Tuesday, December 22, 2009

That's all for 2009!

Keeping it relatively green, I kept close to home for the majority of my birding excursions in 2009. In terms of numbers, I had my best year ever at Pheasant Branch Conservancy with 167 bird species in 75 visits. (eBird's total for the conservancy is up to 209 species.) My Wisconsin 2009 year list stands at 207, my lowest on record (a good thing). My longest drive to watch birds was Horicon NWR to attend the annual festival as a volunteer field trip leader. I also led several field trips for Madison Audubon and one for The Nature Conservancy. Birding locations outside of Dane County included Baxter's Hollow, Spring Green Preserve, and Cook Arboretum. I donated to several conservation groups, including Operation Migration, Raptor Education Group, Inc., and The Nature Conservancy. While the overall output of my digiscoping was down, I was fortunate to experience one of my most productive years in terms of quality. Here's a sampling of 2009's beautiful bird memories:

All of these birds were photographed in their natural environment. No playback devices were used to attract them. Songbirds were not provided with birdseed or any other food items to lure them into the open. Birds of prey were not baited with living animals.

See you in 2010!

© 2009 Mike McDowell


  1. Excellent photos! Thank you for sharing part of your year with me on the MAS trips.

  2. Out of curiosity - what species, if any, have other eBirders reported at Pheasant Branch that you have never seen there?

    Speaking of ebird, I was looking for an unrelated reason on the Michigan list, and saw an interesting conversation about ebird going on there. And the genesis of this conversation was a Dec. 10 post about how Michigan isn't representin' on eBird compared to Wisconsin. Perhaps a reason to to be proud in Wisconsin that we are usually up there on that list, although the number of checklists can be up for other reasons too. But anyway the conversation also took an interesting turn about "chasing" birds posted on ebird which takes you down another path of discussions. Anyway, thought it was interesting on both fronts.


  3. The correct link should end with /622217 not /6

  4. MD3L,

    Willet, Henslow's Sparrow, and Lark Sparrow. These are all single-day observations.

    Mike M.

  5. Wonderful photos! Congratulations.

  6. Fantastic photography,excellent collection.
    Happy Christmas.

  7. Great photos as always! I can only imagine how many hours of birding and then how many hours of sorting through photos it takes for you to show us that one fabulous picture... thank you.
    Also, trivia question: why DO cedar waxwings look so smooth compared to other birds? any idea?