Saturday, March 30, 2013

Back to birding!

Finally, it actually felt more like spring outside today. Southerly winds helped carry new spring migrants overnight into southern Wisconsin. Dottie Johnson and I scoured Pheasant Branch Conservancy this morning and tallied 42 bird species. New for the year were Eastern Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Bluebird, and (unfortunately) a few Brown-headed Cowbirds. The three White-throated Sparrows that have been hanging out near the Conservancy Condos all winter were singing away, but I can't imagine they'll remain much longer. The time for them to leave is coming soon.

Skies were mostly overcast throughout the day, but an encounter with Eastern Meadowlarks at the North Fork section of PBC prompted me to take a few digiscoped photographs. There were three meadowlarks in the vicinity, each adding its voice over the grassland in a unique way. The one bird I was photographing was mostly doing the zeet and chatter calls, but occasion broadcasting its full song. The vocalizations of the two more distant meadowlarks had a haunting and echoing quality; their voices seemed to be reshaped by the wind before reaching my ears. The meadowlarks were eating what appeared to be large beetle grubs and they have the perfect bill for tweezing and plucking food items from densely packed grass or soil.

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Mar 30, 2013 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
42 species

Cackling Goose 
Canada Goose 
Turkey Vulture 
Cooper's Hawk 
Red-tailed Hawk 
Sandhill Crane 
Ring-billed Gull 
Rock Pigeon 
Mourning Dove 
Great Horned Owl 
Belted Kingfisher 
Red-bellied Woodpecker 
Downy Woodpecker 
Hairy Woodpecker 
Northern Flicker 
American Kestrel 
Eastern Phoebe 
Blue Jay 
American Crow 
Black-capped Chickadee 
Tufted Titmouse 
White-breasted Nuthatch 
Brown Creeper 
Golden-crowned Kinglet 
Eastern Bluebird 
American Robin 
European Starling 
American Tree Sparrow 
Song Sparrow 
White-throated Sparrow 
Dark-eyed Junco 
Northern Cardinal 
Red-winged Blackbird 
Eastern Meadowlark 
Common Grackle 
Brown-headed Cowbird 
House Finch 
Pine Siskin 
American Goldfinch 
House Sparrow 

All images © 2013 Mike McDowell

1 comment:

  1. Very nice images Mike. I love to see images like these where birds are doing the things they are supposed to.
    Thank you for sharing, Sjerp