Monday, April 28, 2014
A Greater State
Given the rainy weather forecast for this coming week, this may be my final April update. Saturday was spent birding Pheasant Branch Conservancy with several of my friends. It was the first 70+ species day for the spring, including four warblers: Palm, Northern Waterthrush, Yellow-rumped, and Pine. Five swallow species were present at the confluence ponds and one Black-crowned Night-Heron remained from the previous day. Hopefully there will be a few breaks in the weather before and after work so I can discover other newly arriving migratory birds.
For the observer, Nature is a form of drama full of thrills and performances. When it comes to birding, the drama in the field is wholly different from the bizarre theatrics that emerge over social media. Out in nature, there's only appreciation, admiration, sharing, learning, and a deep sense of humility and awe. Once home, however, getting on Facebook and checking email often reveals absurdities in human behavior, so much so that I've grown to consider social media a far lesser state of existence. There are still positive aspects about it, though, and that's probably why I haven't deleted my Facebook account. Anyway, when our group of birders took a break for lunch at The Prairie Cafe, this was a part of our discussion. Once refueled, we returned to the conservancy trails to enjoy the birds, wildflowers, and the fresh spring breeze and left the negativity behind.
Dutchman's Breeches (close-up)
The creek corridor Great Horned Owls might actually be nesting after all. About a month ago there was no sign of the female. I had even gone there late evening to hear the male repeatedly call with no response from his mate. Perhaps there was a failed nesting, but she's back in the cavity, hopefully on eggs or young owlets. If so, this wouldn't be the first time this pair has experienced a late nesting season. This, however, would be the latest I've observed for them. We'll soon see!
Great Horned Owl (male)
Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Apr 26, 2014 6:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Great Blue Heron
Great Horned Owl
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
American Tree Sparrow
All images © 2014 Mike McDowell