The first White-throated Sparrows of fall migration have reached Pheasant Branch Conservancy. Some of these beautiful sparrows will remain at the conservancy throughout winter, but most will continue traveling south. By mid-October, the prairie will be teeming with migratory sparrows that have come to our neighborhoods from the northernmost parts of the boreal forest of Canada.
Most likely a summer resident, I adore the buffy coloration of Clay-colored Sparrows in basic plumage. Though they belong to the genus spizella, in this particular molt I find them nearly as striking as members of ammodrammus, such as Nelson's or Le Conte's Sparrow. They're a fairly curious bird and make excellent photography subjects. On the other hand, you have to be pretty quick to get a picture of the far less gregarious Lincoln's Sparrow.
Right now the prairie is filled with various goldenrods, asters, and many other late summer wildflowers. It's a beautiful time of year; not just for the nature photographer, but for anyone who desires a walk in Nature's exquisite parade of colors. It's worth our while to get outside and enjoy this temporal scenery. Not only does time spent in nature help improve our overall wellness, it also helps boost our cognition. Really! Check out Richard Louv's reasons why children and adults need Nature.
Katydid on Showy Goldenrod
"I am not always in sympathy with nature-study as pursued in the schools, as if this kingdom could be carried by assault. Such study is too cold, too special, too mechanical; it is likely to rub the bloom off Nature. It lacks soul and emotion; it misses the accessories of the open air and its exhilarations, the sky, the clouds, the landscape, and the currents of life that pulse everywhere."
John Burroughs – The Gospel of Nature
Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Sep 20, 2011 7:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Great Blue Heron
Black-throated Green Warbler
All images © 2011 Mike McDowell