Friday, January 19, 2007

Short-eared Owls at Banner Marsh

Jeff Lampe alerted me to some Short-eared Owls that he had seen Landing, Banner Marsh last week. Scott and I went out Friday afternoon while the sun was shining and found them! I did get some photos. I tramped all over the place while my husband waited at the car. While he waited for me, he got to see the owls perform their hunting routines from the car parked facing the suspension bridge. I didn't find any on my walk out towards the levee, but on the I took some landscape photos of the windmill and noticed the birds, and began following them (from a great distance). I headed toward them but lost them over the tall grass. When I got back to the car, I could see them moving over the extensive grassy areas. I changed cards in my camera and drove to an area closer to therm. I crossed the area where sunflowers were growing last year, then headed towards the levee. I could see the owls, but they were too far away. I could see them in all directions as I walked back to the car, especially right around the car, and of course they were gone by the time I returned. Scott said they were flying all over the place and one landed right in front of the car! He said they flew in over the dike west of the parking area for the boat landing. I should have just stayed at the car!

But then the best show of all came while we drove out towards the Pump House road. We stopped several times, and I was able to get some nice photos with the setting sun shining on them. Thanks to Jeff for the heads up!


For additional photographs of the Short-eared Owls, visit my Picasa Web Album:

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bald Eagles Along River Beach Drive

Bald Eagle finishing his lunch. We went on an eagle hunt yesterday afternoon, just before sunset. We drove River Beach Drive to Hamm's Marina, south of Chillicothe, Illinois, and found 8 eagles in the trees along the river. We watched this one swoop down the river. He came up with a fish and landed in this tree where he quickly consumed it.

Bald Eagle looking out on the Illinois River.

A Bouy on the Illinois River.

Great Blue Heron, hunkered down at a retention pond near Hamm's Marina in Chillicothe, Illinois.

Great Blue Heron flying down the river.

Two eagles were sitting in a tree overlooking the river. First one flew off and then this one followed.

Eagle Flight 1.

Eagle Flight 2.

Eagle Flight 3.

Eagle Flight 4.

Eagle Flight 5.

Soars out to fly with his mate.

They soar over the river at sunset.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bald Eagle, East Access at Banner Marsh.

Mute Swans, East Access at Banner Marsh.

Red-tailed Hawk at East Access, Banner Marsh.

Lift off!

Red-tailed Hawk at Copperas Landing.

Off he flew!

Song Sparrow?

Horned Larks covered the road to Bell's Landing.

Canada Geese.

Snow Geese flying over Bell's Landing at Banner Marsh last Monday.