Friday, June 12, 2015

June's Birds

"In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them."

― Aldo Leopold

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will ever fade."

―  Gertrude Jekyll

I had the day off on Tuesday and covered the entire trail system of Pheasant Branch Conservancy. I came up with 75 bird species, which is pretty good for the breeding season. Thus far it seems that we won't have Yellow-breasted Chats this year, but a there were a couple of birds I wasn't expecting. I found an Acadian Flycatcher near the two bridges north of Century Avenue and a Yellow-throated Vireo was singing away at the creek corridor. I discovered my first Sedge Wrens of the year at the marsh just southeast of the prairie and there has been only a single Dickcissel, but more may yet arrive on the scene.

Penstemon grandiflorus

Now we're down to only three warbler species, but they're quite abundant. Common Yellowthroats dominate the prairie and American Redstarts are singing throughout the woods. Yellow Warblers prefer the savanna and some of the more open areas along woodland edges. In the past we've had summering Chestnut-sided and Blue-winged Warblers, but they're fairly uncommon nesters at the conservancy. 

Common Yellowthroat

More of a habitat generalist, curious catbirds can be found throughout the conservancy's diverse landscape. I'm impressed at the number of Willow Flycatchers this year. There are dozens of them at the confluence ponds and also in places where they don't typically nest because the willows tend to get cut back along the bike trail. When the city allows the willows to grow, the little flycatchers are quick to take advantage of the habitat opportunity.

Gray Catbird

Willow Flycatcher

There are a few field trips remaining this season. The Middleton Airport outing to see Bobolinks is on the 14th and I'm leading a field trip at the prairie on the morning of the 17th. On the 20th I'll be at Pope Farm Conservancy and the final June field trip is on the 27th for the 20th anniversary celebration of the Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy. 

The Summer Solstice approaches...

American Redstart

Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Jun 10, 2015 5:00 AM - 6:45 AM
75 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Hooded Merganser
Ring-necked Pheasant
Wild Turkey
Great Blue Heron
Green Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Spotted Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Chimney Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Acadian Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Great Crested Flycatcher
Eastern Kingbird
Yellow-throated Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
American Crow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Marsh Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Eastern Bluebird
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Common Yellowthroat
American Redstart
Yellow Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
Orchard Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
House Finch
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2015 Mike McDowell

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