Sunday, March 27, 2016

More March Migrants!

American Robin

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.

Golden-crowned Kinglet

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.

Eastern Phoebe

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.

Tree Swallow

Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Mar 27, 2016 6:45 AM - 9:15 AM
52 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
American Black Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Hooded Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Great Horned Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Winter Wren
Golden-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2016 Mike McDowell

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