IOS Spontaneous Shorebirding Field Trip Results - August 23, 2014

Despite the predicted insane heat and humidity, the weather was actually much better than expected for the Illinois Ornithological Society’s spontaneous shorebirding field trip on Saturday, August 23rd.  Beginning around the 7:00 AM meeting time, our group of 10 (eventually) made our way out across the cross-dike at Chautauqua to find AMERICAN AVOCETS and WILSON’S and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES out in the shallows of the north pool.  A lone LITTLE BLUE HERON was found in the wetland vegetation next to the parking area.  Some BAIRD’S SANDPIPERS were also in good showing from the cross-dike among many other common shorebirds.  The more than 100 BLACK TERNS roosting on the flats and feeding over the water was a neat sight in the foggy morning light.  A group of the HUDSONIAN GODWITS were visible from the cross-dike but only as a group of large distant shorebirds.  Being perhaps a mile or more away in haze, yeah, we decided to save those for later.  Continue reading IOS Spontaneous Shorebirding Field Trip Results – August 23, 2014

Carlyle Pelagic September 27

IOS is pleased to announce this year’s Carlyle Lake Field Trip to be held, Saturday, September 27th, 2014. This trip includes the popular three-hour pelagic aboard comfortable pontoon boats.

Long-tailed Jaeger is the most hoped for of possible rarities on this trip.

Long-tailed Jaeger is the most hoped for of possible rarities on this trip.

We will meet at McDonald’s at 6:30 AM. The trip most likely will end around 7:30 pm. This is an all day field trip, beginning with a lake scan from Dam West Beach before we travel to Eldon Hazlet State Park to search for migrant songbirds. We’ll hit several areas at Hazlet before lunch. Lunch will be fast food or bring your own, but we’ll gather at the Dam West picnic area where we’ll be able to enjoy the shade, yet search for more birds while we eat.

After lunch we’ll hit a few areas for shorebirds and waders, depending on lake levels.

The boat trip will begin at 3:30 pm placing us on the lake at the best feeding time for gulls, terns and other waterbirds. As always, we hope to find SABINE’S GULL, any JAEGER species and both RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES.

Bring plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, mud boots and hat.

Those planning on staying Saturday night may wish to join us for a group supper at a nearby restaurant. Recommended Hotel/Motels are available in Carlyle, Greenville, Salem and Vandalia.

There is a fee associated with this field trip to cover the costs of pontoon rental and gasoline. In addition, $5 per participant goes to the IOS Grants program. The fee is $30 for existing IOS members and $50 for non-IOS members. The $50 fee for non-members registers you for the field trip, and also pays for a one-year IOS membership and all the benefits, including 4 issues of the outstanding IOS journal, The Meadowlark.

This field trip is limited to 45 participants with IOS members receiving first priority. Trip registration and payment below. Registration will not be accepted without full payment in advance. The leader is not accepting payment or registrations. Persons not using the website and paypal must promptly register by sending full payment to the IOS post office box and note that their payment is for “Carlyle pelagic.”

The trip will fill up fast. IOS will not make refunds but will allow substitutes; if you sign up for the trip and cannot attend, it will be your responsibility to notify the leader of your substitute. If you cannot provide a substitute, the trip leader will take the first name on the waiting list as a replacement.. If you have any questions about the trip feel free to contact the leader at or by telephone at (618) 560-9450.

Looking forward to another great trip!

Thanks and good birdings!

Keith McMullen
Trip Leader

 Registration and Payment


Rusty Blackbird Blitz

The International Rusty Blackbird Working Group (IRBWG) has been studying this species for a number of years, trying to determine why Rustys have declined 85-95% since the mid 1900’s, according to the best available estimates! Quoting from their website, “The Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) is a widespread North American species that has shown chronic long-term and acute short-term population declines, based both on breeding season and wintering ground surveys.”


Continue reading Rusty Blackbird Blitz