Monday, May 03, 2010

Songbird Influx!

Rose-breasted Grosbeak at Pheasant Branch

After a solid week of stifling northerly winds, more favorable weather for migratory birds prevailed last Thursday. Millions of warblers, verios, sparrows, and other songbirds poured into southern Wisconsin during the night; birders from all around the state reported their arrival the following morning. We were rewarded with a few days of great birding until thunderstorms moved through the Ohio valley, which kept the next wave of songbirds to our south. While bird activity at Pheasant Branch was a little less intense this morning, I still managed to find 10 warbler species including my first Golden-winged Warbler of spring. As some of you may have guessed, the early leaf-out has significantly hampered my digiscoping efforts, thus I've been doing more birding than photography the past few weeks. The dense cover also means visually locating birds is far more challenging this spring; I'm having to rely on identifying them by song rather than sight. Other spring arrivals this weekend included Green Heron, Blue-headed Vireo, Black-and-white Warbler, Baltimore Orioles, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.

My second Madison Audubon Warbler Walk at Pheasant Branch will be held this Thursday, May 6th at 6:00am, rain or shine!

Sunday's birds at Pheasant Branch:

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Pied-billed Grebe
Green Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Solitary Sandpiper
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Blue-winged Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Northern Parula
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Palm Warbler
Northern Waterthrush
Common Yellowthroat
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
Purple Finch
House Finch
American Goldfinch

Rose-breasted Grosbeak © 2010 Mike McDowell


  1. you always go to PB because it is close to you or because it is so good/pretty...Sora's calling at Eldorado Marsh Tuesday am//also Yellow warblers and many tent caterpillars.

  2. It's close and it's sort of birdy there.


  3. Will the Audubon Warbler Walk start at the dead-end street by Parisi Park?