Sunday, June 29, 2008

First post of the trip

ok, I haven't posted for a long time. Since I posted last, I've been to the ABA's Young Birder's Conference in Minot ND. The five days I was there were really fun! I finally got to meet some people I've been wanting to meet, see some old friends and make some new friends. I got 6 lifers at YBC. Red-necked Grebe, Baird's Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Gray Partridge, Chestnut-collared Longspur and Ferruginous Hawk!!!! (More on all that later this summer)

Since then, I've been on vacation in the Canadian rockies. I've been birding in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and a few other places.
Unfortunately, the late snow pack has foiled finding several of my target birds including a number of the winter finches and Golden-crowned Sparrow.

The below Harlequin Duck is one of the several target birds I did get though!!

That was such a good bird!!

He even let me get within about 15 feet of him!!!

Then, I got this Grey-crowned Rosy finch!!!!!!!


Til next time, Happy birding!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Chucks, Whips and Le Conte's

Yesterday evening, I headed up to Black River State forest for some night birds. The highlight of the trip was finding the resident vagrant Chuck-wills-widow!! This is the 3rd year the bird has been present. Many Whip-poor-wills were calling throughout the forest and nighthawks flew overhead. It's the only place in WI where you can reliably find all 3 nightjars.
We didn't find any owls at all. Not even Barred.

Mom and I then parked in the nearest campground for the night.
At 5am this morning, I was out running my Kirtland's Warbler survey routes. 2 of the 3 sites were not suitable habitat and the 3rd was only a little better. No KIWAs to be found.
I also searched the area where they were found 2 years ago to no avail. All the indicator species were there (Vesper Sparrow, Br Thrasher, Clay-colored Sparrow, Nashville Warbler, ect) but no KIWAs.

I birded my way back home today after the survey. I stopped at Ball Rd in Wood county and picked up Le Conte's Sparrow! A bird I had missed on migration. No other year birds the entire way back even though I found many good birds.

I haven't been posting regularly because I'm getting ready to leave for the summer. I'm leaving on Mon evening (the 16th) and will be gone until Aug 26th so I have to take everything with me. Check my schedule on the right if you wish to know where I am.

I will try to post as often as possible but I'm sure that I won't have a lot of time and in some places there won't be any internet.
So check this blog regularly because I'll probably be posting at odd hours (like now). lol

Happy Birding!

Friday, June 13, 2008


Year bird # 297! Thank goodness I was at Spring Green Preserve at the right time. There was only one of these guys.

I need only 3 more species before I leave for ND.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Birding lately has been tricky. With all the rain we've been having lately, all the birds have been hiding out. it's been raining since Thurs morning. Many of the rivers and streams are at or above flood stage. Some of the towns North and South of me will be completely flooded by tomorrow. Several places have received 5 or 6 inches at a time. At least 5 or 6 tornados hit in various places yesterday and baseball size hail was common. It's crazy.

Yesterday, I took advantage of a lull in the rain and headed over to Baxter's Hollow in search of a Worm-eating Warbler.
Once again, for the third time in a row, I dipped. I found just about everything else but the WEWA. Present were:
Canada Warbler
Winter Wren
Louisiana Waterthrush
Acadian Flycatcher
Cerulean Warbler
Black&White Warbler
Am Redstart
Blue-winged Warbler
Both Cuckoos
Hooded Warbler

Just no WEWAs. I can't believe it. It's not an easy bird to miss. I hope I can find time to get over there just once more. I really can't afford to miss the bird.... I'm running out of time though......

Thursday, June 5, 2008

New Blog at Cornell-"The Round Robin"

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is in the process of completely redesigning their website. They would love to hear from people about how to make their site better, easier to access, easier to use, ect.

I know they'd love to hear from you!! Any ideas you have, put it to them! Anything you want.

Fellow Bloggers, please spread the word about this blog. The more people they have inputing ideas, the better the site will be.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Hooded Warbler

photo credit: Kevin T Karlson
I borrowed it from the cornell website page about the hooded warbler

My resident HOODED WARBLER has returned for a fourth year!!!!!

4 years ago, I had only recently added Hooded Warbler to my life list and had become quite familiar with it's song.
One day in early June, I was walking up the road to the ridge one morning when I heard it. The "Tuee tuee tweeo" coming from the woods. I knew instantly what it was. I was so surprised, I just stopped in my tracks, slack-jawed for a minute. I had never expected to add a Hooded Warbler to my valley list but here it was, singing away.
The forest at that point had been logged in the mid 90s and the new trees growing in combined with the older trees that the loggers had left standing made for perfect habitat. It was perfect serendipity. Loss of a beautiful mature forest to make way for new Hooded Warbler habitat.

Since then, I have found the bird in the same place every year.

Last year, I found a second male. He did not stay though. I have yet to find a female or any sign of nesting other than the lone male singing on territory.

Hooded Warblers are southeastern species and WI is at the northern extent of their range. They are known to nest in Southern WI but not any farther north. I believe Baxter's Hollow and here are the Northerly most nesting birds in the state. I can't say that for certain though.

It will be interesting to see just how much some of the southern species extend their range. It would be nice to have nesting Yellow-throated Warblers here!