Monday, February 27, 2012

Late February Birding

With temperatures returning to the mid-forties, it didn't take long for most of Friday's sensational snow to melt. I'm glad I went to the creek corridor for black-and-white photographs when I did. There hasn't been enough snow for snowshoeing, but March can be unpredictable and there's still time for more wintery weather. The corridor songbirds were busy on Saturday and paid little mind to my intrusion into their lives. The excitement of spring migration is building and a few migrants have already returned to southern Wisconsin. On Friday I saw three Sandhill Cranes flying over the marsh. Others have reported seeing Red-winged Blackbirds and Greater white-fronted Geese in the area. But this is only the beginning of a grand show that Nature puts on every spring. Along the trail between Park and Parmenter, a female Great Horned Owl appeared snug in a cavity on her nest, while her mate was perched nearby on some open branches away from his usual spot in the conifers.

"Nature makes its own writing – we can make only versions, but the best words can restore us to the primacy of first sightings."

~ Tim Dee

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Feb 25, 2012 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
31 species

Canada Goose
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
American Robin
European Starling
Lapland Longspur
American Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Great Horned Owl image © 2012 Mike McDowell