Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pheasant Branch Conservancy - March 23rd

I spent part of the afternoon going for a walk through sections of the Pheasant Branch stream corridor and also the Dane County Unit - the snow is melting fast now. I noted that the GREAT HORNED OWL pair have abandoned their nest behind Middleton High School. It's been several days since I last checked on them and I have no idea why they have apparently left. I was unable to locate them along the entire stream corridor. Hopefully they've found a less conspicuous nesting location.

On the Dane County Unit of PBC there were a few more spring arrivals: EASTERN MEADOWLARK, TURKEY VULTURE, FOX SPARROW and an increase in the number of SONG SPARROWS. I also found two NORTHERN SHRIKES. I set up my digiscoping gear in order to attempt a photograph, but after waiting for 30 minutes one of the shrikes perched right behind me and sang. That was very cool, but I was in the good lighting for the bird's view and not the other way around. The fields were alive with the songs of RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, SONG SPARROWS, EASTERN MEADOWLARKS and SANDHILL CRANES. A total of 28 species were observed during the outing.

Red-winged Blackbird image © 2005 Michael Allen McDowell

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