Riverlands Rendezvous

Pelican Landing

Yesterday, we took advantage of the warming (note not warm) weather and journeyed north to the Riverlands, our go to winter destination. We saw Bald eagles, Trumpeter swans, Snow geese and White pelicans. We saw many other birds too, but still need to key them. The ground was snow covered and the water iced over, except below the dam. The Corps had left one of the sluice gates open and the roaring water kept the downstream river ice free. The open gate was on the far side of the river, closest to the lock. This caused the pelicans to congregate close to us, on our side of the river. This made photography much easier. The eagles seemed to prefer the rushing far side. They kept diving on fish in the river, but inevitably stopped just short of the river. The pelicans who simply floated on the water seemed to have more luck, but there were many more of them too. The swans and geese mainly kept to very small pools of open water or simply sat on the ice. After the Riverlands, we crossed into Illinois and headed north along the River Road to Grafton. The river was frozen, but we saw a few more eagles sitting out on the ice, plus a couple cold Great Blue herons.

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