Sunday, August 30, 2015
Time flies when the warbler watching is good! I'm extremley grateful that the muscle injury that kept me inside most of July seems to have completely healed. I've been walking the creek corridor at Pheasant Branch Conservancy almost daily for the past few weeks without any difficulty. Though warbler numbers have been somewhat low, the diversity has been a little better than average. So far 16 warbler species have been found during my walks along the corridor:
Unfortunately, we're looking at an extremely warm week with south winds, which will definitely have an impact bird migration. There will continue to be small numbers of new arrivals, but we'll have to wait until the next cold front moves in before we see substantial mixed species flocks once again. This morning the situation was very quiet until 9:30AM when we spotted a single Golden-winged Warbler. Within a few minutes we found Wilson's Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, several Chestnut-sided Warblers, Black-and-White Warblers, and more (see the checklist at the bottom). It's interesting how it can be so quiet for a few hours and then the activity just suddenly erupts. I noticed the rush appeared to correlate to a slight dip in temperature, but at the same time the chickadees and titmice began foraging with more intensity.
During the slow periods I photographed wildflowers and other interesting subjects along the creek corridor, keeping my ears on alert for chip-notes and flight calls. This will likely be my last blog post for August, which brings up September. Warbler migration should be pretty solid through much of next month, but near the end I'll be switching gears to sparrow migration at the prairie parcel. Will there be a Harris's Sparrow once again? Or maybe some ammodramus species like Le Conte's or Nelson's? It's fun to think about, but right now it's time to enjoy the warblers. Once they've moved on, we won't see them again until April.
Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Aug 30, 2015 7:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Great Crested Flycatcher
Black-throated Green Warbler
All images © 2015 Mike McDowell