Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rosy Finch Ramblings

How many species of Finch are there at these feeders?
What a crazy day.  This morning, I drove an hour south to Lancaster WI where a GRAY-CROWNED ROSY FINCH was reported and has been coming to a feeder.  Unfortunately, said Finch didn't want to come today.  Who knows why.  Tom Prestby, Sean Fitzgerald, Tom Schafer and I spent the better part of 4 1/2 hours watching the feeders and the surrounding area for the bird. No luck.  
We ended up seeing every other finch that had been reported in Southern Wisconsin, just not the one we wanted.  
The 6 finches we DID see were: Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, House Finch, Goldfinch, Purple Finch and 18 White-winged Crossbills.  
We also managed to rack up quite a list while there including:
Lapland Longspur, Horned Lark, Tufted Titmouse, Song Sparrow, Cardinal, Bald Eagle and Mourning Dove in addition to the regular feeder birds. 

We all cut out around 2:00pm and split up. Tom, Tom and Sean went West to Cassville for waterfowl while I headed North to Patch Grove where I found this bird:

Patch Grove has usually been a reliable place for Eurasian Collared-dove in the past and proved to be so this time.  Sorry for the awful photo. It was into the sun and through the car window. 

Then, I headed out of town on Patch Grove Road and turned North again on Breuer Rd where I found this bird:
Gray Partridge are uncommon year round residents in Wisconsin. They are found in wide open fields in winter near Green Bay and near Patch Grove where I found a group of 8 of them feeding on leftover corn in the snow. 

Farther up the road, there is a cemetery where I found this guy:

This Sharp-shinned Hawk flew in while I was stopped at a stop sign. 

On the way home, I bagged this beauty:

Red-tailed Hawks are way cool birds! 

Then, as I did yesterday, I stopped at the row of Oaks on Dayton Ridge Rd where I managed to get this shot:
This is probably THE best shot of a Red-headed Woodpecker I've ever taken.  One of these days I'll run down there (it's 5 mins from my house) and spend an hour photographing this guy. He was one of 2 birds I saw while there. 

So, that's my day today.  I might run back down to Lancaster again tomorrow. Hopefully the Rosy Finch hasn't taken off yet. If it's still around, the cold weather on Sat might bring it in. 

Until then, to tide you over, I've posted some photos below from last summer when I saw Gray-crowned Rosy Finches in their natural habitat in Jasper NP, British Columbia, CAN. 
(Yes this Wisconsin bird would be new for the USA for me)

Happy Birding! 

Not the world's greatest photos. It was a bright day and I was photographing a dark bird against a white background.

Here's the habitat they live in:

Spectacular eh?


Tucker L said...

What a finch irruption you guys are getting over there! Even without the rosy finch it still was a looks like you had a good day. I think your Sharp-shinned Hawk is a Cooper's due to the overall larger size, rounded tail, and "square" head. Send some of the finches this way please!

Parus said...

Hmm, you could be right Tucker. It did look pretty small in the field though. I would also say that the tail looks a little more worn than just rounded. That head is a bit big though. Seemed to have the narrower wings of a Sharpie too. Not the broader rounded wings of a Coop. There are ID points going both ways.
So, it's either a female Sharpie or a Male Coop.
Might be better just to leave this one unIDed.
For listing purposes though, since I'm certain to see 2 if not all 3 Accipiters this year, I'll just leave it at Sharpie for now.