Monday, May 18, 2015

Peak? Past!

"It has always been my understanding that truth and freedom can only exist in wild places."

― Daniel J. Rice, This Side of a Wilderness

Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor

After finding 21 warbler species Saturday morning, I barely found a dozen the following day. This morning was about the same as Sunday. With an influx of Blackpoll Warblers this morning, it would appear the peak of warbler migration has come and gone rather quickly. While beautiful, the foliage density hasn't made things easy for birders this spring. I feel fortunate that I can at least identify most songbirds from their vocalizations. Naturally, only hearing them doesn't do much for collecting images for my blog!

Scarlet Tanager

When birding during spring migration, there's nothing quite like spotting a Scarlet Tanager's flaming red colors against green leaves and blue sky. The contrast is intense. The experience can be exhilarating. About a week ago, the sight of a low-foraging Scarlet Tanager caused a friend of mine tear up. These experiences in the woods with the feathered ones can be that powerful.


Wilson's Warbler


Yesterday late afternoon I visited Pope Farm Conservancy to observe the prairie's progress. It was especially windy, which made any type of photography somewhat challenging. I settled for a few shots of the prairie and some Shooting Stars that were close to the trail. I blocked the wind using my backpack, which was just enough to settle the shaking flowers.

Pope Farm Conservancy

Shooting Stars

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
May 16, 2015 5:45 AM - 9:10 AM
68 species

Wood Duck
Solitary Sandpiper
Mourning Dove
Common Nighthawk
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Yellow-throated Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
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
Louisiana Waterthrush
Northern Waterthrush
Golden-winged Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Tennessee Warbler
Nashville Warbler
Mourning Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Northern Parula
Magnolia Warbler
Blackburnian Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
Canada Warbler
Wilson's Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Scarlet Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2015 Mike McDowell

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