Sunday, January 29, 2012

1st pics of Winter birds of 2012 in Northern Illinois

A winter scene from Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.
I interrupt my regular scheduled series of "Birds form Southeast Arizona" to bring you photos from my first winter birding outings this January.  I havn't been out as much as I'd like to (only twice), but I managed to get a couple of firsts. My first pic of a Cackling Goose (which became #358 on my life List), and the first Pine Siskin to show up in our yard (the 39th different species of bird to appear in our yard since I started keeping track two years ago). Below are photos of some of the only 30 bird species I've seen so far in 2012: American Goldfinch, American Crow, American Tree Sparrow, Belted Kingfisher, Black-capped Chickadee, Blue Jay, Canada Goose, Cackling Goose, Cedar Waxwing, Dark-eyed Slate-colored Junco, Downy Woodpecker, European Starling, Fox Sparrow, House Finch, House sparrow, Mallard Duck, Mourning Dove, Northern Cardinal, Pine Siskin, Red-bellied woodpecker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red-tailed Hawk, Ring-billed Gull, Rock Dove, Ruddy Duck, Song Sparrow, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.
American Tree Sparrow in my yard, Rockford, IL; 1/22/2012.

The smaller goose on the left with the shorter neck and stubbier bill is a Cackling Goose. You can see the size difference from the Canada on the right, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL; 1/22/2012.
Cedar Waxwings sharing a meal, Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve, Rockford, IL; 1/16/2012.
A Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco on the backyard feeder,  Rockford, IL; 1/21/2012.

Another Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco on the backyard feeder, Rockford, IL; 1/28/2012.
A female Slate-colored Dark-eyed Junco in our yard, Rockford, IL; 1/28/2012.
One of my surprises of this early winter is this Fox Sparrow , which I didn't expect to see until Spring,  Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.
The same Fox Sparrow sipping from a cold stream in  Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.
A flock of House Sparrows like to hide in this pile of branches in our backyard, Rockford, IL; 1/16/2012.
Mourning Doves have become more numerous feeding at our backyard feeder, Rockford, IL 1/21/2012.
Northern Cardinals are frequent visitors in our yard all year long, Rockford, IL 1/21/2012.
This Pine Siskin was hanging with Goldfinches and feeding on our thistle seed feeder. It was the first Pine Siskin I have seen in our yard, Rockford, IL 1/15/2012.
Pine Siskins have been appearing almost daily at our feeders this winter, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.
Another regular visitor in our yard, the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Rockford, IL 1/21/2012.
A Song Sparrow; Espenscheid Forest Preserve, Rockford, IL; 1/16/2012.
Another Song Sparrow standing in the icy stream, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.

Another surprise for the winter was this Yellow-rumped "Myrtle" Warbler feeding off of some berries in Blackhawk Springs Forest Preserve ... and, No, this photo is not upside down. Warblers are not winter birds here in Northern Illinois, but if one would be found it would be these guys. Rockford, IL; 1/16/2012.

A week later I saw another Yellow-rumped Myrtle, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.
The same yellow-rump, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.
The same "butter butt" sipping from the same stream as the Fox Sparrow (Above). They were only yards from eachother, Rock Cut State Park, Rockford, IL 1/22/2012.

I hope you enjoyed my slight diversion of Northern Illinois January birds. Next weekend I'll return to my series of birds from my trip to Arizona in December: Fri. 2/3 - Pyrrhuloxias; Sat. 2/4 - Curve-billed Thrashers; and Sun. 2/5 - Brewer's and Clay-colored Sparrows.

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