Western Tanager and a try at a Swainson's Warbler

Hi again!

Today I went in pursuit of a Western Tanager and a Swainson's Warbler. My friend Jake had let me know at around 3:40, about 15 minutes after my Mom and Dad arrived from vacation, (I couldn't go birding in the city because my mom was concerned and my grandma didn't want to drive down there, which I totally understand.)  So we left, my dad, my brother Brett, my friend Nathan, and I. We were driving to see a bird called a Western Tanager. After driving for some time, we arrived and the lady took us to her backyard where we waited for about a half hour. There were multiple White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows in the backyard, then some orioles came in and left. After about five more minutes, Nathan said that there was a bird that looked like a yellow oriole? So I ran over to him and looked, there it was, a beautiful adult male Western Tanager, perched on the branch of an oak. We watched it for a few seconds, photographing it between a screen, then it flew down to the orange feeder, and that is where it really showed off. The pictures aren't to great because if we moved, the bird would fly away.

Western Tanager

Shortly after, we said thank you to the owners who were very nice to us, and headed on to try and find the Swainson's Warbler at LaBagh Woods. When we got there, a few birders immediately notified us that the bird had not been seen for about two and a half hours. Not a good sign.  So a little disappointed, we headed up the small hill to the path, where we were met by some birders. They had told us that there were at least two blue-winged Warblers in the area, but no Swainson's. We headed threw the brush and found a beautiful male Blackburnian Warbler, very low in a tree. About a minute later, a Black-and-white Warbler came out and climbed up and down a tree, giving Nathan his first looks at this stunning tree climber.

While we were still looking for more warblers, Nathan wandered off into the brush. After a few minutes i heard him say, "I think there is a Kentucky Warbler" (he had seen one two years ago with us at Swallow Cliff in the Palos area.) I slowly walk towards him, and on the ground in front of us was and adult male Blue-winged Warbler! Once the bird saw three cameras go up to photograph it, it looked at us, and flew about five feet further into the more dense thickets. We headed back up onto the main trail were we got half decent looks at the bird again, before it vanished. After sorting threw lots more White-throated Sparrows, we turned up a few more Northern Waterthrushes, but that was all. Disappointed about missing the Swainson's Warbler, but happy about finding the Western Tanager and all of the other warblers, we headed back to the car. My mom had called us and we had to leave. But it was a great day! Bird list for LaBagh below. The list for the other location will be out soon!


             Good Birding!



Canada Goose3
Double-crested Cormorant13
Ring-billed Gull2
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)  4
Downy Woodpecker (Eastern)  1
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted)  4
Blue Jay2
American Crow3
Black-capped Chickadee4
White-breasted Nuthatch (Eastern)  1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (caerulea)  3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet2
Swainson's Thrush2
Hermit Thrush5
American Robin15
European Starling3
Northern Waterthrush3
Blue-winged Warbler2
Black-and-white Warbler2
Tennessee Warbler1
Orange-crowned Warbler1
Blackburnian Warbler1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)  12
Black-throated Green Warbler1
Chipping Sparrow2
White-crowned Sparrow25
White-throated Sparrow50
Song Sparrow2
Lincoln's Sparrow1
Swamp Sparrow2
Northern Cardinal4
Red-winged Blackbird5
Common Grackle3
Brown-headed Cowbird2
House Finch7
American Goldfinch4
House Sparrow1