It has been a while since I have ventured out with my camera. You know that little thing called life…..it kind of got in the way and I just didn’t have the time, or the desire to venture out. However, the weather has been great, and school is out for the summer, so I decided to go on a road trip. I had several places I planned on visiting near Lake Michigan, but I ended up going to Zion, Illinois two days in a row to Illinois Beach State Park.
The area is amazing with a variety of habitats to explore: beach, woodland, sand dunes and prairies, wetland, and open prairie. I spent two days putting in a lot of miles and taking several hundred pictures.
I was really interested in taking some photos of shorebirds so I stopped at the beach area first. Although it was sunny, it was really cold along the beach. The first bird I spotted was not a shorebird, but a turkey! I have never gotten a decent picture of a turkey because they are so skittish; this one was not:-)
Both days I was greet by white tailed deer.
I also saw a coyote, skunk, and mink, but I did not get any “blog worthy” photos.
One of my favorite birds is the American redstart. They are so beautiful, and at least in my area they are very seldom seen. On my first day here I saw several, plus I spotted a female, which I had never seen before.
Both days at the Illinois Beach State Park I saw several “new to me” birds:
The past few years one of the birds that I have been wanting to photograph is the Eastern towhee. This spring I got an okay photo, but I was never able to get a photo of the female. The first day at this park the towhees were everywhere! They were not shy, and I finally got a shot of the female.
There were also a lot of old favorites at the park:
There was not much going on along the shore of Lake Michigan. However, I did find a small group of shorebirds. Unfortunately I was heading into the sun when I saw them, and was not able to get to the other side of them.
Illinois Beach State Park has so much to offer; I can’t wait to go back!