Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crossbills

After birding the Indiana lakefront on Lake Michigan without many highlights other than two Northern Shrikes my brother Rob and I went into bird the Illinois lakefront on Lake Michigan for the first time. We started early as the sun just reached over the horizon at Illinois Beach State Park. This state park comprises large inland marshes and miles of lakeshore. Our main objective for the day was to find White-winged Crossbills and other winter finches.

This was taken as the sun rose over Lake Michigan on a windy day at Illinois Beach State Park.


Our first bird after getting out of the car was a large flock of Pine Siskins calling as they flew over. We didn’t have a single siskin the day before in Indiana so it was a good bird to start off our day. Overall there were very few birds in the park so we headed to our next stop at Lyons Woods in Lake County Illinois. After getting out of the car we entered this large stand of pines and spruces. After just a few steps in we heard crossbills flying over, lucky for us they settled down on the edge so we were able to see them after hiking back to the edge. They didn’t stay long but we were able to see smaller groups flying over and sitting in the spruces for the next hour and a half. Unlike the Red Crossbill the White-wings feed on spruces because they have weaker bills than the Red Crossbills. After finding many crossbills we stopped along the lake a few more times without any highlights.

Today I had a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker come to our feeders in Indianapolis. This is the first time I have seen one at the feeders although I have had many in the yard in the past just never at the feeders.

Have a Great Thanksgiving

3 comments:

dAwN said...

I have to thank you for all your posts...they are very informative..I am always learning something on your blog.
I havent noticed you on the Nature blog network..I think you would be a great addition to the network..
http://natureblognetwork.com/
thanks again for a very informative blog.

dAwN said...

oh..just noticed you are on the nature blog network...nevermind...tee hee

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