Peoria Audubon Society is a local affiliate of both:
Photo Gallery Back to Page 1
Spring Bird Count: May 10, 2008
We traveled toward a grassland, looking for bobolinks. With one of the few trees in what must be one of the largest contiguous grassland pastures in Peoria County, we saw some movement in a tree. A savannah sparrow made its presence known.
According to the field guide, note the "usually yellow lores" and the fine streaks on the breast.
As we came to one place in the field with a deep depression in the terrain, we saw a large bird fly away from its hiding place near the road. It was being mobbed by 2-3 blackbirds at the time (red-winged or grackles?).
The photo below, taken at maximum telephoto zoom, provides a perspective on the distance. Note how the fence poles are visually compressed together. With the fuzziness of the distance, we could just barely tell that it was a great-horned owl.
Great-horned Owl in Distance - Full Telephoto Image
With the thermals rising from the afternoon sun and after much cropping of the image, the blurry, distant image of the owl emerged.
On the right, Allen is scanning the grassland for a bobolink or dickcissel. Dale said that he found bobolinks at this large field, about 2 miles southeast of Elmwood, each of the past two years. Since we didn't find any, Dale felt that perhaps they have not yet arrived.
Allen Searching for Bobolinks .
Moving along toward the east, we found another lark sparrow in a tree by the road. In this image, you cannot see the dark spot in the center of the breast.
In one of the more serene, quiet roads, we were able to get close enough to take a picture of the above eastern kingbird.
Great Egret off Mendenhall Road
At the end of the day, we headed back to the Mendenhall Road where Dennis had parked his car.
Great Blue Heron off Mendenhall Road
House Wren off Mendenhall Road
Dale found a spot along Mendenhall Road where a house wren has apparently taken up residence in some fallen timber and tree trunks. At first, we thought it was a Winter Wren. But after examining the photo in detail, Dale decided that it was a House Wren instead. Dale said that he had seen this wren in the same spot several times in previous visits to the area. This is the usual habitat for a winter wren.
Marsh off Mendenhall Road in Late Afternoon
All in all, it was a great way to spend a day with fellow birding friends and the chance to see nature. The bright sunshine warmed it up and the earlier prediction of rain never came about.
Afterwards, Dale provided the results with the Peoria Count coordinator, whereupon our results from the southern half of Peoria County was combined with the results from the team on the northern half. This provided the final Peoria County list of 115 species below.
Home | Calendar | About PAS | Contact Us | Webmaster | Become a Member