Upcoming Field Trips
For more information, look for announcements in Wings Over the Prairie and e-mail flashes to the IOS membership. The current IOS Field Trip Co-Chairmen are Dan Williams and Travis Mahan.
Participation on field trips is limited to Illinois Ornithological Society and Illinois Young BIrders members only. Registration should be made with the trip leader listed in the descriptions below.A word about PDFs. Several documents on this page are Portable Document Format files (PDFs). If you have trouble opening any of these PDFs, right-click directly on a PDF link and choose Save Target As from the menu that appears. Save the file to your desktop and double-click it. Adobe Reader will launch and the PDF will open up in it. If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer, click the graphic below and follow the instructions to download it. Adobe Reader is safe and completely free.
IOS January Field Trip:
Saturday, January 11, 2014 -
Meet at the upper dam on the Rock River in Rock Falls at 8:00 a.m. To reach this location from I-88, exit at IL 40 and go north on 40. Just before the Rock River bridge, turn right (east) on 2nd Street. Proceed to the power station at the upper dam about 5 blocks ahead. There is a small parking lot on the river side of the street by the power station.
In January 2012, 6 species of gulls, including Thayer’s, Glaucous, Iceland and Lesser Black-backed gulls were feeding on gizzard shad here. We will also check the open water below the dam for waterfowl, then go downstream a short distance to look for more of the same at the lower dam. Bald Eagles regularly perch on the island there.
Depending on what has been seen in the area before the trip, we may cross the river to visit a park or cemetery in Sterling for passerines or winter finches.
Then, we will head west toward the Mississippi River and Lock and Dam 13, passing through open country to look for Snow Buntings, Lapland Longspurs, Northern Shrikes and Rough-legged Hawks. At Lock and Dam 13 and the immediate area, more waterfowl, Bald Eagles (should be common to abundant) and we’ll try to lure in a Barred Owl and Pileated Woodpecker.
We’ll also check feeders in the Thomson (Carroll County) area for Eurasian Tree Sparrows if we haven’t already encountered them elsewhere. We plan to stop for lunch in the Savanna/Thomson area. This trip is open to IOS members. If time permits, we may work the bluffs east of Lost Mound to look for a soaring Golden Eagle. To sign up (no charge) please register with the co-leaders Dustin Holschuh or Dan Williams.
2014 GULL FROLIC February 15
Registration is now open for the 13th Annual IOS Gull Frolic. Pre-registration is required.
This year’s speaker will be our very own birder and naturalist, Joel Greenberg. Joel's presentation is titled "Hope is the Thing With Feathers: Americans and Three Birds". Learn how man has impacted 3 iconic bird species - at times to extinction, and at times saving a species on the brink of extinction. Joel will also conduct a book signing for his new title: "A Feathered River Across the Sky".Make sure to register soon as the event fills up well in advance. See the Gull Frolic page for more details and registration information: http://www.illinoisbirds.org/gull_frolic.html
Carlyle Lake Pelagic, September 14
Clinton Lake (DeWitt Co) October 19
On Saturday October 19th, IOS will be hosting a field trip to the Clinton Lake environs. We will meet at 8:30AM at the large Hucks gas station just south of I-74 at the Farmer City exit. Here we can stock up on snacks, use restrooms, and hopefully manage some car pooling if possible. We will start at the Upper Lake and work our way west to the big basins. We may have to come into the Upper Lake from a couple of directions to attempt good views of shorebird habitat as the situation up there as of late summer was a little tricky. But these specific areas often yield other birds of almost any family (ok -- I double checked my boast and we probably won't see any Tubenoses, Dippers or Wrentits) and the birding through here is usually pleasant regardless.
This really is not so much a target bird trip as it is a seasonally transitioning "anything is possible" trip. We may target Le Conte's Sparrows in the Dead Marshes if everyone is having too much fun, though. We usually get almost everyone out of there. Usually...
Restroom opportunities are frequent and we will probably call in a pizza lunch to the legendary De Witt General Store where weirdness is frequently a menu special (as Boondock's has usually closed down by now).
So come join us for a low key and hopefully bird-filled run through the Clinton Lake area. Please email Matt if you plan on coming or if you have any questions.