Friday, December 15, 2017

Bird is the Word

Audubon Center at Riverlands
Last weekend I picked up one of my friends at 6:20 in the morning, and we drove to the Audubon Center at Riverlands in northeast St. Louis County. We wanted to arrive in time to see the sun coming up over the various bodies of water at the center.

The Audubon Center is located on 3,700 acres of restored prairie marsh and forest, and serves as a migratory bird sanctuary. Over 325 species of songbirds and waterfowl live in or migrate through the area. This time of year the main draw is the arrival of the once endangered trumpeter swans. In late November a record 1,089 swans had been recorded. They will hang around the area until around February or March.

We did get there in time to see the sunrise, but I'm not sure where in the heck the 1,089 swans were hanging out. I would say that we saw several hundred on Heron Pond, which was pretty cool. They are such large birds, with a height of 4 feet and a wingspan of 7 feet. And they are certainly noisy, earning their name of "trumpeters".
trumpeter swans
After we finished with the birds, we decided to play around with our crystal balls. I'm so glad I thought to bring mine along as it was really fun to see what I could come up with when shooting through the ball.
crystal ball
We ended the morning by catching breakfast at a local place called the Florissant City Diner. The food was plentiful and tasty, and the prices were unbelievable. I need to go back there with Jim some morning. What a fun day!

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