Yesterday the air in Fulton County was full of geese, mostly Snow Geese, long lines of geese in all directions joined up into one huge mass of geese circling around over Thompson Lake, which was beginning to open up in the center of the lake. They came in lower and lower, and I was sure they were going to land, but at the last moment they changed their mind and flew off to the west. When they circled back over the lake they were sky high again.
A storm blew through over night, leaving clear blue skies today, and not a goose to be seen. I'm glad I went out yesterday and didn't wait for the sunny weather!
Large trucks are a constant on IL Route 78, the levee highway bisecting the Emiquon Preserve. They create a sudden wind when they pass while I'm on the side of the highway photographing waterfowl, and one caused my hat to fly off my head before I could grab it. I thought it landed in the creek/channel that runs beside the highway, but I found it on the other side of the car. It is my favorite hat, too!
The flooded fields near Prairie Road on the West side of IL 78 were covered with waterfowl, mostly Greater White-fronted Geese and Mallards, 10s of thousands of them, far out in the field.
A lone coyote roamed the frozen fields with the geese and ducks.
At Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge, south of the Emiquon Preserve, we found a pair of Hooded Mergansers.
We also found two Bald Eagles flying over the refuge, high in the sky.