Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Closeup Views: Beavers at Cooper Park

Beavers were busy eating in the thawing water. As I walked over the boardwalk, they moved under it. When I came back several minutes later, they were back in the open eating. An adult and a juvenile. They let me watch them through the slats on the boardwalk as they continued their meal.


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The beavers have taken down most of the willow thicket that was taking over the marsh, leaving little stumps with the characteristic teeth marks.




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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Eagle Nest

We had some nice spring weather on Sunday, which has totally vanished this morning as rain and snow move through Central Illinois again. Scott and I took a drive looking for eagles along the river. We know where an eagle nest is located between the river and a busy highway. There is a blind and a trail leading to it, but it was too muddy and slushy to walk the trail. We walked along the highway from the designated parking lot and yes indeed there was an eagle sitting low in the nest, just barely peering out at me. The light was bad and I didn't have a great view and traffic on the highway (a two-lane) worried me, so we headed back to the car. Then as I drove towards the nest, the sun came out! of course, it comes out then! but no traffic and there was a straight highway for quite a ways both in front and behind, so I stopped and took some shots. With a nasty utility wire across the nest, but the eagle head, eye, and bill are clear. Earlier we had seen another eagle in a field and after we left the nest we saw one flying along the bluffs. The sun came out just in time to kiss the tail as if flew up towards a dark cloudy sky. Of course I was driving and couldn't photograph anything! But my memory! I have that.


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Woodford State Fish & Wildlife Area

We drove down the entrance road and found the whole area under water, the water came up over the road. I thought we were going to have to back out, but Scott managed to turn the car around.

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Snow Geese flew over the flooded Woodford State Fish and Wildlife Area.


A flock of blackbirds was flying to and fro from one side of the road to the other, feeding in the fields. It was a mix of Red-wings, Grackles, Cowbirds, and of course, Starlings.


An eagle was far out in the field

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