Nelson Lake, view from south shore looking north:
On our first chance to get out birding since our arrival in Illinois this past weekend, we got out early to Nelson Lake Marsh (Dick Young Forest Preserve) in Batavia, Kane County. We had not been there since last November, just before we returned to Florida (via Amarillo) for the winter. We rolled our socks over our trouser legs (we heard there were ticks galore) and welcomed the temperate climate.
The flock of White Pelicans that has been present for the past month has dwindled to 13, that we could see. Canada Geese were nesting, and we saw two Sandhill Cranes and heard several more. An American Kestrel was our only raptor for the morning. Northern Cardinals, and Field, Song and Swamp Sparrows were singing vigorously. The high Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker count suggested they may be migrating through, though many were engaged in courtship or territorial displays. Downy and Red-bellied Woodpeckers made it a Trifecta. Our only warbler was a Yellow-rumped (Myrtle), and we saw a Brown Thrasher and couple of Blue-headed Vireos and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers.
The only birds that stood still long enough for me to photograph were sparrows, including this Song Sparrow:
This fuzzy view of a Swamp Sparrow was about the best I could do:
Despite the close range, my shaky hands did not do too well with this Swamp Sparrow, making me dream about getting an image stabilized lens:
Mary Lou did not know I photographed her on this path along the south shore of Nelson Lake, looking east: