Friday, October 05, 2007

Thursday Birding

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ah, Friday at last! Just a quick reminder: I'm leading a field trip for Madison Audubon tomorrow morning (Saturday) at Pheasant Branch Conservancy and all are welcome to attend. A few people have asked, but this will not be a photography/digiscoping field trip. The aim of this field trip will be to try and find as many sparrow species as we can, and whatever other birds happen to be around.

Red-winged Blackbird

Yesterday didn't start out well at all. Within moments of arriving at Pheasant Branch, Dottie, Sylvia, George and I were alerted to a dead Great Horned Owl in the grass below a utility pole and wires. Dottie works at the National Wildlife Health Center, so she took the owl in for necropsy, but it will have a low priority. Though we initially didn't see any obvious signs of trauma, Dottie later emailed me that she found a fresh wound on one of its wings, leaving us to surmise that it probably collided with the wires directly above where we found it.

[update: probable cause of death of owl in comments]

Just as Dottie finished putting the owl in her trunk, a Middleton Police squad car pulled up along side of our vehicles and an officer questioned us. Apparently there had been a report of some type of disorderly conduct occurring at Parisi Park (a nearby resident had phoned it in). The four of us had only just arrived, had seen nothing, had nothing to share with the officer (other than the deceased owl), but he was a little more than inquisitive, seemingly wanting to pin something on George for a second. That George is such a shady character!

Eventually, we made our way down to the stream corridor for some serious birding and things were hopping. We had Blue-headed Vireo, Yellow-throated Vireo, still several warbler species and both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets. I also checked the prairie side of the conservancy and observed half a dozen sparrow species.

And to the anonymous commenter who used vulgarities describing his experiences with butterfly excrement on his face...perhaps you should consider placing your head elsewhere. It's just more direct evidence supporting John Gabriel's theory. To everyone else, have a fantastic weekend!

Pheasant Branch Stream Corridor/Prairie – October 4th, 2007:

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Great Blue Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Palm Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Purple Finch
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Sandhill Cranes

All images © 2007 Mike McDowell

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