Sunday, March 02, 2008

Killdeer in the Snow

I explored the entire stream corridor trail of Pheasant Branch Conservancy this morning for 3 hours. This was the first time in 2008 that I heard the Carolina Wrens singing and also found some other early spring migrants including our first Killdeer of the year. While the sun was out, we got to spy on a half-sleeping Great Horned Owl that also seemed to be content with the comparatively mild weather. A Northern Shrike was still present on the county parcel and we were lucky to hear a Barred Owl call from the overlook parking lot. A few Horned Larks were picking at grit along Pheasant Branch Road. Closer to Waunakee I found another Killdeer foraging along the road, so I stopped to snap a quick picture of it with my scope and camera pointed out an open window. While there are a few exposed patches here and there for ground-foraging birds to pick through, there’s still a lot of snow cover.

Birders on the Wisconsin Birding Network are reporting Sandhill Cranes, Red-winged Blackbirds, Eastern Meadowlarks and an assortment of ducks and geese. Spring migration is upon us.

Canada Goose
Green-winged Teal
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Northern Shrike
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
American Tree Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2008 Mike McDowell

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