About two weeks ago, we (frequent photo walk buddy, Mark Marshall and I) answered a call for a birding meet-up to be held at the Little Red School House Nature Center in Willow Springs, IL. It is one of the nature preserves that the Forest Preserves of Cook County maintains and one of the hidden gems of the county – there’s a several picture-perfect ponds with lots of water fowls, forest trails that are easy to walk and certainly, a lot of birds. But … more on this later.
We started at the nearby Saganashkee Slough to scope out location for future sunrise shoots and then from there, drove over to the Little Red School House to meet up with the guide. There were a few others who joined later. The regular guide however, was not able to make it, another employee who admitted that she was not a birder at all, took her place. Right there and then was the problem. But she was nice.
We didn’t see much birds (although we could hear them) as a few members, well, one particular member of the group, decided to socialize instead and proceeded to tell her life story in great excruciatingly vocal detail that surely scared the birds away. At the end of the walk, she had the audacity to say it’s a pity that we didn’t see much even though we were quiet (or maybe that was another member of the group). As soon as everybody left though, my photo buddy and I went around some more, this time, quietly, and sure enough, birds were suddenly around – from woodpeckers to kingfishers, robins, grackles, doves, etc. Nothing to write home about but they were there.
The fall colors were not there yet. Another week or so and this place would be absolutely gorgeous.