Sunday, June 15, 2014

Late Spring

"If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos."

~ E. O. Wilson


Dickcissel

At last! I finally found a Dickcissel at the prairie parcel of Pheasant Branch Conservancy yesterday. When a few were reported near Wausau a few weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if they had skipped over the Middleton area. I did find one at Pope Farm Conservancy just over a week ago, but it didn't stay. Their low numbers might be indicative of a mediocre Wisconsin breeding season for this nomadic grassland bird this year. However, it's in their nature to be a little unpredictable. More may show up yet this late spring or early summer. There haven't been very many Sedge Wrens either, but they're also known for making sudden appearances at the conservancy mid to late June.


Indigo Bunting

On the other hand, Indigo Buntings are extremely plentiful at the conservancy; they're numerous at the prairie as well as the creek corridor. I can't recall seeing (and hearing) so many. As per usual, Common Yellowthroats are, well … common! They are a very beautiful and durable warbler, nonetheless. The common birds ought not be under-appreciated on account of their success as a species. There may come a day when their high numbers offer them some protection from becoming a conservation tragedy. Hopefully, we're a very long way from that. However, I've been reading Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History and recognize we shouldn't take anything for granted.


Indigo Bunting


Common Yellowthroat


Monarch caterpillar

This edition of "Creepy Crawlies" includes various flies I discovered along the creek corridor. It impresses me how easy it is to find creatures I've never encountered before in Nature by merely broadening my search to the extremely small. Peacock Fly? I had no idea they existed until yesterday. This amazing little fly would raise and lower its wings in a rhythmic pattern while strutting about. Patience, curiosity, and a macro lens brings these unfamiliar tiny creatures to a more revealing and enthralling level of comprehension and sense of appreciation.


Dimorphic Jumping Spider (male)


Dimorphic Jumping Spider (female)


Flat-faced Longhorn Beetle


Peacock Fly


Minettia Lupulina


Long-legged Fly


Stilt-legged Fly


Signal Fly

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Jun 14, 2014 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM
58 species

Mallard
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Pheasant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Killdeer
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Indigo Bunting
Dickcissel
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell

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