Yesterday was one of those days. Warblers were everywhere. Ryerson Woods along the Des Plaines River seemed to have several migrating warblers in every tree. I spent most of my time with my eyes down searching every dense group of shrubs along the edges for the elusive and secretive Connecticut Warbler. No luck there so around 7:30 AM I drove to the Magic Hedge at Montrose Park. My brother Mark joined me here (which was a good thing as you’ll see).Lot’s of birders and you could see why. Again warblers everywhere. There were fifteen yellowstarts in a single patch s shrubs, as well as adult male Redstarts. Philadelphia Vireos, Hooded Warbler, multiple Mourning Warblers and at least five Canada Warblers. We were told that a Connecticut Warbler had been singing in the Magic Clump earlier, which increased our confidence.
We also ran into Ethan Gyllenhaal, an up and coming 16 year old birder from Oak Park. That was helpful because he could hear birds singing at a great distance. He heard a Northern Parula singing in Hammond, Indiana (I swear!). Still no luck on the Connecticut though so the three of us decided to follow up on a report of one at North Pond (off Fullerton). Many more warblers as well as this Philly that Ethan photographed.
Eventually we ended back up at Montrose. A guy leaving told us that he’d just had two Connecticuts in the open under the large Hawthorn. We immediately went there, but no luck. Now perhaps I’ve mentioned before told that Vanderpoels are good spotters? My brothers don’t spend time smoozing and reminiscing like I do. Today this trait paid off handsomely; Mark wandered over to another hawthorn and just stood there searching. Five minutes later he motioned me to get come over and I took off running followed closely by Ethan and several other people. There it was. A female Connecticut Warbler feeding in the leave litter underneath a Hawthorn Tree in plain sight! Mission accomplished. My work here is done. Tomorrow I fly to Denver and now have time to try for the Black Rail at Bent’s Fort BEORE Alaska. Stay tuned, I’m back on a roll. I’ll update tomorrow or Tuesday and discuss the pending Alaskan Adventure.