Lake County

IBSP North Unit- Sand Pond and Sand Pond Rd.

Sand Pond is right at the west entrance to the North Unit and just south of the Hawkwatch. The pond itself is surrounded by wetland areas and some shrubland. The gated road can be walked to the lake or one can walk the trail around the pond. This area can be excellent both for migrants

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Lake County

Bowen Park

Bowen Park is a spring migrant hot spot and probably the best spot in Lake County for Eastern Screech Owl. Carolina Wren has been found here on numerous occasions, as well. In spring warblers, vireos, and tanagers can be found here in numbers. Louisiana Waterthrush bred here in 2011 and can sometimes be found during

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Lake County

Illinois Beach State Park- South Unit

The South Unit of IBSP has native oak savanna, beach, and some scrubby riparian and wetland areas that host many migrants and winter waterfowl on the lake. Shorebirds, such as Piping Plover, Marbled Godwit, Sanderling, or Buff-breasted Sandpiper can be found on the beach during migration and the oak woodlands often host numerous warblers. The

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Lake County

Independence Grove

This forest preserve is one of the most popular in the county, and the main focus for both birders and the general public is the 115 acre lake. During migration, this is a great place to check for waterfowl. Common Loon are expected in spring, as well as the common diving ducks, including occasional Greater

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Lake County

Almond Marsh

Located in Northern Lake County, Almond Marsh is an active heron colony and is a part of the Lake County Forest Preserve District. In spring and summer, roosting birds include Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant, and the only reliable spot to find Black-crowned Night Heron in Lake County throughout the summer months. Post-breeding wanderers are

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Lake County

Lake County Fairgrounds

Though discovered years before, 2012 has seen a rise in interest in the Lake County Fairgrounds as a birding destination. With close proximity to a dump, it is easy to see what makes this spot stand out in the winter months.

The fairgrounds main parking lot is becoming a good destination for winter gulling in

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Lake County

Rollins Savanna

The marshy sloughs can be accessed from either the Washington St. parking area on the south, or the Drury Lane parking lot on the west (shorter walk from Drury Ln.) Birds breeding here include Yellow-headed Blackbird, American and Least Bittern, Sandhill Crane, Henslow’s, Savannah and Grasshopper Sparrows, Bobolink and other expected prairie species. In the

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Lake County

Middlefork Savanna

The marshy slough to the west of the visitor’s parking lot is the most reliable place to find King Rail in northern Illinois. Other breeding birds found here include Boblink, Henslow’s and Grasshopper Sparrows.

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Lake County

Lyon’s Woods

The pine grove north of the parking lot is a reliable place to look for Red and White-winged Crossbills in season. Red-breasted Nuthatch has bred here as well.

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Lake County

IBSP Hawkwatch

The Illinois Beach State Park Hawkwatch has someone station at the picnic shelter (blue point on map) almost every day of the fall. Moderate-to-strong west winds are best, and depending on the date, many species of migrating raptors can be seen including: Sharp-shinned and Coopers Hawks, Northern Goshawk, Osprey, Bald and Golden Eagle, Rough-legged, Red-shouldered,

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