Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April Weekend Trip - Part 4

The discomfort of the previous evening at the dredging ponds made the sleep that night a true treat. So, when the alarm went off at 4 am on Sunday, we didn't actually take too long to get up. We were on the road before 4:30, grateful this was last morning in the foreseeable future that we would be substituting Via for the real deal. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of the Iced Via, but I would never choose it over my normal morning cup of coffee. Nevertheless, it always does the job, and we were sufficiently caffeinated for a great morning in Brown and Adams Counties.

5:15 found us pulling into the parking lot at the Buckhorn Unit of Siloam Springs State Park. The place is know for Chucks, but no Chuck for us this morning. This was a bummer of a miss, but was quickly offset by another fun round of pre-dawn birding. Our first American Woodcocks of the trip were peenting here, and before long we were surrounded by Whip-poor-wills singing away! One flew into a bush right next to us and began calling; you can hear my recording here. We chased it around for a bit, and Andrew got on it. I got a new flashlight for Christmas, and this was my first chance to actually use it - I'm happy to announce that the first bird it ever illuminated was this beauty. Andrew snapped this pic while I kept the light on it.

Eastern Whip-poor-will
Siloam Springs State Park, Buckhorn Unit, Brown Co, IL
April 26, 2015

A couple Barred Owls called here, then I spotted another on our way to the other part of Siloam. The first Rose-breasted Grosbeak of the year/trip sang atop a tree near here. Ovenbird, Blue-winged, and Black-and-white Warbler were all nice pick ups along this stretch, especially for our Brown County lists. I like how this shot turned out.

Barred Owl
Brown Co, IL
April 26, 2015

Then came one of the highlights of the whole trip. It wasn't a new bird for the year or buddy list or even for the trip. We'd had fun with Wormies the day before, but this time we got simply outstanding views. It flew up to a thicket just a little ways below us and proceeded to sing its little heart out. Our 13th of the trip, and definitely the best looks yet.

Worm-eating Warbler
Siloam Springs State Park, Brown Co, IL
April 26, 2015

The Adams portion of Siloam was solid, the usual warblers and a couple Broad-winged Hawks being the highlight. As we headed back out through Brown County, this beast sat near the road long enough for us to snag a pic.

Turkey Vulture
Brown Co, IL
April 26, 2015

The rest of the day consisted of county listing from the car, and some concerted efforts at both Emiquon and Hennepin Hopper. We were just a little early for the next wave of good stuff, but we did have a couple specialties along the way, including Common Gallinule and Black-necked Stilts.

Common Gallinule with American Coot
Emiquon, Fulton Co, IL
April 26, 2015

Emiquon, Fulton Co, IL
April 26, 2015

Black-necked Stilts
Emiquon, Fulton Co, IL
April 26, 2015

We wound up with our highest day total of the trip on Sunday - 126 - mostly because of the waterfowl still lingering at Hennepin. This place is quite unique in that respect, making it a must for any Big Day effort in the northern region of the state - not that we have one in the plans or anything (wink wink). The biggest surprise was a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese. A single Yellow-headed Blackbird was already back, too.

Greater White-fronted Geese
Hennepin Hopper, Putnam Co, IL
April 26, 2015

Purple Martin
Hennepin Hopper, Putnam Co, IL
April 26, 2015

Standing in stark contrast to our drive down the state just a few days prior, it seemed as though every next northward mile grew a little browner. We were nearing home, the birds we dissipating, and another week's worth of a cold front stood before us. But we had no room to complain. The highlights from our trip were remarkable. We had missed some things, but found even better replacements. And we had a handful of unanticipated adventures that only add to the memory of a trip like this. And the additions to the buddy list brought us up to 293. Just a normal birding trip, really.

I'll leave you with the trip list, 170 on the nose:

  1. Greater White-fronted Goose
  2. Snow Goose
  3. Canada Goose
  4. Mute Swan
  5. Wood Duck
  6. Gadwall
  7. American Wigeon
  8. Mallard
  9. Blue-winged Teal
  10. Northern Shoveler
  11. Green-winged Teal
  12. Canvasback
  13. Redhead
  14. Ring-necked Duck
  15. Lesser Scaup
  16. Surf Scoter
  17. Bufflehead
  18. Hooded Merganser
  19. Red-breasted Merganser--
  20. Ruddy Duck
  21. Northern Bobwhite
  22. Ring-necked Pheasant
  23. Greater Prairie-Chicken
  24. Wild Turkey
  25. Common Loon
  26. Pied-billed Grebe
  27. Double-crested Cormorant
  28. American White Pelican
  29. American Bittern
  30. Great Blue Heron
  31. Great Egret
  32. Cattle Egret
  33. Green Heron
  34. Black-crowned Night-Heron
  35. Black Vulture
  36. Turkey Vulture
  37. Osprey
  38. Northern Harrier
  39. Cooper's Hawk
  40. Bald Eagle
  41. Red-shouldered Hawk
  42. Broad-winged Hawk
  43. Red-tailed Hawk
  44. Sora
  45. Common Gallinule
  46. American Coot
  47. Whooping Crane
  48. Black-necked Stilt
  49. American Golden-Plover
  50. Semipalmated Plover
  51. Killdeer
  52. Spotted Sandpiper
  53. Solitary Sandpiper
  54. Greater Yellowlegs
  55. Lesser Yellowlegs
  56. Upland Sandpiper
  57. Pectoral Sandpiper
  58. Wilson's Snipe
  59. American Woodcock
  60. Wilson's Phalarope
  61. Bonaparte's Gull
  62. Ring-billed Gull
  63. Herring Gull
  64. Caspian Tern
  65. Forster's Tern
  66. Rock Pigeon
  67. Eurasian Collared-Dove
  68. Mourning Dove
  69. Great Horned Owl
  70. Barred Owl
  71. Barn Owl
  72. Eastern Whip-poor-will
  73. Chimney Swift
  74. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  75. Belted Kingfisher
  76. Red-headed Woodpecker
  77. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  78. Downy Woodpecker
  79. Hairy Woodpecker
  80. Northern Flicker
  81. Pileated Woodpecker
  82. American Kestrel
  83. Peregrine Falcon
  84. Eastern Phoebe
  85. Great Crested Flycatcher
  86. Eastern Kingbird
  87. Loggerhead Shrike
  88. White-eyed Vireo
  89. Yellow-throated Vireo
  90. Blue-headed Vireo
  91. Warbling Vireo
  92. Red-eyed Vireo
  93. Blue Jay
  94. American Crow
  95. Fish Crow
  96. Horned Lark
  97. Northern Rough-winged Swallow
  98. Purple Martin
  99. Tree Swallow
  100. Bank Swallow
  101. Barn Swallow
  102. Cliff Swallow
  103. Carolina Chickadee
  104. Black-capped Chickadee
  105. Tufted Titmouse
  106. White-breasted Nuthatch
  107. House Wren
  108. Carolina Wren
  109. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  110. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  111. Eastern Bluebird
  112. Swainson's Thrush
  113. Wood Thrush
  114. American Robin
  115. Gray Catbird
  116. Brown Thrasher
  117. Northern Mockingbird
  118. European Starling
  119. American Pipit
  120. Ovenbird
  121. Worm-eating Warbler
  122. Louisiana Waterthrush
  123. Blue-winged Warbler
  124. Black-and-white Warbler
  125. Prothonotary Warbler
  126. Tennessee Warbler
  127. Nashville Warbler
  128. Kentucky Warbler
  129. Common Yellowthroat
  130. Hooded Warbler
  131. American Redstart
  132. Cerulean Warbler
  133. Northern Parula
  134. Yellow Warbler
  135. Palm Warbler
  136. Pine Warbler
  137. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  138. Yellow-throated Warbler
  139. Prairie Warbler
  140. Black-throated Green Warbler
  141. Yellow-breasted Chat
  142. Eastern Towhee
  143. Chipping Sparrow
  144. Field Sparrow
  145. Vesper Sparrow
  146. Savannah Sparrow
  147. Grasshopper Sparrow
  148. Song Sparrow
  149. Swamp Sparrow
  150. White-throated Sparrow
  151. White-crowned Sparrow
  152. Summer Tanager
  153. Scarlet Tanager
  154. Northern Cardinal
  155. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  156. Blue Grosbeak
  157. Indigo Bunting
  158. Red-winged Blackbird
  159. Eastern Meadowlark
  160. Yellow-headed Blackbird
  161. Rusty Blackbird
  162. Common Grackle
  163. Brown-headed Cowbird
  164. Orchard Oriole
  165. Baltimore Oriole
  166. House Finch
  167. Purple Finch
  168. American Goldfinch
  169. House Sparrow
  170. Eurasian Tree Sparrow