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Bay-breasted Warbler at Lippold Park
Filed under: General, Birding & Outdoors, Illinois
Posted by: Ken @ 8:06 am

Yesterday morning we had a break from the rain and headed for one of our favorite spring birding spots. Lippold Park hugs the east bank of the Fox River between Batavia and Aurora. Thanks to recent rains, the river ran fast and was barely contained within its banks. The sky was blue and the wind had not yet picked up. The ground was still quite wet.

Wake Robins were just starting to bloom:

Wake Robin 20090502

Many trees were in blossom, and bird songs were almost deafening. Such is spring in the north, in strong contrast to its rainless and prolonged arrival in Florida. It is the spring of my childhood in New Jersey, when warblers of several species often decorated the bare tree branches.

As usual, I birded mostly by ear, and Mary Lou made most of the sightings. Between the notes of the robins, cardinals, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Song Sparrows, and House Wrens, I was momentarily stumped by a familiar melody of quiet chortled whistles followed by a very loud “WICHEY! WICHEY! WICHEY!” I last heard this spring song over five years ago in the mountains of New Mexico, when I would have immediately recognized it as that of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but now I spent a quarter of an hour tracking down its source. It is amazing how some of the smallest birds, such as wrens and kinglets can make such loud noises.

I picked up the “UNIQUE NEW YORK, UNIQUE NEW YORK… (etc)” incessant warble of a Rose-breasted Grosbeak, visible on a distant perch:

Distant Rose-breasted Grosbeak 20090502

A Yellow-rumped Warbler bathed in a rivulet, his wings but a blur:

Yellow-rumped Warbler Bathing 20090502

Somberly dressed but, oh so beautiful, a Cedar Waxwing, one of our favorite birds, was an easy subject:

Cedar Waxwing 20090502

This Northern Cardinal boldly made his presence known…:

Northern Cardinal 20090502

… while an elusive Tennessee Warbler offered only fleeting views as it foraged in a treetop:

 Tennessee Warbler 20090502

Highlight of the morning was this very cooperative Bay-breasted Warbler, onr of two we sighted:

Bay-breasted Warbler 20090503

Bay-breastedWarbler 20090502

CHECKLIST REPORT (eBird) May 2, 2009 7:45 AM (2.5 hrs)
No.   Species (37)
30      Canada Goose (Giant)
12     Mallard
2     Great Blue Heron
2     Turkey Vulture
1     Osprey
1     Red-tailed Hawk
10     Rock Pigeon
6     Mourning Dove
1     Red-bellied Woodpecker
2     Downy Woodpecker
2     Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)
9     Blue Jay
1     American Crow
1     Tree Swallow
5     Barn Swallow
2     Black-capped Chickadee
2     Red-breasted Nuthatch
1     White-breasted Nuthatch
4     House Wren
1     Ruby-crowned Kinglet
25     American Robin (American)
6     Gray Catbird
5     European Starling
2     Cedar Waxwing
2     Tennessee Warbler
50     Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
20     Palm Warbler
2     Bay-breasted Warbler
6     Song Sparrow
2     White-throated Sparrow
3     Northern Cardinal
2     Rose-breasted Grosbeak
7     Red-winged Blackbird
10     Common Grackle
12     Brown-headed Cowbird
1     Baltimore Oriole
5     American Goldfinch

Here is a slide show of my photos taken at Lippold Park in springtime over the past two years. If you have trouble viewing it, try

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