Target Birds and a Late Night at Deer Run Forest Preserve

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

After resting up, we headed over to Espenscheid Memorial Forest Preserve in hopes of finding a White-eyed Vireo. Success! We believe this bird is or will be nesting here.

We then jetted over to Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve where last Tuesday Birdfreak found a Clay-colored Sparrow. He was there singing away…could we hope for nesting?

Sunset at Deer Run Forest Preserve
Deer Run Forest Preserve

With a new bird high, we headed to Deer Run Forest Preserve. Our plan was to stay until dark. A long hike to where we once found a Yellow-breasted Chat went chatless. A lucky alternative was a close encounter with a Black-billed Cuckoo!!

We had new finds of Orchard Oriole and Savannah Sparrow. Henslow’s Sparrow hiccuped as darkness fell. A familiar peent alerted us to American Woodcocks which we observed displaying. Other night birds included Barred and Great Horned Owls and a Common Nighthawk.

Sunset at Deer Run Forest Preserve
Deer Run Forest Preserve at Sunset

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