Sunday, January 21, 2018

Corridor Carolina Wrens!

"There is new life in the soil for every man. There is healing in the trees for tired minds and for our overburdened spirits, there is strength in the hills, if only we will lift up our eyes. Remember that nature is your great restorer."

― Calvin Coolidge

Carolina Wren

Trusting Sunday's forecast that called for overcast skies and drizzle, I made good on spending as much time as possible outside with Saturday's gorgeous weather. Temperatures rising into the upper forties melted much of our snow. The trails of Pheasant Branch Conservancy were a thawing slop-mix of water, mud, and ice, but the going wasn't too bad for the most part.

The Conservancy Condo feeders were loaded with House Finches, American Goldfinches, Pine Siskins, and Common Redpolls. Numerous Dark-eyed Juncos, American Tree Sparrows, and Northern Cardinals foraged on the ground directly below the feeders. White-throated Sparrows were slightly more skittish, but a few popped out into the open for nice binocular views. Woodpeckers and nuthatches were quite lively with tree-tapping, calling, and chasing.

The highlight of the morning was finding a singing Carolina Wren along the creek corridor between Park Street and Century Avenue. In fact, there were three. A second wren gave a scolding call while the first powered its splendidly enthusiastic tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea-kettle song. A third was found at a different location north of Century Avenue. In southern Wisconsin, we're well under normal winter snowfall amounts, so I'm not surprised the wrens haven't abandoned the conservancy. Thankfully, the wrens have endured the severe cold snaps!

Carolina Wren

The warm weather felt like spring and the cheerful birdsong seemed to bring its onset even closer. But it isn't spring and there's much cold weather yet to come. To  cap off a fun day with even more nature-y stuff, a few of us went to Brooklyn Wildlife Area to see the Short-eared Owls come out to hunt. I counted 5, but there could have been more. It was cool watching the owls interact with one another, chase away a Northern Harrier, and bombard a perched Red-tailed Hawk.

Pheasant Branch, Dane, Wisconsin, US
Jan 20, 2018 9:40 AM - 1:08 PM
32 species

Canada Goose
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Shrike
Blue Jay
American Crow
Horned Lark
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
American Robin
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
American Tree Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Northern Cardinal
House Finch
Common Redpoll
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

All images © 2018 Mike McDowell

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