Flooded Waters and Fall Migration

Kishwaukee River Forest Preserve Flooding
Due to recent flooding in our area, birding has become somewhat of a challenge. Closed trails, mosquitoes in droves, mud and muck all over, and hot, muggy conditions pretty much describes our past week of birding. Well, fall migration is in full swing despite the weather and we have been finding all kinds of goodies.
Great Egret
We found a Great Egret hanging out at Oak Ridge Forest Preserve, a first for us in this area. There is a temporary wetland where there used to be prairie and the entire landscape looks different.

Oak Ridge Forest Preserve
Oak Ridge Forest Preserve
Migrating warblers have been grouping up and heading out this past week. Chestnut-sided Warblers, American Redstarts, and a Blackburnian Warbler were hanging out in a pack at another partially flooded preserve, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve. There have been flycatchers, Cedar Waxwings, and American Goldfinches almost everywhere we went.

This Yellow-billed Cuckoos were trying to avoid the paparazzi.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo (Closeup)

This young Cedar Waxwing wasn’t thrilled either
Cedar Waxwing
Is it worth the mud and mosquitoes? Well, tomorrow we head out to see if some of these wet areas are receding enough to contain some hungry shorebirds. Who knows what we’ll come across?

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