GLEN O. JONES LAKE (WSIL) -- We're hitting the trail again with outdoor enthusiast Les Winkeler, who is an expert at bird sightings and finding wildlife.
"This place, the bang for your buck is just incredible. It's a short little trail. We're at Glen O. Jones Lake in the Saline County Conservation Area. I call this the lake trail. I don't know what the official name of it is. You'll see when we walk 10 to 15 yards into this trail we're completely enveloped in the woods. It's like we're miles away from anywhere," said Winkeler.
Glen O. Jones Lake is a 105 acre lake with a shoreline of 2.7 miles, located near Equality, Illinois.
"What's kind of neat about being deep in the woods, or kind of wild like this, is you'll see so many accidental things. One of my favorite photos I ever took was a little Prothonotary Warbler here. A little yellow bird that's just stunning. People tend to look up all the time, but you see a lot of animals, birds too, feeding on the ground and in mid-canopy and in the higher canopy. I just kind of listen, and when I hear something, look for it. There's a cat bird. For whatever reason, they love this place. I see them out here by the dozen," explained Winkeler.
He says that one of the best times to look for wildlife is in the early morning before it gets too hot.
"People talk about the quiet of nature, it might be subdued, but quiet it's not. A Wood Thrush is very distinctive both by the sound and that beautiful brown color."
Even if you don't see any animals, if you look around you will see an abundance of animal habitats along the trail.
"There's a beaver slide right there where they're bringing stuff down in. There's even some fresh cuttings that they've left behind. Apparently when they build, what they do is they will leave deposits at different parts of the lake. Wherever they're swimming by, they will just grab some, that way they don't have to carry it all the way all the time. This is the actual lodge itself. You can see their construction here," said Winkeler.
Glen O Jones Lake is a great place to see wildlife all year round, not just in the summer. Winkeler says he typically sees between 230 and 240 different species of birds each year while hiking is various areas.
He also suggests books and the Audubon Bird Guide App when learning how to identify different birds.
For more information on Glen O. Jones Lake, click here.