After 2 days of scouting, our team started our Big Day at 2 am on Sunday May 18th. We got off to a quick start at Kingsbury FWA where we heard all three of the expected owls, Barred, Eastern Screech, and Great Horned, as well as 12 other species. On our way to Michigan City, we made a quick stop by Striebel Pond to see the American White Pelican that was being seen there. It was a big bonus bird for our Big Day! After a quick predawn stop in Beverly Shores with very few birds, we headed over to Michigan City Harbor. In addition to the resident Peregrine Falcon which was our main target, we also added a couple of bonus birds, Common Merganser and Common Loon.
We quickly headed back to Beverly Shores so that we could be there just as the sun was rising. As we had anticipated, this was our best stop of the day! In 2.5 hours, we found 90 species including 23 species of warblers. As we moved west along the lakefront, we found all the expected species as well as a surprise Green-winged Teal at West Beach. Grant Street Wetland turned out to be an awesome stop with Yellow-headed Blackbird and several species of waterfowl. We made a quick stop at a power station to see Monk Parakeet and then headed south to Kankakee Sands.
|Yellow-headed Blackbirds are very rare breeding birds in Indiana.|
|Although this Upland Sandpiper was very cooperative on Saturday, we couldn't find it on Sunday during the competition.|
|Louisiana Waterthrush was one of the southern warblers that we were able to find at Owen-Putnam State Forest.|