― Peggy Toney Horton
It was another incredible weekend of birding at the creek corridor of Pheasant Branch Conservancy. We got to see a male Black-throated Blue Warbler (a favorite), plus a wonderful variety of vireos, thrushes, and other warblers. I was surprised to find Wood Thrush, Veery, Swainson's Thrush, and Gray-cheeked Thrush during our outing―that rarely happens during fall migration. One thrush species was missing, but I haven't seen any Hermit Thrushes yet this fall. In any case, the experience was a fond farewell to songbirds we won't see again until spring.
The light wasn't particularly good for bird photography today, so I decided to photograph some of the neat mushrooms we found on the forest floor. Actually, I did this during a second trip to the creek corridor just after a brief rain shower. While sitting on the ground and preparing my camera, I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. To my astonishment, an Ovenbird walked by just several feet away. I didn't want to frighten it, so I sat perfectly still until it was about a dozen feet from me. I slowly lifted my bins so I could continue to admire its foraging strategy. I resumed photographing mushrooms once the little ground warbler was out of sight.
Gilled mushroom of some variety.
Though I'll likely skip birding Monday morning, I'm probably finished with the creek corridor for the season. Sparrow migration is underway and I would like to try and find a Harris's Sparrow at the prairie parcel. No doubt, many of the sparrows are there already, like Clay-colored, Lincoln's, Savannah, Field, Vesper, White-throated, and White-crowned. Sadly, my energy level and overall motivation is still somewhat low and I don't feel completely recovered from having the flu a few weeks ago. Hopefully a few visits to the prairie this week will provide the necessary inspiration.
Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Sep 24, 2016 10:00 AM - 12:45 PM
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Green Warbler
All images © 2016 Mike McDowell