The trees are alive with the songs of warblers

We went out this morning with the Lake-Cook Chapter of the Illinois Audubon Society to two Lake County Forest Preserves: Daniel Wright Woods and Ryerson Woods. For a group hoping for a warbler fallout, the excursion was a bit short on warblers but heavy on flycatchers (5 species). It was a great morning out with about 28 other birders and 57 different species seen by the group.

We started at Daniel Wright at 7:00am.

The trees were full of birds.

The Trees are Alive with the Sound of Warblers

I swear, they were! What else would these people be looking at? (Can’t tell they are birders, can you?)


I didn’t have a prayer to photograph most of the birds we saw today. You know how warblers are.

We saw this Olive-sided Flycatcher (the one that says “quick, three beers!”) working over a bug, maybe a bee.

Olive-sided Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher w/ bug

We also spotted a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher nest and two adults foraging on a picnic table. We got very nice looks but I only managed these butt shots.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on nest

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

All during the morning our large group had to clear the path for runners, walkers, and bikers. We would shout out “bikers!” or “runners!” to warn the rest of the our group of birders to clear the way. At one point during the walk, our group split up a bit and the part of the group that had walked ahead spotted a Black-throated Blue Warbler – a great find. When the birders in the second group heard what we had, well, we had to shout out “running birders!” because they really hustled over to get on the bird. 🙂 Here’s part of our group working on their warbler necks.

Warbler Neck

Another interesting find for the day was this unusually-plumaged Indigo Bunting singing his heart out. He is probably young as he is rather dull and does not sport the bright blue feathers typical of this species.

The group was lead by Mike Trahan and I thought he was another outstanding leader. He, along with fellow members of Lake-Cook Audubon, made sure everyone got looks at all of the birds.

Share the birds, share the love!
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