I drove down to Emiquon on Thursday. The weather is supposed to turn hot again, and I wanted to get down their while it was still mild. I'd been looking at Google maps of the area and was curious about Forgotten Road. I drove part way down that road before parking and walking. As I walked along the road I flushed 10 or 20 herons and egrets from mud puddles left after the flood. I didn't see any shore birds with the herons. The road ends at a parking area for hunting. I walked into the wooded area on the former road.
An Eastern Kingbird flew from his perch on a wire.
Honey Bees were busy in the milkweed.
Wood Sage was blooming on the side of the road.
As I drove along Dickson Mounds road, I spotted what I thought was a Snowy Egret preening his wing feathers. It turns out it is a juvenile Little Blue Heron. When I stopped the car to photograph him, the heron froze absolutely still with his wing in the position it had been in when preening, his eye staring straight into my camera lens.
I stopped at a pull-off by the levee surrounding the National Wildlife Refuge Wilder tract. I knew if I walked the five miles around the tract I might see some remarkable shore birds, but that seemed entirely too far to me, so I contented myself with walking along the levee that runs parallel with the road.
A Common Buckeye butterfly spread his wings on the mud.
What looks to me like Arrowleaf Plantain was growing in the shallow water, which seems like a good sign for a wetland.
While hundreds of egrets and herons flew around far out in the field, a half dozen Great Egrets and one Snowy Egret were feeding in the waters near the levee. I was able to take a few photos before they flushed.
One Black-necked Stilt flushed as I walked past.
Three juvenile Gadwalls were swimming near the levee.
As I walked back to the car, I noticed some really bright yellow Flannel Mullein. When I got closer I saw that a pair of male Goldfinches were sitting atop two mulleins, like tree-top ornaments.
Numerous dragonflies were patrolling the area. Not many stopped for photos though. I did get photos of a male Common Whitetail and female Widow Skimmer.
My next stop was at the south levee around Thompson Lake. I parked and walked a ways. Many egrets were far out on the southern end of the lake. A small flock of Pelicans flew over.
A pair of goldfinches were feeding near the gate. I photographed the female. The male kept hiding behind leaves.
Several Double-crested Cormorants flew over.
I next drove Prairie Road to get a look at the prairie flowers now in bloom.
Yellow Cone Flower
Small White Asters
Possibly Porcupine Grass
Strange Insect on Cup Flower
Queen Anne's Lace
On my way home, I drove along Clark Road, where I found the biggest treat of all, a dozen Cattle Egrets were following a small herd of cattle in a narrow pasture at the base of the bluff on the west side of the road!