Sunday, October 05, 2014


"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."

~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

The Prairie Parcel

It was a rather rainy Madison Audubon field trip Saturday morning at Pheasant Branch Conservancy, but Sunday was a golden October day. If I had explored the overlook and the North Fork, I probably could have topped 70 bird species for my outing. Still, 62 is very good for early October. In another month it will be challenging to surpass even 40 species, so I'm enjoying the remaining fall migrants while they're staging at or moving through the conservancy.

Song Sparrow

It was 33 degrees when I hit the field this morning. Most prairie plants were covered with sparkling frost. Many birds, including this Field Sparrow, were perched in the sunlight, puffed up to keep warm.

Field Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrows are becoming more numerous, which is a sign that's it's just about the right time for Harris's Sparrow. The juvenile white-crowneds lack the black and white crest the adults have, but their size and shape gives their identity away.

White-crowned Sparrow

And the rest ...

White-throated Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Red-tailed Hawk

Along the Creek Corridor

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Oct 5, 2014 7:00 AM - 11:00 AM
62 species

Canada Goose
Ring-necked Pheasant
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
European Starling
American Pipit
Cedar Waxwing
Northern Waterthrush
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Magnolia Warbler
Palm Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Eastern Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2014 Mike McDowell

1 comment:

  1. I would have to agree with L.M. Montgomery. As for your photos, you have such a gift for capturing some of the best skies surrounding some of my favorite natural areas!