Chicago Sun-Times
Stray Casts will intelligently report and observe, hopefully with a touch of wit, on daily occurrences, reports and releases related to Chicago-area outdoors from bucks to bass to birds to bugs

Wild Sunday 9-7-08: a frigatebird, spoonbills and a cicada killer

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On my morning ramble with Storm last week, I finally was able to get a photo of my own cicada killer.


I do enjoy my small outdoor pleasures.

The cicado killer was dead on the sidewalk. I stuck it in a small plastic container so the kids could be properly amazed, and, to their credit, all four were.

On a wider scale, I was more curious this week about the possibilities of the remnants of Gustav. It brought 3 inches of rain and some interesting reports on IBET, the birding network for Illinois.

Long-time Chicago birder Robert Hughes posted this note Thursday:

``Looks like the center of what's left of Hurricane Gustav will pass over northeastern Illinois later today. Gustav deposited a Cory's Shearwater, Sooty Terns, and a Magnificent Frigatebird in Oklahoma recently. Tomorow might be interesting along Lake Michigan or on inland lakes.''

The remnants of tropical weather sometimes brings weird tropical birds deep inland, as far north as the shores of Lake Michigan.

And Illinois had some.

There was a report of a magnificent frigatebird on the Illinois-Indiana line on Thursday.

Steve Bailey, the birding expert from the Illinois Natural History Survey, posted this on on a magnificent frigatebird Thursday:

``Per Bob's recent post on keeping your eyes open for "hurricane" birds, Marilyn Campbell, former executive director of Illinois Audubon just phoned me to inform me that a few hours ago, she was on her way to Forest Glen County Forest Preserve (Vermilion County) near the Indiana line in east-central Illinois, when she noticed a large bird approaching. As it got closer, she realized it was a MAGNIFICENT FRIGATEBIRD. The bird was flying eastward, so she drove ahead, got out and waited for it to fly by, and snapped a couple of pictures. She also filled out a doc form so I can't wait to see it and the pics. Of course, the bird continued on eastward out of sight. Keep your eyes open, especially around large bodies of water, and especially along Lake Michigan. Good seabirding!''

For a photo and general info on magnificent frigatebirds from Cornell Lab of Ornithology, click here.

An IBET report came of four roseate spoonbills sighted in Union County in far southern Illinois by the Mississippi on Friday, and another report on Saturday from Bruce Heimer, who made the trek from Elmhurst. I'm assuming they are related to Gustav too.

For a photo and general info on roseate spoonbills from Cornell, click here.

I am fascinated by weather and I'm wondering if Ike will track in such a way to bring some more strangers late this week or next.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on September 7, 2008 7:17 AM.

``Borrowed hooks & other looks:'' A line in the water? was the previous entry in this blog.

Illinois hunting report 9-9-08 is the next entry in this blog.

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