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     Got kinduva late start after having Easter breakfast w/ my family and
watching my 7-yo niece hunt eggs, but arrived at TGP about 10:30 a.m. Not
much action around the bubbler. Highlights:
WHITE-EYED VIREO
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET
HERMIT THRUSH
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW
RUFOUS-SIDED TOWHEE
BROWN THRASHER
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER
CAROLINA WREN
     Got to Busch CA shortly b4 noon. At Hampton Lake, saw OSPREY flying
away carrying a big fish. Along road from there to Archery area, saw WILD
TURKEY.
     Had pretty good luck at Archery area, especially at the bridge over
Dardenne Creek. Pretty much saw what I was hoping for there. Felt good b/c I
mostly heard the birds first, recognized what I was hearing and then
confirmed with sightings. Because bird songs aren't my strong suit and I
hadn't heard warblers singing since last year, I was pleased to get them
right. Had EASTERN BLUEBIRD and BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER on the nest along the
trail to the bridge. Pair of EASTERN PHOEBES were singing and hanging around
on the bridge superstructure. Heard NORTHERN PARULA singing and then saw it
right where they seem to be every year, in the trees above the bridge
superstructure. Heard YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER singing and spotted him, where
else? In tall sycamore along the creek. At least two and maybe three or four
LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH were working their way back and forth under the bridge
and singing their heads off, got great looks. Also had WHITE-EYED VIREO
there.
     Next stop was Shorebird Area. Had many YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and a
WARBLING VIREO in trees around the parking lot. TREE SWALLOWS and BARN
SWALLOWS flying over the pools, lotsa BLUE-WINGED TEAL swimming in them.
Walked the wet trail to the blind on the side closest to the road but didn't
kick up much. Three shorebirds in that pool. My best guess w/binocs only was
two GREATER YELLOWLEGS together and a SOLITARY SANDPIPER playing solitaire.
He had an eye ring.
     Went from there to Lost Valley. Kinda disappointed b/c I failed to find
or hear CERULEAN WARBLER. Had a number of NORTHERN PARULA and BLUE-GRAY
GNATCATCHER along the first stretch of the trail after leaving the parking
lot. Had pair of GNATCATCHERS singing on the nest and bringing more building
material. Got good look at the nest, which is an interesting construction,
kinda looks like one of those little Native American baskets, very neat and
well-made. Seemed to be most activity where the trail and the creek make the
first big bend to the left. In apparent attempt to keep bikers from plunging
into the creek, as the bank at the bend has eroded almost into the trail,
there now is a little loop to detour around that area (my first time there
since last year, so it was new to me). In that area of the creek bend and
the loop, I had excellent looks at PARULA again and YELLOW-THROATED WARBLER.
In little clearing area off the new loop (the one with all the blue insect
traps or whatever they are sticking up out of the grass), heard a DICKCISSEL
singing but could never get a look at him. Same w/YELLOW-THROATED VIREO
somewhere on the other side of the creek. Cupla BARRED OWLS were
sweet-talking each other (mid-afternoon was kinda gloomy w/ occasional light
sprinkles). Then had to call it a day to get back to my sister's house for
dinner.
     Not a big list, but a nice day for me, first real day out of the
migration, and just enjoyed hearing all the singing.

Steve Whitworth, Glen Carbon, Madison County, IL





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