Sunday, April 23, 2017

April's Progression

"It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart."

― Rainer Maria Rilke


White-throated Sparrow

Early this morning I walked the entire length of the creek corridor but only found a few warblers. There were a few Yellow-rumped Warblers and just a single Orange-crowned Warbler that's been foraging around the first bridge east of Park Lawn for the past few days. Not much is coming in on account of continuing northwest winds, but White-throated Sparrows have been one exception. The past several days we've been graced with their charming whistling songs emanating from dense thicket.

White-throated Sparrow song:




Purple Violet

More spring wildflowers are beginning to decorate the verdant forest floor. "White-throated Sparrows return with the blossoming violets," Sylvia often reminds me. However, this year the violets were a little ahead of the sparrows. It's fun to ponder Nature's seasonal cycles (phenology). There's always a general order to the overall transition, but subtle differences can be noteworthy and surprising. Every bit of new information adds to the appreciation of a given plant or animal.


Wild Geranium


Dutchman's breeches


Dutchman's breeches


Field Sparrow

I observed my first Six-spotted Tiger Beetle of season at Deer Creek Pond, which is just across the street from where I live. It's a fun little oasis I've written about in the past and one never knows what might show up at this small patch of habitat surrounded by streets and bulidings. Today there were Wood Ducks, a Belted Kingfisher, some Black-capped Chickadees, singing House Wrens, White-throated Sparrows, Song Sparrows, Blue Jay, Northern Cardinal, Red-winged Blackbird, and even a Brown Thrasher.


Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

The shiny green tiger beetle was fast and uncooperative, but I eventually managed to get a few portraits of it with my macro lens.



Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Apr 22, 2017 6:30 AM - 10:15 AM
48 species

Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Mallard
Common Merganser
Pied-billed Grebe
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Egret
Green Heron
Broad-winged Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Belted Kingfisher
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Jay
American Crow
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Hermit Thrush
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Chipping Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Eastern Meadowlark
Common Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Finch
American Goldfinch

All images © 2017 Mike McDowell

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