Today - Thatcher Woods

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Ed McDevitt

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Sep 24, 2022, 2:08:10 PMSep 24
to IBET - Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts
Today four of us walked near the Trailside Museum. and then continued on to the north side of Thatcher.

On arrival in the Trailside parking lot we were accosted by a noisy flock of 8-10 Blue Jays, and they and many others were out in numbers throughout the walk. As we got ready to walk up the path near Trailside, we heard the oddest call, a sort of tooting, quite persistent. We were certain we had an exotic species to tell about. Not so fast. It was another Blue Jay, emitting a call we'd never heard before. Also as we arrived we saw a Cooper's Hawk flying low into the woods to the west.

Up the path in the woods to the south of the Trailside cages we once again heard what we hoped might be a Black-billed Cuckoo two weeks ago. This time it was only one of whatever it is and we could not locate it. We have labeled it a Yellow-billed Cuckoo Chipmunk. Along the path we saw numerous Yellow-rumped Warblers and some Mourning Doves. We soon decamped for the north side of the road.

On the north side of Thatcher we walked onto the large meadow and began to peruse the woods. We saw a Red-bellied Woodpecker high up on a dead tree, and something else was near it that clearly was not the same. It turned out to be a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, First of the Year for all of us, I think! I'm not at all used to seeing a FOY in the Fall.

When we arrived in the meadow we scanned it in the distance to see if birds were feeding in the grass. To our surprise, we spotted several Northern Flickers and commented that we don't usually see numbers of them together. Later, as we got a bit closer we counted 34 Northern Flickers in that grouping! 

We heard a Red-tailed Hawk calling as we walked the path in the woods toward the meadow. Once in the meadow, we spotted it soaring a couple of times.

On the walk on the Pavilion roadway back to the Trailside lot, we thought we saw an American Redstart and, possibly, a Kinglet. Later our walk leader identified a Redstart to the south of the Trailside lot, along with a Red-eyed Vireo.

Finally, as we traipsed back to our cars, 20 crows, a legitimate Murder of Crows, flew raucously over us.

So Bird of the Day was the Sapsucker; and Surprise of the Day was 34 Flickers feeding together on the grass.

I've attached a photo of our Flickers.

Today's list

Mourning Dove  3
Cooper's Hawk  1
Red-tailed Hawk  1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker  1
Red-bellied Woodpecker  2
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker  34
Red-eyed Vireo  1
Blue Jay  15
American Crow  20
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Red-breasted Nuthatch  3
American Robin  1
House Sparrow  20
American Redstart  1
Yellow-rumped Warbler  20
Northern Cardinal  1

Ed McDevitt
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