― Hal Boyle
Actually, it's surrounded by city. As shown here, there's often a little bit of photographer's subjective framing that makes the Pheasant Branch creek corridor appear to be a remote stream in the middle of some faraway exotic jungle. Though no hint can be seen in these photographs, one of Middleton's busiest streets is just a few dozen yards downstream. To the right is an apartment building and restaurant, which is now somewhat obstructed by a growing wall of green foliage.
Perhaps in a future blog post I'll show just how much city there is surrounding the corridor. With a couple new buildings west of Park Street, the view hasn't exactly been improving over the years. Fortunately, the property backing up to the creek going east is older housing with lots of mature trees.
The songbirds that visit our little 1.5 miles of “tropical” stream during a few weeks in May are from real jungles in Central and South America. While an important stopover for birds, the time they spend in our neck of the woods is brief. Some of them will fly on to the Baraboo Hills or Chequamegon National Forest in Wisconsin. Most will continue north, beyond Wisconsin, to the boreal forest of Canada to nest and raise their young.
The most exciting discovery today was a beautiful male Summer Tanager at the first bridge crossing east of Park Street. Our group was walking toward Park Street on our way back from birding the east trail when a few of us simultaneously noticed the large red songbird perched a dozen or so feet from us just above eye-level. I had heard one singing the previous morning but wasn't able to locate it. I finally broke our stunned silence when calling out “Summer Tanager!”
The month of May just doesn't last long enough!
Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
May 12, 2015 5:50 AM - 8:50 AM
Great Crested Flycatcher
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
All images © 2015 Mike McDowell