Illinois Beach State Park Field Trip Roundup

Birding was S L O W. But we had a nice group of 12 birders and the weather was pleasant for November. Here’s a recap of what we saw.

Common birds were even lacking and hard to find. Several Blue Jays worked the oak trees along our main trail along the Dead River. We followed this trail out to Lake Michigan and scoped out the water. A large raft of Greater Scaups were the only birds other than Herring and Ring-billed Gulls.

I was the leader for the hike so my photography was a bit limited
Me at Illinois Beach SP

We met a group of birders that had traversed further south along the lakeshore to an area where permits are required to bird (they are limiting the number of people because of the ecological sensitivity of the area). They had a slow morning as well.

Prickly Pear along the dunes
Prickly Pear

We scoped out another section of lakefront and finally found a little variety: 3 Horned Grebes and 2 Buffleheads (could not get any photos).

13-lined Ground Squirrel – taken by Stacia
13-lined Ground Squirrel

Afterward, we headed to the north unit of the park where they conduct annual hawk counts. They too had a slow day with only five birds total when we arrived at lunch time. The birds may have been hard to find but we had a great time with good people and great weather.

A dragonfly along the trail

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