Sunday, March 27, 2016
More March Migrants!
American Robins had a rough day last week with harsh wintery weather. Snow and freezing rain made it impossible for them to forage on lawns so they went to the streets to find earthworms, but there wasn't much there for them to eat. Still, they searched. Sadly, this resulted in increased robin roadkills. A little tap on the horn will get them to fly back to the grass, but sometimes one needs to slow down to give the birds time to get out of the way. Airport Road had several kills and I noticed squished robins elsewhere, too. At least the icy conditions didn't last long and the robins were back on the lawns the following day.
Meanwhile, more migratory birds are finding their way to Pheasant Branch Conservancy. Golden-crowned Kinglets recently announced their arrival with soft see see see calls. The kinglets foraged near the ground and I could see them grabbing tiny little gnats when viewing them with my spotting scope. The sprightly kinglets are always on the move, making them a serious digiscoping challenge.
More Eastern Phoebes have arrived this past week. A male and female returned to a site beneath the Parmenter Street bridge. I observed them inspecting a nest from last year. Perhaps just a few minor reinforcements and they'll be ready.
Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck numbers are steadily increasing. Whether along the creek corridor or at the ponds, these freakishly beautiful ducks are always fun to observe and photograph. Of course, given their skittish nature it's best to observe them with a spotting scope from a distance.
Wood Ducks (male and female)
A lone Tree Swallow arrived at the confluence pond along Deming Way yesterday. In couple of weeks there will be dozens upon dozens of them along with other hirundinidae. Sometimes all five expected swallow species along with Purple Martins can be observed at the pond. A return of colder weather and possible snow showers are expected at end of the week. The low temperature might even dip into the teens, so I hope the arriving insectivorous birds can endure a few chilly nights ― a cruel April Fool's, to be sure.
Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Mar 27, 2016 6:45 AM - 9:15 AM
American Black Duck
Great Blue Heron
Great Horned Owl
All images © 2016 Mike McDowell