This morning I packed my camera and binoculars and went to Fort Sheridan in Highland Park. I only discovered that place a couple of days ago; today it was my second visit there.
Unfortunately, I had a limited time for exploring the place. It doesn't take long, however, to notice its beauty. This is a real gem on the lakefront ! The bluffs, ravines, beautiful pebble beaches, large prairie, woods, birch trees; I can still see all of those things before my eyes.
Although I couldn't stay there as long as I wished, at least I made it there at the right time - once at sunset and today at sunrise.
Here are some pictures I ended up with:
I didn't do much birding, but I saw but I saw several common species. There were 2 Red-headed Woodpeckers by the parking lot - 1 adult, 1 imm., and that even before I left my car ! The young one was posing for nicely on a wooden pole but, as it is usual in a case like this, my camera was in the trunk ... When I opened the door, well ... you know what happened ;).
I wonder what birds one can see there on a good migration day, or if any waterfowl gathers on the lake in the winter time. Also, has someone ever tried hawkwatching over there ? The place has a very nice view over the prairie, toward the north and the west (not to mention the east - over the lake). I will definitely give it a try for the hawks next year.
After Fort Sheridan, I went to Chicago Botanic Gardens in hopes of seeing the Hoary. I saw about 30 Siskins and ~100 Common Redpolls, but no real candidate for the pale fellow.
The birds were quite tame and cooperative, more so than the sunlight ... Here is the best shot of a Redpoll I got during the visit. It's actually almost a full frame ! :)
Des Plaines, Cook Co.