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March 2010: Birding the Illinois River

Field Trip: March 6, 2010

Photo Gallery

At Emiquon, we encountered another flock of perhaps 10,000 snow geese.  With a flock so massive, it is difficult to show the enormity in a single photo.  The image below is actually a panorama that was merged, using specialized software, from 5 separate photos.  All 5 images were taken under identical camera settings within a few seconds. These were processed into the single photo. 

Snow Geese at Emiquon   (Panorama 2400x768)

The mud flat are was one of the few areas that was not frozen.  In the image below, one can see the Dickson Mounds museum in the background. 

Snow Geese at Emiquon - Dickson Mounds Museum

Massive Flocks of Snow Geese (Large 2400x1607)

The Snow Geese clearly preferred the open water to the ice. 

Snow Geese - White and Blue Morphs (Large 2400x1262)

Zooming in on the geese, one can easily view the different morph plumage.   

Snow Geese at Emiquon (Large 2400x1538)

On one end of the snow geese flotilla, a smaller group of Greater White-fronted Geese were resting in the warmth. 

Greater White-fronted Geese & Snow Geese

Greater White-fronted Geese

After viewing the geese at Emiquon, our caravan of three vehicles headed back north along the west side of the Illinois River.  Stopping briefly at the Mendenhall Road, about 4 miles south of Bartonville, which provided access to the river, we found a small patch that appeared to be starting to melt.  The spot was taken over by a group of Mallard and Canada Geese.

Mallards & Canada Geese - Off Mendenhall Road

The Peoria Audubon Society wishes to thank the Naturalists at Peoria Park District for providing the transportation and catered lunch.  And, a special thanks to Maury Brucker and John Mullen for organizing the event. 

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Photos are courtesy of Dennis Endicott for Peoria Audubon Society

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