10 February 2000
by Marietta Deming
I just returned from a Lincoln's Birthday Holiday trip to Riverlands, just north on St. Louis MO. I try to go each year in Feb to see the Bald Eagles.
Today I got a good start on the way down with many, many Canada Geese flying over I70 near Carlyle Lake. Other birds picked up on the way down (also seen at Riverlands) were Starlings, Am. Crow, Kestrel, Ring-billed Gull and Red-tailed Hawk. As I was nearing Alton to cross the river, I spotted a small flock of Wild Turkeys - probably 6-8. On the bridge I got my obligatory Rock Dove.
At Riverlands I saw Bald Eagles, approx 30 birds, some seen from the Illinois side of the river - there were 10-12 on a single downed tree. All but one on the tree were immature, and kept flying around trying to get the adult to give up it's fish! Today I saw more immature Eagles in the air that ever before. Usually, I see them perched in the trees.
Other birds were: Mallard, Ospsrey, Bufflehead, Goldeneye, Common Merganzer, Herring Gull (only 2) Great Blue Heron (3 at Riverlands with another 10 across from the start of Chain of Rocks canal) Green-winged Teal, Red-winged Blackbird, Ruddy Duck (one) White Pelicans (the Trumpeter swan could have been with them, but most head were tucked in. Mourning Doves, Hooded Merganzer, one Greater Scaup female on the north side of the bridge along with lots of Canvasbacks. one Nothern Harrier and two Killdeer.
I did have glimpses of a small passerine (sparrow?) I heard it singing, I've heard the song before - but who was doing it I could not remember!
All in all, a great day! The Red-winged BB's were gearing up to "sing" I heard one or two.
Charleston, IL 61920