Scott and I drove down to Emiquon on June 5th. I finally am getting around to posting about it. We checked in at Dickson Mounds to get our flag that identifies our car as Emiquon Corps of Discovery members, and drove around Thompson Levee. (Special use permits and permission are required to drive the levee.)
The ground was firm and strong and my new Toyota Rav4 (used but in great shape)didn't have the problems than my Oldsmobile Intrigue had clearing the center of the tracks.
It was a beautiful morning, full sun with puffy clouds floating by.
A small herd of deer were startled at our approach and quickly galloped away through the shallow water. One stayed behind before taking off after the herd.
Here is a view from the south end of the levee facing north:
Mudflats are exposed where they have been moving earth near the pumphouse.
I could hear peeps out there but it was difficult to see them. I found Killdeer, of course, then found something "else" which turned out to be a Black-necked Stilt!
Several female Dickcissels were on watch along Pumphouse Road, along with a bunch of Red-winged Blackbirds. I spooked a nest of young blackbirds while walking down the road and the male Red-wing hounded me until I was many yards away. He didn't strike, but he was right over my head. I didn't turn to take a photo. I was intimidated, as intended!
A herd of deer in the distance moved on as we drove south on the dike. One lone deer headed towards us before deciding to retreat with the others.
I took this panorama from the north end of the preserve, where it drained into the Sister Creeks in previous times.
We drove out Mud Road to Clark Road and continued to the newly opened boat launch. The only birds were very far out near the ridge separating Thompson from Flag lake. Here is a swan. I can't determine the species from this distance. I need an extender for my lens.
In this photo you can tell that some Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons are out on the horizon.
This photo looks like American White Pelicans with herons and egrets.
After turning in the flag and key we drove out Prairie Road and stopped for a photo at my favorite tree, a tree I normally don't like (Hackberry), but here it is perfect, with the stump of another tree, possibly lost to lightening, in front.
This panorama was taken from the north levee looking south:
More female Dickcissels were on the look out in the grassland along Prairie Road.
After photographing the Dickcissel, I took this shot of a Saddlebags Dragonfly on the wing: