Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December at Emiquon

Observed by: Jane Ward 
Date: December 13, 2016, 11:30 AM 
Location: Emiquon Visitor Use area 
Weather: Sunny but cold, 24F, winds 7MPH 

Yesterday I drove through Emiquon and was pleased to find the drive through the visitor use area open to cars. The water is slowly going down as the Nature Conservancy lets water out of Thompson Lake into the Illinois River. Ice covered the south end of the lake, where it is more shallow. In other areas much open water remains. I encountered a dozen bald eagles, two of which were juveniles. I also watched two harriers hunting over the grassland near the lake. There were gulls everywhere I looked. I am not one to identify gulls, but the large number of birds was amazing. I also found migrating American White Pelicans right up close to the drive through the visitor use area and several groups of ducks (unidentified), along with a small flock of Canada Geese. No Snow Geese on this visit. However, I did see two Great White Egrets and one Great Blue Heron, as well as a few Mute Swans. On the way back to Peoria, I found a family of Tundra Swans (I think) in the agricultural field south of Duck Creek road, a field where I have found swans in years past.

December 13, 2016 at Emiquon

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Walking through the Visitor Use Area by Thompson Lake

Observed by: Jane Ward

Date: October 16, 2016, 11:30 AM

Location: Emiquon Visitor Use area

Overcast,74F, winds southwest 7MPH

Deb Roe and I took a short walk through the visitor use area, which remained closed to vehicles but open to walking. Many coots were swimming and hunting on all parts of the lake.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Emiquon Horizon

Watching the Emiquon horizon disappear in the mist
of the blustery morning snow, 
I think of the life hidden behind the shroud of winter.
Later I look up and the mist has retreated
revealing the familiar line of
river trees surrounding Sister Creeks,
with clouds from the plant eleven miles away at Havana
billowing out over the lake against a dark gray sky.

Jane Ward

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Clark Road in December

Mud Road in the Snow

Clark Road
Clark Road

Observed by: Jane Ward
Date: December 14, 2013
Location: Emiquon Wetland Observatory, North of Canoe Launch
Weather: Cold, 32 degrees, snow just starting to melt

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Six Glossy/White-faced Ibises at Emiquon in November!

Observed by: Jane Ward
Date: November 24, 2013
Location: Emiquon Wetland Observatory, North of Canoe Launch
Weather: Cold, 32 degrees, sun shine and blue sky

Ibises are rarely seen in Illinois, especially in November. I found a couple last month, was surprised, and assumed they had moved on.  Today, a day starting out quite cold for November (12 degrees, Yikes!) warmed up to 32 by 3:00 in the afternoon, when I took a tour through the visitor complex at TNC's Emiquon Nature Preserve.  As I drove through the turn around, just past the canoe launch, I stopped to watch a small flock of birds flying in. At first I thought they were herons, but they were all turned around and backwards; then I thought of the Black-necked Stilts that nest in the summer, but the bill was too curved, so I realized they were Ibises.  By the time I got my camera out and exited the car, they had landed and began to blend in with the background. Photos are attached. 
Jane Ward

Sunday, November 3, 2013

November 3, 2013 Observation

By: Liz Cheek
Date: November 3, 2013, Sunday

Time:   8:10 am

Location: Visitor Area

Temperature:  37 degrees

Weather: Sunny
What an interesting morning. I'm not sure that I've ever been out here this early. Thank you central time zone change. Yesterday was warm and the temperature drop created a totally enveloping layer of fog. To my back, from the north, is a staggeringly bright, clear sun, but ahead off me, to the south looks like something out of Sleepy Hollow or Brigadoon. Thompson Lake and all the area surrounding it are completely covered. The most surprising thing is, as the layer of fog dissapates, I spy a previously hidden boat of fishermen first, then realize there are many folks out here, taking walks and checking things out.


Friday, October 18, 2013

American Coots at Emiquon

by Jane Ward
Date: Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: Boat Ramp
Temperature:  65 degrees
Weather: Blue Sky with White Clouds and Sunshine 

There were over a hundred thousand American Coots at Emiquon this past week near the boat ramp and visitor use area.

Jane Ward