Whip-poor-will/Bell’s Vireo – Y or N

After Saturday’s hike which turned up White-crowned Sparrows I set out Sunday to see once and for all if Atterbury FWA had EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILL.  Plus check for NORTHERN BOBWHITE and the returning BELL’S VIREO.

Whip-Poor-Will

This would be the second time in two years I was going to make sure there were no EASTERN WHIP-POOR-WILLS at Atterbury FWA. Sunday’s forecast was perfect for checking – Full Moon, Clear, and Calm Winds.

MOON (2) Looking for Whip-poor-will.

The early morning was perfect for checking for Eastern Whip-poor-wills.

When I arrived it was perfect conditions. I listened at 6 places between 4:50 – 5:40 AM.

The result is I’m pretty confident there are NO Eastern Whip-poor-wills at Atterbury FWA.

It took several years to find a whip-poor-will spot in my home county in Illinois, so I’m not done yet looking in Johnson County.

But I did hear numerous BARRED OWLS with one actually landing by the car for a good view. And of course the chats were chatting in the dark.

Northern Bobwhite

I proceeded to the NW part of Atterbury to listen for Northern Bobwhite. The area has been off-limits for the past several weekends for Spring Turkey Season.  I walked for a couple of miles – no luck there either as the area has had a controlled burn.

EATO (3)

Eastern Towhees were quite numerous singing in the morning daylight.

I did see a RED-HEADED WOODPECKER, several WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, and EASTERN TOWHEES on the walk.

I remembered the park manager saying she had seen a Northern Bobwhite by her office. So I headed the mile east to sit and eat breakfast by a large field north of her office. In a couple of minutes I heard bobwhite calling. Another specifies tied down for the IAS Summer Count.

Bell’s Vireo

The last species I was checking was to see if the Bell’s Vireo had returned to the same area of Johnson County Park. I no sooner got out of the car and one was singing in the same bush as last year, giving great views. Then another came along and they flew off. But one kept singing hidden in a nearby bush.

BEVI (3)

Except for a short period last year I don’t think I have ever seen a Bell’s Vireo out in the open for this long.

BEVI (4)

Later a second bird which looked like a Bell’s Vireo chased this one off its perch. Maybe that’s why it was singing so long in one spot? Staking out his territory?

CHSP

This Chipping Sparrow landed down the road when I was watching the Bell’s Vireo.

AMKE

The resident American Kestrel watching the events at the Johnson County Horse Park.

And that was a very good end to the weekend or so I thought until I came across the COMMON GALLINULE.

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2 Responses to Whip-poor-will/Bell’s Vireo – Y or N

  1. Greg says:

    Seeing a BEVI like that is incredible! I have only ever seen them as movement deep within a bush. Also: that Towhee shot is great.

    • BobC says:

      Up to finding this spot a couple of years ago I have to agree about seeing them in the bush. If I time it right I can catch this guy singing on territory and get a good photo. Otherwise he will be in the bush the rest of the summer.

      And that towhee wasn’t going to stop singing either. I could here him long after I had walked past.

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