Searching For A Broad Winged Hawk At Ft Sheridan & Ryerson Tue 9-21-21 & Wed 9-22-21

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Al Stokie

Sep 22, 2021, 5:11:28 PMSep 22
to IBET - Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts
Hello Bird People,

After the rain stopped on Tuesday I arrived at the Fort Sheridan Hawk
Watch at 10:30 a.m. & stayed until 1 p.m. My target was a Broad Winged
Hawk for my Year List. There were about ten others there including
regulars & visitors. but we found no Broad Wings while I was there.
Highlights while I was present were 2 Ospreys, 2 Merlins & a Peregrine
Falcon. Also saw a battle between a Cooper's Hawk & a Red Tailed Hawk
plus many Chimney Swifts.

With the winds shifting to straight from the north on Wednesday I
changed my plan & went to Ryerson C.A. This because on north winds the
lakefront hawk watches have no advantages for Broad Wings they are
usually found farther west unless a west or N.W. wind blows them
toward the lake. And since Broad Wings like to migrate along rivers
(Fox, Des Plaines, etc.) I thought Ryerson might be a good place to

Ryerson C.A. (8:45 a.m.-1 p.m.)

Arrived at 8:45 a.m. & spent the 1st couple of hours walking the trail
along the river starting from the farm area. Just at the river I
thought I had a Broad Wing in a tree but it turned out to be a
Cooper's Hawk. Here's what I saw along the river trail.

Mallard (2)
Ring Billed Gull (3 fly-bys)
Mourning Dove (3)
Red Bellied Woodpecker (4)
Downy Woodpecker (2)
Hairy Woodpecker (1-M)
Flicker (8)
Blue Jay (15-20, the most common land bird today)
Chickadee (4)
W.B. Nuthatch (5)
House Wren (1, chattering away)
EASTERN BLUEBIRD (4, with 1 or 2 being young ones)
Robins (10)
Gray Catbird (2)
Magnolia Warbler (2)
Blackpoll (2)
Redstart (5)
Black Throated Green (1-M)
Palm Warbler (6)
Y.R. Myrtle Warbler (4)
(Plus lots of Warblers zipping by which I could not I.D.)
Rose Breasted Grosbeak (1)
House Finch (3)
Goldfinch (4)
House Sparrow (2)
But the best bird along the river was a big GREAT HORNED OWL which I
saw as the Blue Jays were making such a fuss.

Then from 10:30 to 1 p.m I sat in my folding hawk watch chair &
scanned above the river & to the north, Saw nothing but lots of Geese
but at about 11:30 a MERLIN shot by heading south.
And then 10 min later I hit paydirt as a BROAD WINGED HAWK went by
right above where I was sitting near the parking lot. Yes! Stayed for
over an hour after that thinking I'd see some more but I saw no more
Broad Wings. Guess I was lucky to see one. Other birds seen while
sitting were one adult Red Winged Hawk & one Cormorant. The Red Wing
was hunting not migrating as was another Cooper's Hawk I saw.

Bird-Of-The-Day to the migrating Broad Winged Hawk & Runners-Up were
the big Great Horned Owl & the small Philly Vireo. Turned out to be a
better day than I had 1st thought.

Al Stokie
In southern Lake County today
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