Monday, August 20, 2012

Weekend Photography & Birding

Wood Duck

Like the Green Herons, hatch-year Wood Ducks have been making their way down the creek corridor from the confluence ponds. I find them far less skittish than adults, making them ideal bird photography subjects. I've never seen so many of this species at one location up until this summer. There must be a few dozen or more at the ponds west of Deming Road right now. This particular bird was basking in early morning sunlight at an open area just beyond the last bridge along the west trail.

Broad-winged Hawk

On a different outing without my spotting scope, I captured this photograph of a cooperative young Broad-winged Hawk by hand-holding my Nikon Coolpix 4500 up to my Swarovski binoculars. It was such a clumsy operation that I imagined the hawk laughing at my lack of progress. I finally used a log on the ground to prop up my binoculars toward the perched hawk and snapped off a few images. Given the limitation of aperture and magnification compared to my regular digiscoping rig, I was surprised how well it turned out.

Partridge Pea

Allegheny Monkeyflower

I still like to use the aforementioned Coolpix 4500 for its incredible macro capability. It's especially useful for photographing wildflowers and insects. Apparently common throughout Wisconsin, this is the first summer I've noticed Partridge Pea along the Creek corridor. Allegheny Monkeyflower is another wildflower I'm noticing at the corridor for the first time, but I think I could have easily missed it before, as they are not especially showy from a distance. However, I love the bright pale yellow of Evening Primrose. They look like tiny yellow beacons in the understory.

Evening Primrose

There are still a few Dogbane Leaf beetles feeding on Indian hemp, but they're getting more difficult to find. If you're into killing the invasive Japanese beetle, make sure you can tell the difference between these two similar looking insects!

Dogbane Leaf beetle

Pheasant Branch Conservancy
Aug 18 & 19, 2012  
Total # of Species: 65

Wood Duck  
Great Blue Heron  
Green Heron  
Cooper's Hawk  
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk      
Sandhill Crane  
Spotted Sandpiper
Solitary Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull  
Mourning Dove  
Ruby-throated Hummingbird  
Belted Kingfisher      
Red-bellied Woodpecker  
Downy Woodpecker  
Hairy Woodpecker  
Northern Flicker  
Olive-sided Flycatcher  
Eastern Wood-Pewee  
Least Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe      
Great Crested Flycatcher  
Red-eyed Vireo  
Blue Jay  
American Crow  
Barn Swallow      
Cliff Swallow  
Black-capped Chickadee  
Tufted Titmouse  
White-breasted Nuthatch  
House Wren  
Marsh Wren  
Carolina Wren  
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  
Swainson's Thrush      
American Robin  
Gray Catbird  
European Starling  
Cedar Waxwing  
Northern Waterthrush      
Blue-winged Warbler      
Golden-winged Warbler      
Black-and-white Warbler  
Tennessee Warbler  
Nashville Warbler  
Common Yellowthroat  
American Redstart  
Magnolia Warbler  
Chestnut-sided Warbler  
Black-throated Green Warbler  
Wilson's Warbler  
Chipping Sparrow      
Savannah Sparrow  
Song Sparrow  
Swamp Sparrow  
Northern Cardinal  
Red-winged Blackbird  
Eastern Meadowlark  
Baltimore Oriole  
House Finch  
American Goldfinch  
House Sparrow  

All images © 2012 Mike McDowell

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