Today was one of my favorite kinds of days. It was one of those days that reminds us of the unpredictability of nature. That exciting and suspenseful element that's part of what makes birding so great came up multiple times today. The two species that really brought on the unpredictable element, in my mind, were SWAINSON'S HAWKS (of which there were around 3 more reports in IL today) and especially WILSON'S PHALAROPE (of which there were around 5 reports today in IL today). (See this flickr set from one group of birds at FermiLab, in DuPage Co.--they're absolutely stunning.) Really interesting in light of the conditions for migration last night. It comes to show that regardless of the conditions, some birds are always going to move. Some other species that were moving include FRANKLIN'S GULL, UPLAND SANDPIPERS, SPOTTED and SOLITARY SANDPIPERS, TUNDRA SWANS, BREWER'S and RUSTY BLACKBIRDS, and few isolated arrivals like an early BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER (likely arrived last night), and a stray EARED GREBE. So even if we lacked any large-scale bird movement last night, today was no less exciting to be part of the birding community. And for those of us who missed any of these specialties, we still have EASTERN PHOEBES, BROWN THRASHERS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS, HERMIT THRUSHES, and many remaining waterbirds to enjoy.
|Now on the backside of the high-pressure system (the big H)|
So what to expect in the next 24 hours? Your eyes and ears should be open for arrivals and influxes of AMERICAN BITTERNS, BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERONS, SORAS, VIRGINIA RAILS, both YELLOWLEGS, PECTORAL, SPOTTED, and SOLITARY SANDPIPER, WILLET (for those on the lakefront), CHIMNEY SWIFTS, EASTERN KINGBIRDS, BLUE-HEADED and RED-EYED VIREOS, HOUSE WRENS, MARSH WRENS, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHERS, GRAY CATBIRDS, all the expected swallows + CLIFF SWALLOW, all the expected sparrows (especially take note of LE CONTE'S SPARROWS, GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS, and LARK SPARROWS), warblers including but not limited to ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS, BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS, PINE WARBLERS, YELLOW WARBLERS, HOODED WARBLERS, BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLERS, NORTHERN PARULAS and LOUISIANA + NORTHERN WATERTHRUSHES, COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, WOOD THRUSHES, SWAINSON'S THRUSHES, ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, INDIGO BUNTINGS, SCARLET and SUMMER TANAGERS, BREWER'S, RUSTY, and YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS.