Sunday, April 17, 2016

April's Birds & Blooms

Yellow-rumped Warbler

As warblers go, there was a bit of a migration lull over the weekend. There weren't many new arrivals despite southeast winds. Other than Yellow-rumps there was one Nashville Warbler (a record early), a few Palm Warblers, one Louisiana Waterthrush, and three Pine Warblers. It's still early. Most of the Golden-crowned Kinglets have moved on and the corridor was devoid of any spotted thrushes. However, what is increasing as spring progresses is an abundance of birdsong to sift through. I love the challenge.

American Goldfinch

I'm grateful for my hearing and ability to identify most birds by ear. As I close in on 50 years of age, my vision certainly isn't what it once was. Fortunately, my hearing closes up most of the slack. Of course, I might walk right past a bird that isn't vocalizing. That's how Dottie picked up the Louisiana Waterthrush ― she was systematically scanning the creek bank and happened upon it. She did the same thing with the Nashville Warbler, though I found it at the same location the previous day.

Song Sparrow

The mornings have been cool as this Song Sparrow shows, but the afternoon temperatures have reached the sixties and seventies. Now that it hasn't been freezing overnight there are plenty of insects for the birds to eat at first light. As such, many songbirds are no longer foraging on the ground and have returned to the treetops.

Wood Duck

The seasonal transition that April renders is one of the best things about living in Wisconsin. Life awakens and Nature splashes her paintbrush in a myriad ways. We observe the slow progression distancing us from monochromatic winter. Spring seems almost to struggle at first, but then explodes before April ends. Summer isn't far away ― the effects of April's ephemeral nature will still be with us, but the transformation is utterly captivating to witness.



Pasque Flower

Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Apr 16, 2016 6:00 AM - 9:30 AM
53 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Green-winged Teal
Pied-billed Grebe
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Barred 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
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Palm Warbler
Pine Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Eastern Towhee
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Rusty Blackbird
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
Purple Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2016 Mike McDowell

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