Great egret, Illinois River, east of Starved Rock.
Gene and I ended up the trip with a brief stay at Starved Rock. If you haven't been there, go! There are miles and miles of trails through the limestone canyons and an incredible array of wildlife. According to the DNR:
"Red fox, beaver, Canada goose, tundra swan, bufflehead and other migratory waterfowl, double-crested cormorant, great egret, wild turkey, osprey, bald eagle, white pelican, herring gull, belted kingfisher, yellow-bellied sapsucker, cedar waxwing, softshell turtle, gar."
I want to go this winter, when the eagles come down from Canada to feed on the fish below the Illinois River dam there. Gene's been coming here for four years to work, bringing me along to hike. I missed one trip because of finals! No more!