Sunday, October 30, 2016

Late October Birding


Fox Sparrow

While Fox and American Tree Sparrow numbers are still increasing, this fall's sparrow migration is winding down. On Saturday there was only a single Lincoln's Sparrow and no Field or Chipping Sparrows. Most of the White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows have moved on as well, but a handful of them continue to linger. A few will overwinter at the conservancy.


White-throated Sparrow

Here are the sparrow species I observed at Pheasant Branch Conservancy this fall:

Le Conte's Sparrow
American Tree Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
Harris's Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Eastern Towhee

I didn't encounter a Vesper Sparrow this season, but 15 species is still excellent. In fact, I don't know of a place to observe better sparrow diversity in all of Dane County. Plus, the number of individuals is impressive compared to other locations in the Madison area.


American Tree Sparrow

As we move into November and December, the checklists will shrink to around 25 to 30 species per outing. There will be no more phoebes, pipits, or catbirds, but we'll still have the conservancy's permanent residents like chickadees, nuthatches, titmice, and various woodpecker species to admire. I saw the Northern Shrike both Saturday and Sunday and hope it stays for the winter.


Eastern Phoebe


Downy Woodpecker

Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Oct 29, 2016 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
38 species

Canada Goose
Mallard
Ring-necked Pheasant
Cooper's Hawk
Bald Eagle
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Eastern Phoebe
Northern Shrike
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Eastern Bluebird
American Robin
American Pipit
Snow Bunting
American Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
Common Grackle
House Finch
American Goldfinch

All images © 2016 Mike McDowell

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