Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Birding!

Blackpoll Warbler

Spring migration 2014 will be one I'll never forget. It's the sort of thing birders dream about and hope each spring will be like. And there have been lackluster Mays in the past. Sometimes persistent southerly winds (good for the birds) will carry the migrants through so quickly that we don't get good opportunities to see the birds very well. Fortunately for birders, the tree canopy is only just beginning to leaf-out. If the migration schedule is on back track, there really should be about a week or so left of excellent warbler watching. But with rising temperatures many birds will return to the tree canopy. It's unusual to see Blackpoll Warblers foraging so low, but I'm not complaining! Of course, warblers like the Northern Waterthrush (below) are almost always found foraging along creek and stream banks.

Northern Waterthrush

Black-throated Blue Warbler (female)

This female Black-throated Blue Warbler has been present along the creek corridor for nearly a week. It seems like a long time for a warbler to linger at the conservancy, but we haven't had adequate southerly winds for migration. Because this species is somewhat uncommon (and a female has been hanging out in the same area), it's safe to assume it's been the same bird day after day. It's  a unique opportunity to keep tabs on a single bird. There very well could be other birds that have been at the conservancy for the same time period, but because there are multiples of that particular species, there's no way to be sure you're seeing the same individual birds. Dottie Johnson has become utterly enamored with this little "lady," as she calls her.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (female)

Prairie Trillium

Wild Geranium

Red Fox Encounter!

As my birding group approached the first bridge east of Park Street, we noticed the Red Fox was at the opposite end with a rabbit it had recently killed. The fox stood there guarding its prey and seemed oblivious to our presence. However, we were absolutely astonished when it picked up the rabbit in its mouth and began walking toward us. I told everyone to back away from the bridge in order to give the fox a clear path. When it got to the end, it trotted off to the woods on the north side of Parisi Park. There's always something amazing happening at Pheasant Branch Conservancy!

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
May 18, 2014 6:00 AM - 12:00 PM
75 species

Wood Duck
Cooper's Hawk
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Barred Owl
Chimney Swift
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Gray-cheeked Thrush
Swainson's Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Waterthrush
Golden-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Cape May Warbler
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Summer Tanager
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell

1 comment:

  1. Must have been a delightful experience indeed.
    Thanks for sharing. Sjerp