(6/1) The calendar may have flipped to June, but that doesn't mean migration has come to a screeching stop. I started off with a bang and a chance for redemption when a late Worm Eating Warbler was found at Graceland Cemetery, the only rarity on my year list that I was unable to get a photo of. Documentation is a huge part of a big year (maybe as important as seeing the birds themselves), so I made sure to stop by Graceland and snap quick photo of the bird. It's been an incredible year for Worm Eating Warblers in Cook County, with a whopping total of 6 individuals showing up this spring.
At first, my search wasn't going well, having gone two hours without any luck. But then suddenly, I heard a distant rising call note that sounded like it could have been the Bobwhite. As I was inching closer to the origin of the sound, it called again, then once more, and eventually showed itself hiding deep in the underbrush...I had found it, a NORTHERN BOBWHITE! Elated, I recognized that this was my 3rd game bird species in Cook County this year, and I had self-found all 3 of them. Given the urban sprawl of the Chicago area, game birds are particularly hard to find anywhere near the city. If I'm not mistaken, this may be the first time in decades where anyone has had a Cook County game bird slam for their year list.
On the way out, I ran into my friend Jeff Skrentny, who said he had been looking for this bird all year. I guess today was my lucky day :)
#254. Northern Bobwhite
#255. Piping Plover
Eurasian Tree Sparrow: