Archive for May, 2012

Birding Lake Farm County Park

May 20, 2012

Yesterday, Brian and Brian and I headed back out for another early Saturday morning birding adventure.  We met down at Lake Farm County Park just south of Madison, on the western shore of Lake Waubesa at 5:30 AM.  It was warmer than last week, clear skies and a light wind out of the east.  Even the oaks were fully leafed-out which was made visual ID a little harder in a few instances and ther were mosquitos at the onset.  I’ve never seen more orioles in my, perhaps my life combined.  And I think there was a different yellow warbler every hundred feet.  Birding with someone who knows the birds by ear is fantastic.

In no particular order….

  • yellow warbler
  • common yellowthroat
  • american redstart
  • tennessee warbler
  • nashville warbler
  • baltimore oriole
  • orchard oriole (1st year male)
  • scarlet tanager
  • red-bellied woodpecker
  • downer woodpecker
  • northern flicker
  • blue gray gnatcatcher
  • red-winged blackbird
  • brown thrasher
  • great blue heron
  • little green heron
  • mallard
  • wood duck
  • canada goose
  • sandhill crane
  • field sparrow
  • song sparrow
  • chipping sparrow
  • robin
  • cardinal
  • goldfinch
  • purple finch
  • olive-sided flycatcher
  • kingbird
  • unknown flycatcher
  • phoebe
  • shiny cowbird
  • grackle
  • rose-breasted grosbeak
  • house wren
  • warbling vireo
  • easterrn bluebird
  • red-tailed hawk
  • ruby-throated hummingbird
  • crow
  • blue jay
  • sedge wren

There was also a restored prairie there that looks like it will be dominated by flowering Baptisia in a few weeks.  That will be worth another visit soon.  Going out yesterday and hearing how incredibly alive the earth felt was a terrrific rush and sharpens my focus on the importance of the restoration of bird habitat. 

I’d love to see the backlot of Olbrich get restored into a high-quality stopover site for migratory birds.  That site, and nearby parcels upstream of Starkweather Creek represents the best option for enhancing stopover habitat on the north side of lake Monona. This is something I’ve been thinking about for several years and is something I will begin working towards now.

International Migratory Bird Day

May 13, 2012

Yesterday, Saturday May 12, was International Migratory Bird Day.  I celebrated by going birding with two friends at Mud Lake Wildlife Area in Columbia County, Wisconsin.  It was an outstanding site because the short access road rapidly transitions from wetland to forest to field.  We were there from approximately 6-8 AM.  The weather was clear, little to no wind, with temps in the low 60s.  It was perfect peak migration birding.

Without any further ado…

  • Brown Thrasher
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • Red Wing Blackbird
  • Shiny Cowbird
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Little Green Heron
  • Mallard
  • Wood Duck
  • Canada Goose
  • Field Sparrow
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Yellow Warbler
  • Tennessee Warbler
  • Wood Thrush
  • Robin
  • Cardinal
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
  • Crow
  • Sandhill Crane
  • Red-Tailed Hawk
  • American Redstart
  • Black-Throated Green Warbler
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Tree Swallow
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Red-Bellied Woodpecker
  • House Wren

There might have been a few more, but that’s about the siae and shape of it.  We had such a good time, I think we’re heading back out next Saturday too!