This past weekend Stacia and I headed out to one of DeKalb County’s best forest preserves and one of the better ones in northern Illinois: Afton Forest Preserve.
Despite getting a later start due to heavy fog and being stopped by a train, the bird activity was excellent. We discovered several Great Egrets and Great Blue Herons and discussed the differences between “shore” birds and “wading” birds.
We also found several shorebirds including a Wilson’s Snipe, Short-billed Dowitcher, and a Greater Yellowlegs. Much of the birds were far off but I demonstrated how to use the Swarovski spotting scope (which of course is super easy) and also did a bit of digiscoping.
Unfortunately, I am not the best teacher when it comes to those pesky sandpipers so we did not identify them all but Stacia’s life list grew by 10 species. Every time is fun because we purposely try to enjoy each sighting to the fullest instead of checking off large numbers of birds.
Without a doubt, showing new birds to Stacia is improving the way I look at birds and increasing my joy of learning about each species and their behaviors.