Sora’s at Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 24, 2020

This morning one of my birding stops was Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee. There were Sora’s present yesterday with the Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows and today the Sora’s were still there, 4 of them. There was one that I took a few photos of that was getting things to eat, worms it appeared. Nice to see these birds out in the open for a change. Other places I stopped at birding along the lake were quiet. Beautiful morning out with mild temps, very little wind, some sunshine too. Images were taken on September 24, 2020.

Sora with a warm to eat…

Looking for something to eat…

Getting something to eat…

More looking around…

Maybe something to eat here…

Got it…

Looking pretty…

More food here…

In search of…

Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows at Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 23, 2020

One of my birding stops this morning was Veteran’s Park in Milwaukee. The flooded area on the east end of the lagoon, provided excellent views of 3 Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrows. They fed in the flooded area of the grass coming in and out of the cattails. It was nice to see these migrants. Also present were 4 Sora’s, that gave nice looks some of the time I was there. Other birders also enjoyed the nice views of these stunning sparrows, the sparrows were present when I left the area at 9:00 am. Not a life bird as I had this species at the Magic Hedge and Lake Barney in the past. It was a beautiful morning out with pleasant temps, low winds and sunny skies. Images were taken on  September 23, 2020.

Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow, with food in the bill, 1 of 3 present…

Looking for something to eat…

2 of them…

With a worm to eat…

Back view…

In search of food…

With something to eat…

Sora, 1 of 4 seen at this location…

Great Egret at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 15, 2020

One of my birding stops today produced a surprise Great Egret. Greenfield Park was one stop on the way home, just in case. I guess today was that day. The bird was off an island feeding when I arrived. On a couple of occasions it fed along a shore until pedestrians came along on bike or foot not realizing the bird was there and the bird flushed. Still one Green Heron present, just saw it fly by when I was there. It was a beautiful day with some sun, a nice breeze, actually had a sweatshirt today. Images were taken on September 15, 2020.

Great Egret moving through the water very slow, hunting for something to eat…

A fish!

In flight after a biker came by…

Getting a fish!

Another fish…

New catch…

I think this is the kill….squish!

Almost down…

A little bite!

Fish in the throat going down…

Sanderlings and a Semipalmated Plover at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 8, 2020

One of my birding stops early this morning was McKinley Beach. Present there were 7 Sanderlings and 1 Semipalmated Plover. They were feeding on some nice algae mats there. It was a gloomy morning out and just after seeing these birds it started raining. Nothing else special to note at the other couple of places I stopped before McKinley Beach. Images were taken on September 8, 2020.

Sanderling with something to eat…

Sanderling looking pretty…

Semipalmated Plover posing…

Sanderling with something to eat…

Sanderling in search of food…

Sanderling looking for things to eat…

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover

Sanderling in the wave with food in the bill…

Sanderling in search of…

Green Herons at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 28, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park I came across 2 Green Herons hunting for food. They were not very productive while I watched, but it was still nice to see some of their actions. There was one fish taken, a Rock Bass. It was a warm morning, a nice breeze helped, sunny skies. Images were taken on August 28, 2020.

Green Heron, adult

With a nice Rock Bass…

Watching for something to come by…

In search of food at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

Going for a Damselfly and getting it at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

With the Damselfly…at Veterans Park 9/1/2020

Just looking pretty…

Just looking around…

American Golden-Plover at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 28, 2020

While walking Lakeshore State Park this morning checking out the beach area, it was empty. I started to walk east across the field and after a couple of 100 feet I turned around to look at the beach again and a shorebird had just dropped in. I’m like what?? I put my bins up and decided it was a plover by the size and body. As I got closer I assumed it was an American Golden-Plover. Someone told me once, a chunky bill is a Black-bellied Plover. This bill was not chunky. I immediately took some photos, and only getting a few, bikers, dog walkers being good, walkers in general, the area all of the sudden became very busy, I watched the bird fly off to the northeast across the grass field. Not really sure what spooked it as I was looking at images on my camera. It was a warm morning, a nice breeze helped, sunny skies. Images were taken on August 28, 2020.

The American Golden Plover

American Golden-Plover

American Golden-Plover, with a feather…

American Golden-Plover

Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 26, 2020

I had seen a couple reports of a Buff-breasted Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park so this morning I thought I would try my luck. It was there along the end of a mowed field with a Lesser Yellowlegs. After watching this bird for awhile sitting up on a clump of grass, it decided to hunt a little in the grass for insects to eat. I saw on one image it had a moth in its bill. Later it flew to the beach area and hung out for a while. When I left the area other birders had arrived and were enjoying nice views. It was a warm morning with early temps at 84 degrees, full sun, a little breeze. Images were taken on August 26, 2020.

Buff-breasted standing on top of a clump of grass…

Off to do a little hunting for insects…

A moth in the bill…

Always changing directions as it walks, looking and listening for something to eat…

Getting something here…

Near the beach area on a rock…

Those beautiful feathers…

The closeup

Preening…

A resting Lesser Yellowlegs a couple of feet from the Buff-breasted, they are friends it appeared…

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 23, 2020

I made a stop at Whitnall Park this morning with hopes to photograph my 1st Ruby-throats of the year. Whitnall Park did not let me down. I photographed a few different hummers as they came and went from Red Sage plants. Another hot day once it got to be around 10 AM with plenty of sun, temps around 85 degrees. Images were taken on August 23, 2020.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, young male

Ruby-throated Hummingbird, female

 

Mexican Violetear Hummingbird in Crawford County Wisconsin on August 2, 2020

After some late morning festivities, I got home and checked the computer. I was shocked to see a Mexican Violetear was just seen in Crawford County and just posted. This bird is far out it’s range being Central Mexico. This hummingbird is 1″ larger in size than our common Ruby-throated. The homeowner preferred you contact her for the address. I figured this was maybe going to be a once in a lifetime chance to see this bird in the state of Wisconsin. With an almost 3 hour ride heading to the Gay Mills area in Crawford County, I felt I would take the chance and hit the highway with out an address. It was my lucky day as 30 minutes on the road Rachel returned my email, I got her address. I continued on to the location. After arriving at the location, walking towards the crowd of birders, all with masks, a voice said, Jim, you missed the bird by 2 minutes! They also said it shows about every 20 minutes, I felt better.  After about 20 minutes the bird did show up and gave us some great action at the feeder. Wow, what a show! A beautiful bird, the colors and the size too! A big thank you to Rachel for allowing birders to come onto her property to view this bird. This was life bird #355 for me in the state of Wisconsin and an exciting one at that! Images were taken on August 2, 2020.

Great Egrets at Echo Park in Burlington Wisconsin on July 21, 2020

I stopped out at Echo Park in Burlington to see if any Great Egrets were present. Surprisingly there were 8 present, they were spread out, some perched in trees on the lake, a few at the dam, some in tree tops near the dam. At the dam a couple of the Great Egrets were fishing hard for fish to eat and they did well while I was there. It was a very pleasant morning with partly cloudy skies, low winds, and temps around 75 early. Images were taken on July 21, 2020.

Great Egret with a fish…

Stealth mode here waiting for a fish to come by…

Nice catch!

At the dam…

Typically head first!

Beautiful bird!

Shaken off…

Shaken off…

Just being a Great Egret here…

Common Loons with Chicks in Sawyer County Wisconsin on July 4, 2020

On a trip to Sawyer County in Northern Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to watch and enjoy Common Loons with the chicks. These chicks were already very big. I saw them briefly coming in from fishing near a dock. Images were taken on July 4, 2020.

Common Loon, adult…

Common Loon chick, so big already!

Common Loon stretching after preening…

Common Loon, chick

Common Loon, adult…

Bobolinks at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 16, 2020

Birding Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha County this morning I came across some Bobolinks, 5 of them, males and females. They are nesting at this location so I did not hang around for more than a minute or two as I did not want to disturb the feeding of the young. Amazing grassland birds they are. I noticed what appeared to be one of the males eating Yellow Coneflower seeds still on an old seed head from last year. They are seed eaters. A beautiful morning out, no other birds to note other than common species. Sunny skies with a light breeze blowing, keeping the Bobolinks working steady to stay on the old plant canes from last year as perches. Images were taken on June 16, 2020.

Bobolink, male

The Bobolink, male calling…

Bobolink, female with food in the bill, looks like a Daddy Long Legs…and something else…on it’s way to the nest…

Bobolink, female…with food for the young…

Flying about their habitat, the grassland..

Bobolink, female with the wind blowing, trying to hang on…

Bobolink, male, with the wind blowing trying to hang on, they must be very use to this…

Interesting how they grab a clump of old canes from last years Yellow Coneflower to make one stronger perch…

Eating seeds from last years Yellow Coneflower plant, a strong Wisconsin native.

Just looking at the seed head here…

Bobolink with food in the bill on its way to the nest…

Hanging on in the wind…

Just perched and calling like what a Bobolink does…

A balancing act, perched on the old cane with the wind blowing…

Just looking…

Sandhill Crane on the Nest with Eggs in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on June 7, 2020

One of my birding stops today in Milwaukee County was checking out a reported Sandhill Crane on a nest. From a distance I watched a Sandhill Crane on the nest and on a few occasions the bird stood up and rolled the eggs over. I have never seen this before, it was very exciting to watch. Two birds have been rotating sitting on the eggs, I only saw one today. Rolling over the eggs was one thing but then the bird has to get comfortable in sitting back on the eggs after rolling. It took a couple of times to get comfy after the rolling over was done. Cranes roll the egg over as it serves to distribute the heat evenly and prevent the egg membrane from sticking to the shell. I heard this is the second try for this couple to try for young as the first attempt the eggs were washed away from flooding. It was a beautiful June day with cool temps to start the day, some sun came mid-morning. Images were taken on June 7, 2020.

The eggs…

Sitting back on the nest and eggs…

Sandhill Crane sitting on the nest…

Rolling over the eggs…

Standing tall, on the nest, like taking a break I would say…

A little preening…

More rolling of the eggs….

Sitting back on the nest and eggs…

The eggs…the second one is a little hard to see…

Just another shot, sitting on the nest with eggs…

Alder Flycatcher in the South Kettle Moraine in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 3, 2020

After 10 years of birding, working on my state life list, I have never had a confirmed Alder Flycatcher. I assumed, like some birds, it would just appear in front me someday birding, that never happened. I chased a few ebird reports this spring locally with no luck. A hard bird for me to get as it is typically confirmed from it’s call, not by looks as other flycatchers look similar. My hearing is not the best for calls. I let Anne M. know of my needed bird as she has excellent hearing. She told me where I could find them, in the South Kettle Moraine near Eagle at the Low Prairie. I went out there and she just happened to be in the area of that location birding. We walked to the location and in a minute, 2 Alder Flycatchers were calling in front us at a distance. I could hear their calls on occasion today “free-beer, free-beer”. Other flycatchers have different calls. These birds can sit perched for 5 to 15 minutes at a time, guarding their territory. I hung around for awhile and took a few distant shots. A big thank you to Anne M. for helping me get this bird #354 on my Wisconsin state life list. It was a pleasant morning , with low winds, mild temps, with heat coming for the day, mostly cloudy to start. Images were taken on June 3, 2020.

Alder Flycatcher

Calling free-beer free-beer…

Yellow-billed Cuckoo at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on June 2, 2020

The highlight of the day while birding Lake Park in Milwaukee was this Yellow-billed Cuckoo. It gave nice views while moving about in some mid size trees. This photo was taken near the statue on the south end of the park. I had a Black-billed Cuckoo a couple days before this in a ravine near the statue too, but was too far away for a decent photo. A beautiful day, mostly sunny and mild temps. Images were taken on June 2, 2020.

The Yellow-billed Cuckoo

As it moved from one tree to another…

Barred Owl with Owlets in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on June 1, 2020

I came across a pair of Barred Owls along with two owlets this morning in Milwaukee County. The owlets are so cute! They were very high in the tree tops so photos are distant. First of the year for me on this species so it was a real treat to see them. A gloomy morning but temperatures were pleasant. Images were taken on June 1, 2020.

One of the adult Barred Owls…there were a pair…

Barred Owl owlet #1

Barred Owl owlet #2

Black-bellied Whistling Duck at Washington Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 27, 2020

Word was out that a Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, male was at Washington Park in Milwaukee. The normal range for this species is lower Texas and the coasts of Mexico. I had just got home from birding Lake Park in Milwaukee but not the first time I had to go back the same day for a bird. When I arrived at the park birders were gathered talking among themselves and the bird was located near them in the lagoon. The duck just sat there with a pair of Mallards. I asked no action? They said this is what this species does, just sits around for the most part. The duck moved to the other side of the lagoon following the Mallards. Thanks to all who found the duck and who got the word out for others to see. Not a life bird but I only saw a wing of this species at Horicon a few years ago as one was flying off. Nice to see this beauty close up. It was a beautiful day, just bordering hot, some sun, a little breeze. Images were taken on May 27, 2020.

The Black-bellied Whistling-Duck, male…

Hanging out with the Mallards…

Cerulean Warbler in Jefferson County Wisconsin on May 26, 2020

On one of my birding stops today I came across a male Cerulean Warbler high in a tree in Jefferson County. It was the highlight of the day for birds as things have really settled down after the big migration run. No other special birds to note for the birding run this morning. It was a warm morning with humidity too, sunny skies, actually hot! Images were taken on May 26, 2020.

Cerulean Warbler, male

Cerulean Warbler, male