Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Yellow-rumps Arrive!

Today was a beautiful day spent appreciating rewards nature delivers early spring in southern Wisconsin. Two days of southerly winds held promises with feathers and I was thankful the integral elements of a great birding day came together on my day off! Making it even better was to share it with kindred spirits like Dottie, Bill, and George.

Yellow-rumped Warblers finally arrived en masse, donning fresh suits and singing their sweet spring songs. There were also a few Pine Warblers; great binocular views, but no realistic opportunity to digiscope them. However, I did manage to get a very nice portrait of an American Robin - perhaps my best ever!

Yet the biggest surprise of the morning wasn't even a bird! I was rather shocked to discover a River Otter - the first I've ever observed at the conservancy.

After breakfast, Dottie and I went to the prairie to look at Pasque Flowers and listen to Field Sparrow songs. The ethic of a conservancy, to my way of thinking, is a type of promise we make with nature. When there's a trail on such lands, it marks a boundary best idealized as trust between us and the wild critters that inhabit them. There are good reasons signs are posted throughout the conservancy asking people to stay on the trails.

Location: Pheasant Branch
Observation date: 4/18/09
Number of species: 46

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
Great Blue Heron
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Carolina Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Pine Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Purple Finch
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2009 Mike McDowell

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