Saturday, April 5, 2008

Birding over the last few days.

On Fri morning, Mom took me to Bakken's Pond. I added a few species to my year list including Ruddy duck and Red-shouldered Hawk. Fri evening, I went owling at the Kickapoo Reserve with Jason Vidas from La Farge. Conditions were almost perfect. It was a clear night with almost no wind at all. It was just a little on the cold side though. We found a grand total of 2 Owls but we had a fantastic night! Our first bird of the night was an Am Woodcock that not only let us walk within feet of it, but it also flew out into the open where we could see it!! We had phenomenal views of the beautiful, full breeding plumaged male bird. Not only that, it called for us and let us watch... AND, it danced for us and paid absolutely no attention to us at all!!! It flew so close, it almost hit us a couple times. we watched that bird for about 30 mins.
While watching, we also heard, other Woodcock, a Wilson's Snipe, Sandhill Cranes, Canada geese, Wood Ducks and a few other common birds as they wound down for the night. Right after dark, a lone Barred Owl called. It was to be our first Owl of the night and the last for a few hours.

two hours later, we had found absolutely no Owls at all. We had tried almost all the places I knew about. Getting desperate, we tried one last place. Harris Rd just North of the Visitor's center. It was about 10:00pm and it was pretty dark since there was no moon. I tried a few recordings I had brought. Great-horned, Barred, E Screech owl.... all turned up nothing. Somehow, without realizing it, I ended up on N Saw-whet Owl. I had deliberately not played it since we weren't in an area with good habitat nearby.
just on a whim, I tried it anyway. Lo and behold, from about a half mile away, a N Saw-whet Owl called back!!!!

Jason and I were ecstatic!! It was a lifer for both of us!!!

Today, I stopped by Bakken's pond again and found my WI FOS Yellow-rumped Warbler along with the usual ducks and other passerines.

I think I'll stop at the Spring Green Preserve tomorrow. Aaron Holschbach found an early Lark sparrow there today.

1 comment:

A. said...

Those American Woodcocks sound pretty cool.What an experience to get to watch them like that! I saw Am. Woodcocks when I was in Maine last summer. There was a flock of them standing right next to us. Of course, as soon as we saw them, they all started running away.

Congrats on the life bird! And the Barred Owl. I heard one of those last Sunday. :-)

Happy birding,