Birding


On crane count day, the 18th, I counted 55 White Pelicans at Nygren Wetland Preserve. When I stopped there this afternoon, there were over 110, of which 80+ were in the air, later to land in the waters out of sight of the platform. A flock of 100+ Pectoral Sandpipers was flying around, just as one was on April 18th, but there was really little to interest to look at other than the pelicans. A couple of Caspian Terns were at the end of Moody Road. The swans are still present at Pierce Lake.

The two adult Mute Swans that have been at Rock Cut SP since April 8 have been joined by a 3rd adult. I saw the 3 together at the east end of Pierce Lake during the lunch hour today.

We were at Espenscheid F.P. this afternoon where we saw our first White-throated Sparrow and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher for this season along with Yellow-rumped Warbler and Golden-crowned Kinglets.

Tooks these at Deer Run Forest Perserve on 4-12-09. There were about 8 of them flying
around.


Caught this one last week in the neighbor back yard.
Looks like it is enjoying lunch
If not a Cooper's what is it?
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Took these through the kitchen window of a Red-tailed
sitting on the utility line in my back yard

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Larry Balch and I recorded 83 species in 5.5 hours yesterday in the northwest portion of Winnebago County. We started at the Nygren Wetlands overlook. There were a lot of ducks of a variety of species, the most numerous being Green-winged Teal. 14 Am. White Pelicans flew in while we were there, and we later found 3 more in the flooded field at the east end of Moody Road. Many Pied-billed Grebes were spread around (25).

3 species of swallows were at Nygren, including the first Barn and Rough-winged Swallow arrivals of the season. We had a large flock of blackbirds on Blodgett Road along the old RR right of way. They were mostly Rusty Blackbirds (12) with Red-wings and Brown-headed Cowbirds mixed in, but we also saw 4 Brewer's Blackbirds. There were probably more.

The flooded wetland mitigation area at the Winter's farm in Shirland had many more ducks, including Greater Scaup (we recorded 17 species of waterfowl for the day), an d another 20 Pied-billed Grebes. 2 Northern Harriers were flying around over the wetland.

A stop at Lake Summerset (viewing from the yellow gate marked "emergency vehicles only" on Best Road gave nice views of the length of the lake. We found Common Loon, Horned Grebe, Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 flocks of Ruddy Ducks on the water, and a Purple Martin!

We ended at Pecatonica Wetlands, where the swamp along Blair Road had a large number of Wood Ducks and N. Shovelers, plus a lot of Tree Swallows. The Great Blue Heron rookery visible from Blair road near Pecatonica Road had a bird standing on virtually every nest, but no Great Egrets were present yet.

Today I checked Rock Cut lakes around noon. Not much to report waterbird-wise, but there was a Common Loon on Olson Lake, having great success fishing. From the west end of Pierce Lake I saw 2 swans way back at the east end. So I drove back to get a close enough look to separate Tundra from Trumpeter, but it was no problem because they were Mute Swans. Oh well.

There are still a couple of siskins in my Shaw Woods yard, but unlike Dan, I haven't seen ours gathering any nesting material. We have the same migrants he's noted on the west side near Anna Page except for Purple Finches and (needless to say) pelicans. Our hummingbird feeders have been up for a week, since RTHs arrived in Wisconsin April 1. But nothing here yet.

Barbara and I drove to the Westlake Community Building around 0900 this morning for the NLI mortgage burning event kickoff. NLI paid off the mortgage on its purchase of the Pecatonica Ridge prairie and wetland property. As we approached Westlake, we spotted a Common Loon in the lake about 500 feet or so north of the swimming beach area.

nothing left of the shorebirds this morning except lots of snipe, but lots of Rusty Blackbirds out there in the Pec Wetlands

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