I planned to have this blog be about my back yard, and there are a few pictures at the bottom of this post about that. But when I hear that a bird that is not common for Illinois is in the neighborhood I sometimes decide to go birding instead of focusing on the garden.
Eared Grebe at Saganashkee Slough. I get frequent emails from IBET – Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts. They inform the birding community of what interesting birds have been seen that day. I particularly pay attention when the birds are seen in the Palos area. So I headed out to the slough to see if I could find this bird. After taking quite a few pictures I noticed some birders and approach them and they said it looked like my picture was of the eared grebe they were looking for. Yay! This is a bird that is migrating through Illinois.
Saganashkee Slough. I understand that the water is only about 6 feet deep and that may make it a good fishing place for waterfowl.
A horned grebe that caught a fish.
Red-breasted mergansers diving for fish.
As I was watching through my binoculars it looked like mating season, as a group of male red-breasted mergansers were following a female.
Two male common mergansers with a female.
I kept hearing the sandhill cranes flying overhead during the afternoon. Sorry the photo is not more zoomed in!
Dormant trees at Long John Slough. We are still having freezing temperatures at night, but today the weather was warm and beautiful.
I noticed insects flying around today. A moth landed on the Hicksii yew shrub.
Daffodils were pushing up along the east fence. I guess the soil is kind of heaving now due to the ice freezing and thawing in the soil. I think this is good for the soil and the soil is damaged when we walk on this soft soil this time of year.
Another view of soft, thawing, spring soil that is pushed up here and there.
Earlier this week it was snowing hard, though we only got about an inch. It snowed and sleeted Friday night, too. I think we can use the moisture, so no complaints. Spring is coming, but winter has not quite left us.