Sunday, April 12, 2015

Early Spring Colors

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The first Yellow-rumped Warblers have been moving into southern Wisconsin (and beyond) over the past week. At Pheasant Branch Conservancy we've not yet seen large numbers of them, but around a dozen were present today, plus a Pine Warbler. I wonder what the next warbler species will be ... perhaps Black-and-white or maybe Louisiana Waterthrush. More warblers are on the way.

Wood Duck (female)

Wood Ducks originally arrived at the confluence ponds a few weeks ago, but some have now made their way into the creek corridor; a few will likely nest there. Wood Ducks are generally wary of people, so it can take a bit of planning to get nice portraits of them.

Wood Duck (male)

Bloodroot became my first spring ephemeral.


Interesting bark lichens.

American Robin

The confluence ponds along Deming Way have been attracting geese, ducks, grebes, and coots. This is also a good spot for swallows. So far I've seen Tree, Barn, Northern Rough-winged, Cliff, and Purple Martin. This Pied-billed Grebe was fairly close to the shore, so I decided to get a few photographs of it.

Pied-billed Grebe

Tree Swallow

Savannah Sparrow

At the prairie & savanna

From the parking lot along Pheasant Branch Road, I used my spotting scope to see if I could detect any open Pasque Flowers. Sure enough, I was able to see some from over 500 yards away. On my way up the hill I came across a breeding ball of Garter Snakes. What a sight! In addition to the ball, there were dozens of others slithering all around me. The sound of them moving through the dry leaves and grass rendered a constant hiss. Lucky for me I'm not ophidiophobic.

Breeding ball of Garter Snakes!

And the Pasque Flowers...

Pasque Flower

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Apr 12, 2015 6:45 AM - 12:15 PM
67 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Ring-necked Duck
Lesser Scaup
Ring-necked Pheasant
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Turkey Vulture
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Eastern Towhee
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2015 Mike McDowell

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