All the rain we have had has made McGinnis a slough again. The water levels are now deep enough to support a lot of birds and to attract visiting American White Pelicans. I read someone’s post about seeing them flying over McGinnis Slough on Sunday, which would have been a lovely sight, but that was enough to motivate me to see if perhaps some had decided to stay. I remember seeing hundreds of them years ago. I was happy to see perhaps forty or so, albeit too distant for a decent photograph, on Monday morning.
Even if there weren’t a lot of birds that I could see very well, it was good to see the slough again.
There were Bufflehead and Ring-necked Ducks at a distance, as is everything at McGinnis right now. I did manage to see one male Ring-necked Duck near enough for a photo. I haven’t seen these birds in a while. Look closely and you can see the ring on his neck.
Unsurprisingly, there were a lot of American Coots, some of which I inadvertently disturbed walking back through the trail.
Also predictably, there were a lot of Red-winged Blackbirds deciding on their territories. I took too many shots of this one trying to hold onto his perch in the wind.
Below, another male and a female, perched in the marsh.
Toward the end of last summer the water was non-existent. It’s good to see it again.
It started to get really cloudy before I left.
There were several Pied-billed Grebes but they were too far away to photograph except for maybe this one.
I barely captured this female Northern Cardinal but she proved how few photo opportunities there were.
The next series of photos is from one of my last visits on November 8 of last year. There were not many birds on that visit either although I attribute much of that to the fact that the grass was being cut very noisily.
The water levels were returning by November, which I guess was attractive to some Ring-billed Gulls.
Song Sparrows were still around here and there.
There were several Pied-billed Grebes that day as well.
And the American Coots were less skittish.
Now I will be start going to McGinnis more often. I will likely branch out and visit more places in the Palos area too, as there are a lot of them.
I am looking forward to choir rehearsal tonight. We sang half-masked on Sunday. The sanctuary was full of congregants so it was slowly starting to feel a little bit more normal. One inch at a time.