Monday, September 21, 2009

Owen Park

New England Aster

A late summer visit to the prairie offers dazzling fields covered in various goldenrods (Stiff, Showy, Common) and asters (New England, Silky, Calico, Frost). Because the Pheasant Branch Conservancy creek corridor is presently a bit noisy because due to the various trail improvement and bank stabilization projects, Sylvia suggested that we give Owen Conservation Park a chance this weekend. A wonderful idea!

Red-headed Woodpecker

We visited Owen Park Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Highlights included a family of RED-HEADED WOODPECKERS perched atop a few dead trees near the ponds. The corner was a veritable haven for woodpeckers. At one point we counted 25 NORTHERN FLICKERS, a few HAIRY WOODPECKERS, DOWNY, RED-BELLIED, and a single YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. Another pleasant surprise was finding a GRAY-CHEEKED THRUSH quietly foraging in the woods at the bottom of the hill. As has been the case for the past month, warblers were somewhat scarce. Birds may not be singing as much as they do in spring, but the combined choruses of crickets and grasshoppers provided calming natural music.

Black-horned Tree Cricket (female)

Location: Owen Conservation Park, Madison
Observation date: 9/18/09 – 9/20/09
Number of species: 53

Wild Turkey
Great Blue Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
Philadelphia Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Palm Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2009 Mike McDowell


  1. Great photography! Thanks for sharing. My eyes are opened to the world of bird watching....Kurt

  2. I sure do miss those showy New England Asters. And what a list!

  3. Great colors..Love the tree cricket pic.
    nice catching up with your blog after what seems like forever without internet!