Sigh. I can't believe it's the final night of my vacation. I am sort of glad we didn't go on a road trip because I finished most of the things I wanted to do around the house and had some fun adventures with the kids. I also had enough lazy downtime that I remembered why I work outside the home. I'm ready to go back to work!
My vacation grand finale was a birding trip with Meghan to Banner Marsh and Emiquon. It started off with a bit of a whimper. I had hoped to hike the levee at Bell's Landing, but the grass was tall and soaking wet. The huge selection of waterfowl from the previous week had dwindled to Canada geese, mute swans, coots and pied-billed grebes. Yawn. We decided to move on to Duck Creek. I almost pulled into the Rice Lake lot, but decided against it at the last second. It was a lucky thing, because we passed a barred owl sitting in plain view on a telephone wire. It was mid-morning, so a rare sight! We pulled onto the Duck Creek road and saw lots of blue-winged teal and a flock of ~200 American white pelicans. We then moved on to Thompson Lake at Emiquon where we saw my first great egrets of the year and more of the same waterfowl. We moved on to the flooded field with the little parking area and found both greater and lesser yellowlegs. We went back toward Dixon Mounds and as I was approaching the entrance, noticed some white birds that looked like snow geese. I pulled to the side of the road to check them out and noticed a pair of black-necked stilts! This was a major find! They were close enough that I didn't need a scope. We found dowitchers and Wilson's snipe in the same area. It was an awesome trip and a great way to end a great week off!
Kaylin spent the week reading, playing Xbox and playing outside with friends. Logan played non-stop baseball and basketball or rode his bike. We went fishing at my parents' house and caught 25 little bluegill. Kaylin and I took the paddleboat out on the lake. We hiked in the woods. We went to the zoo and to Lakeview Museum. We had an ice cream lunch at Sweet CeCe's. I even went clothes shopping. I'll try to forget that, but otherwise it was a wonderful week. Time to log off and do some AAZK (zoo keeper group) work I've been putting off all week.