A perk to attending full-time summer school is that I (Veery) get Fridays off and I have been using this day to take my son and oldest neice birding. Today we went to Four Lakes Forest Preserve here in Winnebago County, Illinois.
Four Lakes Forest Preserve is 168-acres of four small man-made lakes. The biggest draw to this area is fishing, but it is usually a quiet place to bird in the morning hours.
This is the District’s most popular fishing area. Fish stocked include: bluegills, channel catfish, largemouth bass (catch & release on bass at this location), walleye, brown bullheads, redear sunfish, northern pike, golden and silver shiners, fathead minnows. –Winnebago County Forest Preserve District
With all of these fish (and plenty of frogs) come the Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers. One pair of Belted Kingfishers was nesting at the farthest end of the lakes and we saw them coming and going, rattling loudly. We found Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Wood Pewees, Warbling Vireos, and Cedar Waxwings as well.
The weather was a bit cool today, but the birds were really active and fun to watch. Four Lakes a good place for morning birding, when birders, fishermen, and fisher-birds are the main occupants.