Lucas Berg Pit and Swans

Near our home is the Lucas Berg Pit.  I believe it was originally a quarry to excavate gravel and it now a 30 foot deep lake, that is a great natural resource.  It is under the Army Corp of Engineers and is fenced off, but the fence has plenty of holes where locals sometimes slip through to go fishing.  Every spring and fall local volunteers are allowed in to help with trash pick up and are able to freely walk around and explore, and I have participated in that a couple of times.  Last Sunday I walked in through a gap in the fence to have a quick look around and enjoyed seeing the resident swans.

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The swan couple in flight over the Lucas Berg Pit.

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Here is the sign outside the pit.

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Heading down a little path toward the still frozen lake.

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Out in the lake was a little island where I could just make out a white swan.  On the left side of the island were some geese that I think the swans were keeping track of.  All the birds seems to be territorial about nesting sites this time of year.

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I zoomed in for a closer look at the swan.

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Here is what the ice on the shore looked like last week.  It was starting to thin out all over.  I was speaking to a lady at the garden center yesterday and she said only 30% of lake ice is left this year, which is less than usual, and that might signify a dry year.  It already feels a bit dry, but we are expecting 1 – 3 inches of snow tonight.

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Then I thought I heard a red-winged blackbird.  Sure enough.  I zoomed in across the lake to see the first red-winged blackbird I had seen this year.  Yesterday we went out walking and saw a flock of them.

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I believe this is a European starling singing away in a little woods outside the fence.  I have seen them visit our birdbath this week, too.

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Last week for several days in a row there were large flocks of birds making a loud chorus sound flying in the skies overhead.  This was the best picture I got, but I think they might have been sand hill cranes.  I know they come through the Chicago flyway in their migrations.  They were flying in circles with non-goose sounds.

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Back in the yard I have come upon mourning doves pecking around the yard a few times.  I love their peaceful cooing call.  This one was fluffed up in sun on a cold day.  They blend into the brown landscape.

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This is one of a number of  nest holes I noticed, maybe made by woodpeckers, in the nearby woods.  If any reader knows better let me know.  I think when the woodpeckers are done with them other critters move in.

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Page-turner reading this past week was the novel, The Farm.  A good part of the story takes place in rural Sweden.  Since my background is Swedish, but I have never been there, I enjoy visiting through a good story!

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