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

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