Saturday we were part of a wonderful field trip to Deer Run Forest Preserve, the place we have been surveying since December 1st. We had around 15 birders and saw quite a few nice prairie birds REALLY well.
Over the last few days Veery and Birdfreak have each been out to Deer Run but not for an official survey. So for the field trip, we decided to merge all the birds sighted into one “mini” survey.
One of the big highlights was a new bird, a Clay-colored Sparrow, the 16th species of sparrow found here. This was found the previous day, but not relocated on our field trip. However, everyone had scope-views of Grasshopper and Henslow’s Sparrows and also great views of Dickcissels and Eastern Meadowlarks.
There were numerous Lark Sparrows, a confirmed nester as we witnessed them carrying food and feeding their young.
Another new bird for the survey area was one of our prairie favorites, Dickcissel. We had both males and a female but heard them more often than we saw them.
We have now tallied 5,962 individual birds of 141 species.