Johnson County

Michael Wolf Memorial Wetland - Little Black Slough

Continue to the parking area at the end of Sunflower Lane (“Gate Across Road”). The three small ponds to the west of the parking lot are the best place to look for Anhinga in Illinois, especially the west-most pond. Anhingas have bred in an inaccessible portion of  Little Black Slough for several years, but seem to like to feed in these ponds. When feeding among the dead timber they can be very difficult to see. Other species found breeding in the scrubby habitat around the ponds include Black Vulture, Mississippi Kite, Summer Tanager, Orchard Oriole, Prairie Warbler, White-eyed Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat, Blue Grosbeak and Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

The long trail that goes north from the parking lot will take you all the way to Heron Pond, or Little Black Slough … or for the adventurous, Boss Island. Getting to Boss Island required crossing a shallow ford. Birds that can be found along the trails Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Yellow-crowned night Heron Red-shouldered Hawk, Barred Owl, Summer Tanager, Scarlet Tanager, Northern Parula, Kentucky Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush. The cane breaks along the Cache River have traditionally been breeding grounds for Swainson’s Warbler.  Though this species has been confirmed here in recent years, there is a lot of habitat to deal with.

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