When you drive the levee at Emiquon (which requires special use permit and permission from TNC) you can see things you can only imagine from the other side of Lake Thompson.
The Eagle nest is barely visible through the foliage. It is unoccupied this year. Maybe next year a pair of eagles will use it. It is in a perfect spot, near the river and the lake, and well hidden from view.
We found a nice variety of herons: Hundreds of Great Blue Heron and Great Egrets, of course, but also a couple of dozen Cattle Egrets, 8 or 9 Snowy Egrets, 4 Black-crowned Night-herons, 3 Green Herons, and one juvenile Little Blue Heron!
Juvenile Little Blue Heron:
Black-crowned Night Heron:
Juvenile Black-crowned Night-heron (they breed at Emiquon!):
Great Egret with Snowy Egret (shows the size difference):
Great Blue Heron:
Cattle Egrets and Snowy Egrets congregated on the pump structure:
A Black-necked Stilt flew past the Snowy Egrets:
A Painted Turtle hid in the grass:
A mother Wood Duck hurried her babies away.
Dragonflies and damselflies were everywhere. Along pumphouse road (what is left of it) we found more than 20 Common Green Darners, which are almost impossible to photograph, they are so fast and erratic in their flight, and hundreds of Halloween Pennants, as well as several dragonflies I'm still trying to identify.
Turkey Vultures were circling low over the river and levee.
We had a great view of the Illinois River from the levee:
A Caspian Tern was hunting near the boat launch: