What should I wear?

Dress for the weather. Although a lot of time will be spent in the car, the windows will be open the heater/air conditioner will be off. If it’s cold outside, it will be cold in the car. If it’s warm outside, it will be warm in the car. Wear shoes/boots suitable for walking.

What to bring?

The day will last at least six hours. If you need food, bring snacks. In the spring/summer, insect repellent will be helpful. Water and binoculars will be provided.

What time do we start?

We recommend first light. Be aware birds and critters are most active in the morning, particularly in warm weather. Starting times will be seasonable. In the spring and summer months, a 6 a.m. start should guarantee a lot of morning activity. A 7 a.m. start in late fall and winter is a good target time. We can accommodate requests for later start times.

What about rain or snow?

Wildlife viewing can actually be good in the rain, although it does hamper photography. If you are willing to take the trip in low light conditions, let’s do it. Light snow makes for outstanding photographic opportunities. However, I reserve the right to cancel if snow or ice makes driving hazardous.

Can trips be changed?

Absolutely. I try to monitor wildlife activity in the area. If you sign up for one trip, but I’m aware of outstanding wildlife viewing possibilities in another area, we can make a change with no problem. We can ad lib on the fly if opportunities present themselves.

How much walking is involved?

That depends on the customer. Viewing and photographing from the car is outstanding. In many instances, the car serves as a blind. We will be able to get closer to many species by remaining in the car. On the other hand, photographing songbirds is sometimes easier on foot. Each of the excursions include flat trails that wind through heavily wooded areas or grasslands that will get us close to grassland or forest birds.

What if I don’t have a camera?

No problem. Cameras are available for rental ($50 per camera per day). There will be a brief tutorial first thing in the morning that will make you comfortable enough to get photographs suitable for framing.

“I have lived in southern Illinois all of my life. Les showed me more wild life and wild life areas that I had heard of but never visited until I made the trip with him. I will be forever grateful to him for sharing his knowledge and experiences with me.”