"Nature is one of the most underutilized treasures in life. It has the power to unburden hearts and reconnect to that inner place of peace."
― Janice Anderson
Sparrow migration is in full swing at the prairie parcel of Pheasant Branch Conservancy. The few birders who joined me this morning for Open Birding got to see 8 different native sparrow species:
I was hoping for a Harris's Sparrow during our hike around the prairie, but so far most of them are still to our west and north in neighboring states; we need a strong west wind! It certainly isn't too late for those of us in southern Wisconsin, as I've observed this species at the conservancy mid to late October, and at least one time during November. This species has also been known to overwinter in Wisconsin from time to time.
The colors are stunning when fall begins to overtake summer's still vibrant greens. The prairie is filled with an array of goldenrods, asters, and other wildflowers, but I was very pleased to find Stiff Gentian, which I don't believe I've ever observed at the conservancy before.
Though it's a favorite month for nature photography, I'm unsure how much time I'll be able to visit the prairie this October ― or how often I'll even want to. We're no longer open on Saturdays at Eagle Optics, so I work Monday through Friday every week now. It used to be nice having a day off during the middle of the work week when it's vastly easier to experience the solitude of the prairie: just me, blue sky, flowers, and birds.
Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Oct 2, 2016 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM
All © 2016 Mike McDowell