oporornis (from opora, autumnal, and ornis, bird) agilis (active, nimble)
Tuesday, May 22, 1990 — 11:40 am
Hoffman Estates, Illinois — Poplar Creek Forest Preserve
I had been doing a lot more birding since my work moved its headquarters to Streamwood and spent many lunches and breaks outside. On this day, I walked across the Bode-Bartlett intersection at lunch for some birding on the horse trails that lace the woods in that section.
I had just started down the trail, perhaps 50 yards from the road, when I saw a greenish bird fly up from the ground and disappear into a thicket of small trees. I followed after it. The trees were very close together, but there were no leaves below seven feet, so I could see pretty well. I immediately saw the bird fly to a branch about 12 feet away and about six feet off the ground, in plain view from where I stood. And there it sat. I knew it was something exciting right away, but I had let my skills slip in recent years, so I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. Fortunately, the bird was patient with me. I had a chance to study it and memorize the field marks. When I knew what it looked like, I checked my Peterson’s. My suspicions were correct. Connecticut Warbler! When I looked up, the bird was gone. I couldn’t find it again, but it didn’t matter. I was elated.
A nearby Willow Flycatcher sang the entire time I was in the area, and my first Illinois Yellow-bellied Flycatcher a few minutes later sweetened the pot.