I hinted at this with my link to “The Birders Are Coming.” Maybe it was cabin fever to the max, I don’t know. I can’t remember having such a strong urge to chase birds, but even after the long weekend drive for elusive predators, the quest corner I painted myself into hadn’t quite dried yet.
There have been two birds in the Chicago area, up on the north side, that were probable lifers for me: a female Evening Grosbeak at Rosehill Cemetery, and a Varied Thrush in Evanston. I gave in to impulse on Wednesday, throwing all duty and responsibility to the wind, and joined two other Elles to chase the birds. It seemed likely we would get them as they were still being reported in the same vicinity and several people had already seen them over the course of three days.
And the weather was about to change again from rain to snow and below freezing wind chills, so Wednesday seemed like the last chance. As it turns out, as of this writing the thrush is still present and the Evening Grosbeak might be, although it could not be located this afternoon.
Before we left, I went out into the yard and took a few pictures of my visitors to see what the light was going to be like.
That helped only somewhat. The Evening Grosbeak never got good enough light to show off her winter colors and the Varied Thrush was hiding behind lawn furniture and a fence I could barely prop my lens over.
There were a couple nice American Goldfinches at the thrush host’s feeder.
Finally, a quick check for a Snowy Owl at Montrose Beach on the way home convinced us we’d had enough winter weather for the day.