Southern Illinois 
Apr 27 - May 4, 2001
Sunny and Warm 
- Henry Detwiler

This was my annual spring visit back home to see my parents.
133 species total

Click on the thumbnail pictures for full-sized ones.

After landing in the early afternoon in St. Louis, I rented a car and drove out to the Riverlands Demonstration Wetlands. 

Mississippi Lock at Alton

There were a few shorebirds:  Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, and Killdeer.  And of course the main attraction, the European Tree Sparrow--a bird imported at the turn of the century from Great Britain.
Spring time in Southern Illinois is the best time to enjoy a profusion of wildflowers.  In the open woodlands, like here at  Washington County Conservation Area,  you can find these beautiful larkspurs.


French's Shooting Star
The Fern Bluffs Nature Trail in Giant City State Park is one of the best areas for spring wildflowers and of course, ferns.  While enjoying these rare French's Shooting Stars, you'll be serenaded by Eastern Phoebes, Wood & Hermit Thrushes, Northern  Waterthrushes,  Parulas and Worm-eating Warblers.

Spiderwort at Giant City State Park

Giant City State Park

Larue Swamp
Larue Swamp is situated close to the Mississippi River at the base of the Pine Hills.  During several visits there we saw Wood Duck, Pileated Woodpecker, both Scarlet and Summer Tanager, flycatchers, vireos, and many warblers.  My mother also spotted a huge cottonmouth (water moccasin) swimming in the murky water.

Swallowtail Butterfly at Larue

Larue Swamp

Cache River Cattail

At Bell Smith Springs we hiked down into one of the most scenic canyons of the Little Ozark Mountains.  Here, too, were an abundance of wildflowers.  During the afternoon we visited the birds were pretty quiet, but then my father asked me "What's that bird that's singing 'Teacher, teacher, teacher'?"  It was an Ovenbird, of course!

Bell Smith Springs

Cache River Cypress
The Cache River winds through much of Southern Illinois, providing invaluable habitat for bats, frogs, snakes, and of course, birds!  A variety of woodpeckers and flycatchers call the swamps home, but perhaps the most distinctive and noticeable bird is the Prothonotary Warbler.  Other common residents we located were Carolina Chickadee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Tufted Titmouse.

Daisy Fleabane and Yellow Rockets

Swallowtail Butterfly

Fish Crows along the Mississippi

Turkey Vulture in the Mississippi flood plain
The Mississippi River has carved out a large floodplain west of Carbondale, where one can find many wonderful areas to bird.  Twenty years ago these Fish Crows were a rarity in the area; now they are quite common.  In a flooded field next to the the big river I was fortunate to find a few lingering American Golden Plovers.   

Dr. & Mrs. Donald S. Detwiler

# Species Name
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 White Pelican
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Little Blue Heron
5 Great Egret
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Snowy Egret
8 Green Heron
9 Least Bittern
10 Wood Duck
11 Gadwall
12 Blue-winged Teal
13 Mallard
14 Snow Goose
15 Canada Goose
16 Northern Shoveler
17 Sora
18 American Coot
19 Semipalmated Plover
20 Golden Plover
21 Killdeer
22 Common Snipe
23 Pectoral Sandpiper
24 Spotted Sandpiper
25 Solitary Sandpiper
26 Greater Yellowlegs
27 Least Sandpiper
28 Lesser Yellowlegs
29 Ring-billed Gull
30 Black Vulture
31 Turkey Vulture
32 Mississippi Kite
33 Red-shouldered Hawk
34 Bald Eagle
35 Red-tailed Hawk
36 Cooper's Hawk
37 American Kestrel
38 Turkey
39 Bobwhite
40 Rock Dove
41 Mourning Dove
42 Black-billed Cuckoo
43 Barred Owl
44 Chimney Swift
45 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
46 Belted Kingfisher
47 Pileated Woodpecker
48 Red-bellied Woodpecker
49 Red-headed Woodpecker
50 Hairy Woodpecker
51 Downy Woodpecker
52 Northern Flicker
53 E. Wood Pewee
54 Eastern Kingbird
55 Eastern Phoebe
56 Great Crested Flycatcher
57 Horned Lark
58 Cliff Swallow
59 Purple Martin
60 Barn Swallow
61 Tree Swallow
62 Fish Crow
63 Common Crow
64 Blue Jay
65 Tufted Titmouse
66 Carolina Chickadee
# Species Name
67 White-breasted Nuthatch
68 House Wren
69 Carolina Wren
70 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
71 Wood Thrush
72 American Robin
73 Eastern Bluebird
74 Swainson's Thrush
75 Brown Thrasher
76 Northern Mockingbird
77 Gray Catbird
78 American Pipit
79 European Starling
80 Yellow-throated Vireo
81 White-eyed Vireo
82 Warbling Vireo
83 Red-eyed Vireo
84 Prairie Warbler
85 Kentucky Warbler
86 Tenessee Warbler
87 Black-throated Green Warbler
88 Blue-winged Warbler
89 Golden-winged Warbler
90 Chestnut-sided Warbler
91 Cerulean Warbler
92 Blackpoll Warbler
93 American Redstart
94 N. Parula
95 Hooded Warbler
96 Yellow-rumped Warbler
97 Yellow-breasted Chat
98 Pine Warbler
99 Prothonotary Warbler
100 Worm-eating Warbler
101 Ovenbird
102 Louisiana Waterthrush
103 N. Waterthrush
104 Common Yellowthroat
105 Black-and-white Warbler
106 Yellow Warbler
107 Yellow-throated Warbler
108 Summer Tanager
109 Scarlet Tanager
110 Brown-headed Cowbird
111 Orchard Oriole
112 Baltimore Oriole
113 Common Grackle
114 Eastern Meadowlark
115 Red-winged Blackbird
116 House Sparrow
117 Eurasian Tree Sparrow
118 White-throated Sparrow
119 Field Sparrow
120 Henslow's Sparrow
121 Savannah Sparrow
122 Chipping Sparrow
123 Song Sparrow
124 Rufous-sided Towhee
125 Dark-eyed Junco
126 White-crowned Sparrow
127 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
128 Indigo Bunting
129 Blue Grosbeak
130 House Finch
131 Cardinal
132 Dickcissel
133 American Goldfinch


Photos Henry D. Detwiler