Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Carolina Wren … again!

Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor

The first time I found a Carolina Wren at Pheasant Branch Conservancy must have been over a decade ago. There have been only a few times I've been able to line one up in my spotting scope let alone get digiscoped images of one. This spring has been an exception. This wren sings every morning from prominent perches fairly close to the trail allowing for close-up portraiture.

With these two shots, I lined up with some evergreens for the background. Don't let the color fool you, though. As you can tell from the intro photograph of this post, the corridor still looks barren and desolate. With the warmer temperatures we've been experiencing this week, I wouldn't be surprised if early spring ephemerals begin to protrude from the dead leaves on the ground by the end of the week.

When the wren isn't singing, he's busy inspecting various nooks and crannies in fallen trees and decaying logs for food. As much as I enjoy photographing this Carolina Wren, I don't want to spend too much time with him because there are a lot of other birds beginning to arrive at the conservancy. However, if he perches in front of me I doubt that I would refuse the opportunity.

And when inspections are complete, the wren bursts into song once again. Yesterday he sang for nearly an hour. I hope he succesfully attracts a mate given the prodigious effort he's putting into it. And if this is indeed the bird that endured this past winter, he has great genes to pass down to future generations of Carolina Wrens.

I found a pair of Wood Ducks perched up in a tree on my way out of the conservancy yesterday. I managed to get a few images of the male, but the skittish ducks flew off when a person walking their dog went by. I don't think he even noticed them. The creek corridor trail is an increasingly popular destination for jogging, pet walking, skateboarding, rollerblading, bicycling, and other activities, including (and recently) segway riding. I haven't seen the latter yet, but there's an organized ride that begins sometime after 9:00 AM. Naturally, though, there are plenty of birders, too!

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Apr 8, 2014 7:15 AM - 9:15 AM
37 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Turkey Vulture
Cooper's Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Carolina Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell