A Better Gander Pt 1 of 2

Greetings from the wetlands everyone!  If you recall, last weekend my brother Ron and I were planning to do some birding near the Illinois-Wisconsin border.  My youngest poodle was running in an agility competition up in Spring Grove and we were camping at our favorite state park up there, Chain O’ Lakes.  Since Ron lives in Chicago it’s a fairly short drive to meet up and hunt down some birds.  I also mentioned we have the uncanny ability to force it to rain simply by planning the outing.  True to course, IT RAINED.. in fact it rained before we left, then rained on Saturday and again on Sunday and basically ever since.  Now, this also may be due to us just having a new well drilled – Murphy’s Law for sure.  The good news is we were able to get our birding in between the storms on Sunday!  One of the places we decided to visit was Gander Mountain Forest Preserve near Antioch IL.  Last year was an awesome outing netting a ton of birds and even a  +1.  However, this year … TOTALLY SUCKED!  Might go into how awful it was in the second of this two part post, but for now I thought I’d simply go back to our previous visit back in May and finally process and post some of those finds.

First off, the smallest find of the day.

Gander Mountain Birding in Antioch IL

We caught this Ruby-Throated Hummingbird hanging out on the right side of the main loop. This is pretty much the only Hummer we have in the Midwest so no trouble ID’ing it.  Note I will mention that it was mighty hard to get in the tin thanks to all the trees and limbs that wanted to grab focus over its tiny stature.   Near the start of the trail, we were met with Mr. Noisy.  Telling you, these Catbirds can make quite a racket.  Since they are of the Mockingbird family, they’ll blast away at whatever new song they learned to mimic.  If you wait long enough, they’ll go back to their standard mewing giving them away instantly

Gander Mountain Birding in Antioch IL

Hit the break to see ore finds from the Gander trip.

Continue reading A Better Gander Pt 1 of 2