First 100 species!

Today involved some stuff in southern Lake County, specifically Ryerson Forest Preserve (Lake County's only extensive Sugar Maple and Basswood forest), Heller Nature Center, and Independence Grove Forest Preserve. The highlight of the day was also the first observation of the day -- a Pileated Woodpecker! (For those birders out there thinking "so what, they're in my back yard every other day", this species is surprisingly difficult to find in Lake County, IL. This was only my third, in 35 years of birding the area -- in the same Forest Preserve as the first one, back in the late 90's.)

Other finds at Ryerson included a melanistic Gray Squirrel (finally!), Eastern Black Walnut, and the first Protozoa of the year, Chocolate Tube Slime. Moving onto Heller, I was pleased to find offspring of the Red and Eastern White Pines planted there years ago. But the bird feeders weren't drawing much, I don't know if the feeders were empty on this Sunday, or if the warm weather isn't forcing the birds to visit.

At Independence Grove, finally some ducks, although the lake's big enough to make photography difficult. The surprising thing there was a near-adult Bald Eagle flying overhead. The bridge across the Des Plaines River has a surprisingly diverse and dense lichen flora on the rails -- definitely worth a look for anyone visiting.

Yesterday involved a couple of my favorite spots in the county -- Volo Bog SNA, and Gander Mt. Forest Preserve. Didn't find anything remarkable, but the typical finds at Volo Bog this time of year include Tamarack, Winterberry Holly, and Poison Sumac. Admittedly, having half the boardwalk closed pending repairs is a bit of a downer, but at least we can reach the middle of the bog. Gander Mountain was good for a number of shelf mushrooms, but my favorite part of the place is the insects -- not the best yield in January in NE Illinois.

Overall right now, 108 species, including 36 plants, 32 fungi, 29 birds, 4 insects, 3 mammals, one annelid, one mollusk, and one protistan.

Anotado por psweet psweet, enero 06, lunes 00:18

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Carpintero de Cresta Dryocopus pileatus

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psweet

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Enero 5, 2020 09:08 AM CST

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