We are now back at our second home in Illinois, and this morning had a chance to visit our favorite patch, Nelson Lake/Dick Young Forest Preserve, Kane County, Batavia. We were seeking the Henslow’s Sparrow, Dicksissels and Bobolinks that were reported there the day before yesterday, but saw “none of the above.” Cool winds and the threat of rain shortened our visit.
A Grasshopper Sparrow gave us good views, reminiscent of last Spring, when this species was Mary Lou’s 500th ABA life bird, as described in this earlier post. We heard one singing quite close by, but could not find it. Then, one appeared suddenly, on the asphalt track that runs into the Preserve from the northern entrance.
Close examination of this photo reveals some bright yellow highlights that can easily go unnoticed:
About 20 feet away, the Grasshopper Sparrow sings its insect-like trill, barely audible above the wind:
A central white crown stripe is a distinctive characteristic of the Grasshopper Sparrow:
A Song Sparrow also entertained us:
Of course, we did have a good excuse for not getting right out into the field!