Monday, September 24, 2012

Zono Trifecta!

White-crowned Sparrow (zonotrichia leucophrys)

Yesterday was one of the best fall migration days I've ever experienced at Pheasant Branch Conservancy. My birding companions, Dottie Johnson and Sylvia Marek, agreed. NEXRAD lit up late Saturday evening as millions of birds took to the skies and migrated throughout the night. With a good tailwind, a typical songbird can travel 150 to 300 miles during a night of migration. By dawn, they need to find a place to refuel and rest before continuing their incredible journey, and that's when they begin to fill the conservancy's woods, creek corridor, and fields.

Harris's Sparrow (zonotrichia querula)

The results were fantastic! We found 75 different kinds of birds, 14 of which were warbler species. Naturally, at this stage of migration more Palm Warblers and Yellow-rumped Warblers moved in, but there were still feathered gems like Northern Parula, Black-throated Green Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, and Chestnut-sided Warbler. The first Golden-crowned Kinglets of fall arrived. Many emberzines (sparrows) moved in as well, like Lincoln's Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Eastern Towhee. But best of all, I found a Harris's Sparrow at the prairie parcel, which is only the 5th time I've observed this species at the conservancy since my lifer there in 2003. The "Zono Trifecta" was completed with White-throated Sparrows and my first White-crowned Sparrows of fall migration.

Beautiful weather with great friends and great birds!

White-throated Sparrow (zonotrichia albicollis)

Red Admiral

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Sep 23, 2012 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM
75 species

Canada Goose 
Wood Duck 
Northern Shoveler 
Great Blue Heron 
Cooper's Hawk 
Red-tailed Hawk 
Sandhill Crane 
Ring-billed Gull 
Mourning Dove 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 
Belted Kingfisher 
Red-bellied Woodpecker 
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 
Downy Woodpecker 
Hairy Woodpecker 
Northern Flicker 
Eastern Wood-Pewee 
Eastern Phoebe 
Yellow-throated Vireo 
Blue-headed Vireo 
Red-eyed Vireo 
Blue Jay 
American Crow 
Black-capped Chickadee 
Tufted Titmouse 
Red-breasted Nuthatch 
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper 
House Wren 
Winter Wren 
Golden-crowned Kinglet 
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 
Eastern Bluebird 
Swainson's Thrush 
American Robin 
Gray Catbird 
Brown Thrasher 
European Starling 
Cedar Waxwing 
Northern Waterthrush 
Black-and-white Warbler 
Tennessee Warbler 
Nashville Warbler 
Common Yellowthroat 
American Redstart 
Northern Parula 
Magnolia Warbler 
Bay-breasted Warbler 
Chestnut-sided Warbler 
Blackpoll Warbler 
Palm Warbler 
Yellow-rumped Warbler 
Black-throated Green Warbler 
Eastern Towhee 
Chipping Sparrow 
Clay-colored Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
Lincoln's Sparrow 
Swamp Sparrow 
White-throated Sparrow 
Harris's Sparrow 
White-crowned Sparrow 
Dark-eyed Junco 
Scarlet Tanager 
Northern Cardinal 
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 
Indigo Bunting 
Red-winged Blackbird 
Purple Finch 
House Finch 
Pine Siskin 
American Goldfinch 
House Sparrow

All images © 2012 Mike McDowell

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