event date:

Saturday, January 27, 2018 - 8:00am 



Hello to All,

The last Bird Report was in September of last year.  That does not mean that birders did not persist in participating in the weekly Walks.  They did indeed, even in the most severe weather conditions. The finds belong to those who put in the time, and effort, even is adverse conditions.

As can be expected, birds on Wooded Island were absent.  There are little food sources to be found.  The ice still covers the lagoons, but is softening.  The fencing has been removed, except for a small area near the South Bridge.  The crushed stone path across from the south end of Wooded Island is open.

Six birders drove south in search of eagles and Snowy Owls.  There were six eaglesfound in the Lake Calumet area.  Only one was an adult.

At Wolf Lake,Three Snowy Owls were sheltered from the west wind along the RR tracks, west of State Line Road. That made them Illinois countable. 

In the warm glow of the late afternoon sun, a beautiful large bespeckled female Snowy Owl was found sitting on the ground, about fifty yards behind a fence at Steelworkers’ Park (87th and the lakefront)  She was very sensitive to sound, and turned her head our way, when the car door was closed. She stayed in place for a long while; twisting and turning her head; opening and closing her yellow mustard-colored eyes. She then decided to give these human bumpkins a thrill.  She relieved herself and spread her wide wings. Off she launched into the sky and flew over our heads.  She landed on the high cement wall of the dock channel, facing the moderate west wind. The experience wiped out any regrets of not finding a bird on Wooded Island.  They will come soon. We just need to keep showing up to bird every week.

BIRDERS:      12. (1) Jennie S., (2) Randy S., (3) Eric G., (4) Mariam N., (5) Kim H., (6) Naomi P., (7) David P., (8) Katie B., (9) Catherine G., (10) Raman S., (11) Karin D., (12) Pat D.  Cameo appearances by Doug S. and the “Birders Dog”, Copper.

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

PLACES:        Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow, Outer & Inner Harbors

DISTANCE:    2.67 miles

WEATHER:    Cloudy at outset. Temperature 49 – 51 F., Moderate wind WSW 10 – 20 mph


Wooded Island, Bobolink Meadow:

Canada Goose  520
Mallard  6
Common Goldeneye  2
Red-breasted Merganser  5
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Ring-billed Gull  1
Larus sp.  1
Downy Woodpecker  1
Northern Flicker  1
American Crow  5
Black-capped Chickadee  1
European Starling  1
American Tree Sparrow  2
Northern Cardinal  1
House Sparrow  2

Outer and Inner Harbors & Lake Michigan:

Canada Goose  275     OH 101, IH 174
Mute Swan  4     IH
Mallard  9     OH 6, IH 3
Redhead  2     IH
Greater Scaup  31     OH 29, IH 2
Common Goldeneye  23     OH 4, LM 3, IH 16
Hooded Merganser  5     OH 2, IH 3
Common Merganser  1     LM
Red-breasted Merganser  17     OH 1, LM 15, IH 1
American Coot  2     IH
Ring-billed Gull  59     OH 58, IH 1
Herring Gull  29     OH 26, LM 2, IH 1
American Crow  10     OH 4, IH 6

This is a group report. Randy S. was our studious and precise compiler. 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.

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 Drive.This 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: 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: October 7
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report
Later Event: February 3
Wooded Island Bird Walk Report