Long Walks and Western Meadowlarks

This is the part five of six of Birdfreak’s 72-hour birding extravaganza. Our goal was to find as many bird species as possible within Winnebago County, Illinois.

We started our third and last day a bit later, departing for Sugar River Alder Forest Preserve at 0600. We were in search of warblers, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Lark Sparrow. We still could not find a Red-headed but we did add a Kentucky Warbler and found the Lark Sparrow.

Lark Sparrow
Lark Sparrow

After several miles of hiking, we headed down the road to yet another Winnebago County Forest Preserve, Colored Sands. Here we met up with two bird club members and together found a overzealous Prothonotary Warbler and heard another Black-billed Cuckoo. Lucky for us, our birding friends found a Red-headed Woodpecker earlier in the day so we could add it to the list!

Prothonotary Warbler checking us out
Prothonotary Warbler

Storm clouds were moving in so we decided to cool down the hiking by driving to the southern part of the county and closer to home. We drove along a gravel road along the county line (Ogle/Winnebago) and found Western Meadowlarks (in our county).

Gravel road where Western Meadowlarks live
Road to Western Meadowlarks

A storm quickly came up and blew dust into our open windows, caking every surface of the car, bins, camera, and faces with dust. We waited out the storm and then headed to one last place for warblers…

The Birdfreak Volvo covered in crud
Dirty Volvo After Birding

4 thoughts on “Long Walks and Western Meadowlarks

  1. Wow. I have never driven or walked anywhere to get bird photographs. Of course I don’t have a large selection like you guys do but I have what comes here. LOL.

    My car stays neat and clean too. I smiled when I saw the picture of the car.

    If you look at my blog where you were I think you can scroll down and look at the list I have posted so far. Anyway, there is an Eastern Meadowlark there. I had never seen a Western until I saw your photo this morning.

    Thanks for the visit and comment. I appreciate it.

  2. Western Meadowlarks? Awesome! I hear the Easterns almost everyday, but have never had the pleasure of hearing a Western. Love the Lark Sparrow, too.

  3. Abraham Lincoln – you are welcome. My car gets washed every time it rains 🙂

    Moe – The westerns are outnumbered greatly by easterns but there are a few places where they seem to be regular in our county. I’m sure Iowa has some too but I don’t know where.

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