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DuPage Birding Club Field Trips in January and February

The public is invited to join DuPage Birding Club members during field trips in January and February to enjoy our winter birds, some of which are only seen this time of year. We are offering a variety of field trips, including a mid-week extra trip, with opportunities for all types of birders to participate and enjoy the season. Adverse weather may affect your field trip so please check with the trip leader and our DBC website for the latest status information.

Sunday, January 1, 10:00 a.m., Morton Arboretum, Lisle
Our traditional way to start the New Year! Celebrate a new year of birding with our birding friends. We will be looking for wintering finches, crossbills, and maybe owls. Meet in the main parking lot by the entrance. The Arboretum is located on Rt. 53, just north of I-88 in Lisle. There is an $11 per person Arboretum charge for nonmembers paid at the entrance.
Leaders: Jean and Bob Spitzer, 630-790-4842,

Saturday, January 7, 8:30 a.m., Lyman Woods, Downers Grove
This site has multiple habitats that attract a good variety of the birds of winter. Meet in the parking lot in front of Lyman Woods Interpretive Center, located one block east of Highland Avenue on 31st Street. Wear boots if weather has been wet.
Leader: Joan Campbell, 630-337-2605,

Saturday, January 14, 8:30 a.m., Cantigny Park, Wheaton
Cantigny, the 500-acre former estate of Robert R. McCormick, enters its fourth year of offering monthly walks in partnership with DBC! The park is officially closed in January but open this day for birders. Enter through the main gate on Winfield Road (just south of Roosevelt Rd.) Parking is free. Meet inside the Visitors Center
Leader: Jeff Reiter, 630-260-8218,

Sunday, January 15, 7:30 a.m., Des Plaines River (Will County)
We will take our traditional January tour of the Des Plaines River between Romeoville and Joliet. We will be looking for waterfowl and whatever else we can find. An “indoor birding” break at the Pilcher Park Nature Center will also be included. Meet at the “Park & Ride” parking lot on Old Chicago Drive just east of IL Rt. 53 (behind the Ramada) about ¼ mile south of I-55 in Bolingbrook. Dress warmly and be prepared for windy conditions. Bring your walkie-talkies as we will carpool.
Leader: Jeff Smith, 331-481-3362,

Saturday, January 21, 9:00 a.m., Starved Rock Dam (LaSalle Co.)
We will check the Illinois Waterways Lock 7 Dam for eagles, unusual gulls, and waterfowl. If conditions are right, we will check the LaSalle Co. area for possible wintering raptors and field birds, including shrikes, longspurs, and buntings. Be sure to bring walkie-talkies and scopes if you have them. Dress warmly. Directions: Take I -80 to the west, exit Utica (IL-178) south. Go through Utica to Dee Bennett Rd. (just before the river) and turn left (east) and continue to the Visitor Center for the dam on your right. Bad weather can cause this trip to be canceled, so please preregister with the leaders by phone or email (preferred) before Friday 1/20/12 if you plan to attend.
Leaders: Bob and Karen Fisher, 630-985-2956,

Saturday, January 28, 9:00 a.m., Fermilab, Batavia
This trip will allow us to see parts of Fermi that are no longer open to the public. Hopefully, we will see some over-wintering ducks, White-fronted Geese, sparrows, and perhaps some unusual gulls. Directions: Enter Fermi from the west side, Pine St. entrance east off of Kirk Rd. Entering from the east, use Batavia Rd west off of SR 59. At the check-in booth, tell the guard you are here for the DBC field birding trip. Meet at the Red Barn parking. Since we will be going into areas not often visited, we have to limit participation to 12 birders. Contact the trip leader to reserve a spot. NOTE – if there is an increase in the security level, this trip will be cancelled, as we will not be allowed access.
Leaders: Peter Kasper & Dave Spleha, 630-830-1382,

Saturday, February 4, 9:30 a.m., Field Museum, Chicago
This backstage tour of the Field Museum bird collection will be led by Dr. Dave Willard, Collections Manager. Here is a chance to see where the bird specimens are prepared and stored (including the popular Dermestid beetle colonies), to learn about research being done by the museum, and to see some rare and fascinating bird specimens. Meet inside the south entrance to the Field Museum by the ticket booths, where you will be met by Glenn Gabanski, or someone from the museum staff. There will be no cost to enter the museum. The Field Museum is located on Chicago's Museum Campus, at 1400 S. Lake Shore Drive, just south of Roosevelt Rd. Parking is available for a discounted price of $6 at the Soldier Field lot (enter off Museum Campus Drive on the east side of Soldier Field). You must bring the ticket you get when you enter with you and pay the $6 to Dave and receive a card that will get you through the exit gate. Parking is also available ($11 to $19) in other nearby locations as well as some metered parking available on Solidarity Drive. There is no limit on how many can attend but please RSVP to Glenn Gabanski so we know how many to expect. Note: If you are running late on the morning of the trip, please contact the Bird Department at 312-665-7731 or 312-665-7718.
Leader: Glenn Gabanski, 630-920-8575,

Sunday, February 5, 2012, Superb Owl Sunday, Time and Place: Depends on the Owls
Join us in searching for local and maybe not too local owls. Possible sites could include Morton Arboretum, Fermilab, local forest preserves or anywhere within 75 miles of DuPage County, where we might find a Snowy Owl. A stop to look for Short-eared Owls could also end the day. We intend to get back in time for the Football Bowl Game in the evening. Dress warmly and be prepared for winter weather. We will define the trip starting point as we gain information about bird sightings. This is a trip that requires communication with the trip leader. Please contact Jeff Smith by January 30 for information.
Leader: Jeff Smith, 331-481-3362,

Saturday, February 11, 8:30 a.m., Cantigny Park, Wheaton
See Jan. 14 listing. The park officially opens at 9:00 a.m. on this day but will be open earlier for birders. Parking is free. Drive right in and meet inside the Visitors Center.
Leader: Jeff Reiter, 630-260-8218,

Wednesday, February 15, 9:00 a.m., Bird Feeder Birding
Bird feeders attract numerous species in the winter, making it easy for us birders. We will check out the birds at Willowbrook and then car pool to nearby other sites in the area. Willowbrook Wildlife Center is located at 525 South Park Boulevard, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 (630) 942-6200. We will end the trip back at Willowbrook at roughly noon. This is a great trip for new birders.
Leaders: Bob and Jean Spitzer, 630-790-4842,

Saturday, February 18, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Gull Frolic, North Point Marina, Winthrop Harbor, Lake County, Illinois
Sponsored by the Illinois Ornithological Society (IOS).
North Point Marina is perhaps the best place on Lake Michigan to see large numbers of gulls during the colder months of the year. Uncommon species such as Glaucous, Iceland, Thayer's, Great Black-backed, and Lesser Black-backed Gulls are regularly recorded at the Gull Frolic. For registration and more information about this activity, go to PREREGISTRATION IS REQUIRED AND LIMITED TO THE FIRST 150 PEOPLE. Registration fees are required. Bring loaves of bread to chum for gulls. Participants receive lunch and a program. To reach Winthrop Harbor Yacht Club: Take I-294 north to the Rosecrans Road exit (IL 173). Follow Rosecrans Road east to Sheridan Road. Turn left and follow Sheridan Road north to 7th Street (the second stoplight). Turn right and follow 7th Street east to the lakefront. Do not speed through the neighborhood. Follow the North Point Marina signs to the yacht club.

Sunday, February 19, 7 a.m., Mississippi River Eagles & More
This will be an all-day trip to visit several sites along the Mississippi River to see eagles, other raptors, gulls, and waterfowl. On the return trip we may make a few stops in Lee and DeKalb Counties to look for longspurs, buntings, game birds and raptors. Meet at 7:00 a.m. in the parking lot west of the main building of Yorktown Mall (facing Highland, near the Carson Pirie Scott store) in Lombard. Bring walkie-talkies if available, scopes, and dress for the cold. NOTE: This trip is limited to 20 people (8 cars). Please register with the leader after February 1.
Leader: Urs Geiser, 630-515-1712,

Saturday, February 25, 9:00 a.m., Fox River Preserves, Batavia & North
Enjoy leisurely walks looking for winter residents and early migrants starting at Red Oak Nature Center,
2343 S River St, Batavia, IL 60510 (630) 897-1808. Directions: Take Hwy 56 (Butterfield Road) west to Hwy 25 (east side of the Fox River), drive north on Hwy 25 approx 1 mile to Red Oak Nature Center. Meet at the Visitor Center building. We will visit a few other sites to the north. A lunch stop completes the trip.
Leaders: Fillmore Dryden, 630-857-3510,; and Jean Spitzer, 630-790-4842,

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