Yay! School’s out for the summer!! Which means that I have a lot more time to get out with my camera. My first outing was to Illinois Beach State Park in Zion, Illinois. It takes about three and a half hours to get there. This year my friend Bill went with me; it was so nice to have company for that long drive!
When we first got to the trails, we were very disappointed at the lack of bird activity. However, eventually we came across some birds. One bird that we saw a lot of was the blue gray gnatcatcher.
We found a great place to photograph warblers. It was in a marshy area with some low growing vegetation. Right away we noticed a lot of activity in the undergrowth. Photographing warblers is not easy, and I was not particularly happy with my results. However, there were a few shots that were worthy of posting.
This beautiful barn swallow was busy gathering nesting materials.
We also saw an eastern kingbird who had no problem sitting for a photo.
I also got photos of the following birds:
In the area where most of the warblers were I spotted this beautiful sparrow. I had never seen one like this, and I believe it is a Nelson’s sparrow. Please let me know if I am wrong in my identification:-) **Thank you to my birding friends for letting me know that this is not a Nelson’s sparrow, it is actually a Lincoln’s sparrow. Thank you Kelly and Myriam 😃
It was another successful trip to Illinois Beach State Park. I was able to spend more time there and learn more about the trails. I have decided to make this an annual trip to celebrate the start of summer vacation!