This weekend was very busy, and following the Burrowing Owl in Chicago, the number of rarities in the Midwest only will increase. I was really hoping for something rare to show up this past week in Chicago, but the main push of migrants was on the weekend. Unfortunately, I was not in town because I had to go up to Northfield, Minnesota to look at St. Olaf and Carleton colleges. While I was gone, a few rarities landed in Illinois, mainly a Golden-crowned Sparrow in deep southern Illinois (Wayne County), and a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Willowhill Golf Course in Northbrook, near Chicago. The flycatcher was only about 20 miles from my house and would be a state bird for me.
After arriving in Chicago on Sunday at around 11:00 PM, I convinced my Mom to take me to see the bird after I did some homework. It took about 40 minutes to get there, and we arrived at Willowhill at about 2:30. Looking at the birders there, they seemed to be watching the bird, so I made a mad dash up the hill and got my state Scissor-tailed Flycatcher! This was Illinois State bird 305 and Cook County bird 259. Here are some photos:
While there, we also saw a few raptors such as this Red-tailed Hawk, which sat up nicely on a pine tree, and a Sharp-shinned Hawk which flushed out of a hedge and right over our heads. It was a really beautiful day to be out, and it was made even better by the new state bird.
Thanks for reading!