Dickcissels and Savannah Sparrows at the County Grounds Park in Wauwatosa Wisconsin on June 20, 2017

One place I have never birded was the County Grounds Park in Wauwatosa Wisconsin. This morning I met up with Bruce there as he frequents this place often and we did some birding around the park. Some of the birds we saw were Dickcissels, Eastern Meadowlarks, and very many Savannah Sparrows. On the many acres of gentle hilly terrain, there are some nice foot trails there. Amazingly on some of that property you would think you were out in the middle of nowhere, not in the middle of a city. It appeared the Savannahs were nesting everywhere. Images were taken on June 20, 2017

Dickcissel, male

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow bringing food to the young…

Savannah Sparrow calling

Savannah Sparrow calling

Dickcissel, male calling…

Dickcissel, male

Savannah Sparrow sitting pretty…

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow stretching and calling…

Savannah Sparrow calling…

The setting at County Grounds Park

The setting at County Grounds Park

Dickcissel, male calling

Bobolinks in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 19, 2017

Out birding this morning in Waukesha County I came across some Bobolinks. There were 2 males and 2 females in an area where I assumed they were nesting. I took a few shots to share and left the area. It was a sunny morning with cool temps with some clouds moving in. Images were taken on June 19, 2017.

Bobolink, male calling

Bobolink

Binomial name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 7” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 1.50 oz

Notes: A male Bobolink may have more than one mate. A well known birder in Wisconsin had called this bird a “skunk blackbird” because of the whitish stripe down the back of the head.

Bobolink, male preening

Bobolink, female keeping an eye on the nesting area

Bobolink, female keeping the balance…

Bobolink, male in the grass as we see them…

Bobolink, male just sitting pretty

Female watching the nest from a distance…

Bobolink, the female in flight…

Both sexes here…

Calling….displaying…

Distant shot of caterpillars in the bill…

The balancing act

On the lookout

Over looking the nesting area…

 

Dickcissels Mating at the Rock in Franklin in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on June 15, 2017

I made the trip over to the Rock in Franklin Wisconsin early this morning to see if any of the Dickcissels that have been recently reported were present. Sure enough, there were at least 4 and I observed them in a patch of some non-native aggressive species of plants that were 2-3 feet in height. The highlight of the morning was watching a pair of Dickcissels mating. Always enjoyable  to watch these birds calling from a perch for long periods of time. A few non native Teasels were in the planting that made great perches for these birds to call from. As I said last year, interesting that a 1/2 acre lot full of non native species fighting each other to gain growing space and looking like a rats nest at ground level can be habitat for some native bird species. The Red-winged Blackbirds, also nest in this planting along with Savannah Sparrows. These birds were here at the same location last year. Easy to spot these birds as they were calling on territory. An exciting morning to say the least! Images were taken on June 15, 2017.

Dickcissel, male

Dickcissel

Binomial name: Spiza americana

Category: Cardinals, Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 9.75” wing span

Weight: 0.95 oz

Dickcissels, the mating…

Dickcissels, the mating…

Dickcissels, the mating…his part is done…

Dickcissels, he drops down…

Dickcissel, the female after the act…

Dickcissel, the female, the proud mother to be…

Dickcissel, the male calling from an old clump of Teasel from last year

Dickcissel, the male taking off…

Dickcissel, the male perched…

Dickcissel, the female looking around…

Dickcissel, the male calling…

Dickcissel, male trying to balance with the blowing winds on an old Teasel seed head from last year.

Dickcissel, perched male

Savannah Sparrow

American White Pelicans at North Point Park in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 12, 2017

A place I always check out about the first of June each year is North Point Park in Sheboygan. It usually has some action and today was no different. Guessing there were between 200-300 American White Pelicans on the rocky point. What beautiful birds! Some fished out on the open water, some slept on the rock, some just hung out but these birds are preening machines as that is what they did the most. It was an enjoyable early morning watching these majestic birds in action. It was cool at times today being on the water, wished I had a light coat on occasion, sunny skies to start but then that turned to overcast. I was told by one of the locals that these birds will move up to Green Bay in the next few weeks for the summer. Images were taken on June 12, 2017.

An adult with a fish…the horn on the bill is disappearing as it is the end of the breeding season…the bill first appears at the beginning of the breeding season…

American White Pelican

Binomial name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Category: Pelicans

Size: 62” long, 108” wing span

Weight: 16.4 lbs

Cool fact: One of the largest birds in North America. Their pouch, bottom of their bill can hold up to 3 gallons of water.

The rock point where the pelicans hang out from a distance…

In flight

Adult fishing

2 fishing

Adult coming in for a landing, this is what they do……possible 3 juveniles on the far right side with no black on head…

Some interaction…

Adult circling around to land…

Before landing

Touching down to land…

Wing spread and a look at the foot

Some of the norm today…

A group of adults coming in to land…

Landing

3 coming in, pretty much the norm today with some coming and some going…

Landing

Circling before landing…

Just before landing…

The landing

Some circling above..

A soft landing…

A possible juvenile, some heaving preening here which went on all day with all of them…

Adult, a fish in bill…

Just after takeoff from the point…

Possible juveniles with a couple sleeping…

Just a gulp!

Trumpeter Swans with Cygnets at the Horicon Marsh in Dodge County Wisconsin on June 6, 2017

I thought it was time to head up to the Horicon Marsh to see what was going on and glad I did. One of the highlights of the day was watching one Tumpeter Swan, then two along with the cygnets feed and paddle around. When the second adult joined the group, there appeared to be some great trumpet sounds, really, like welcome back to the family! The two adults stirred the bottom by paddling and brought probably up aquatic insects which is what they eat at this age. It was an exciting time watching these adult swans doing their routine feeding the young with no distractions. It was a beautiful day with mostly full sun and pleasant temps, winds were low in the morning. Images were taken on June 6, 2017.

The family…

Trumpeter Swan

Binomial name: Cygnus buccinator

Category: Ducks, Geese, and Swans

Size: 60” long, 80” wing span

Weight: 23 lb

Their necks are stained from feeding…

2nd adult joins the group, I hear trumpet like calling with each other…they were so glad to be together…:)

1st adult stretching here…

Cygnets feeding here with some fresh churned-up vegetation for aquatic insects…

Cygnets

Cygnets

Waiting for some fresh vegetation to dig through that the adult brought up from the bottom…

Both adults stirring the bottom by neck work under the water…

Cygnets feeding here with some fresh churned-up vegetation for aquatic insects…

Both adults stirring the bottom by neck work under the water…

Here the adult is paddling the bottom stirring up the vegetation…

Cygnets finding things to eat…

The Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoos at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 27, 2017

A Black-bill Cuckoo was reported at Wehr Nature Center in Greenfield Wisconsin on and off the last week or so. This morning I gave it a shot to try to see this bird that has avoided me since I have started birding in 2009. After a good walk around the nature center grounds, coming to full circle, I spotted a Black-billed Cuckoo near the nature center entrance, what a beautiful bird, finally! The bird dropped down from a branch perched about 10 feet off the ground and appeared to feed on something, doing this action twice. The bird hung around for a few minutes but then left the viewing area. A while later while, Bruce joined me at that  parking lot and a Yellow-billed Cuckoo flew into the area and perched in front of us. That bird also perched and feed, but moved out of the area to the prairie area. Then Janet and Jeanine joined me after I texted them as they were looking for these species in a different area at the nature center, they also wanted this species on their life list. Once in the prairie area, both cuckoos showed  and were present at the same time, in fact at one time they both appeared to land in the same square foot in a grassy area. From there they moved down the hill to the south giving great views as they feed and perched, what cuckoos do. We kept a distance to just enjoy the great views and captured a few images to share. All and all, a fun morning for all present! Images were taken on May 27, 2017.

Black-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Black-billed Cuckoo

Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Some other nice shorebird species at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee yesterday, the Semipalmated Sandpipers and Sanderlings. There were 6 of them present for feeding back and forth along the beach shore from one end to the other putting on a great show. They flew from one side of the beach area to the other, usually what appeared to be for no reason. Cute little birds! Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Semipalmated Sandpiper looking for food…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Binomial name: Calidris pussilla

Category:  Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.25” long, 14” wing span

Weight:  .88 oz

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Some action on the beach…

Semipalmated Sandpiper center, in search of food, a big part of their life…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper front

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Sanderling

Semipalmated Sandpiper, when the wave hits a wing, up they go…

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Just looking…

and looking…

Piping Plover at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 23, 2017

The Piping Plover was present along with the other shorebirds feeding along the algae mat at McKinley Beach. This bird was reported by others and was still present. I have not hear if anyone did the research yet on bands. Also present, Ruddy Turnstone, Dunlin, Semipalmated Sandpipers and a Killdeer. This bird along with the others present made for an exciting day just as rain was moving into the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Piping Plover

Binomial name: Charadrius melodus

Category: Lapwings and Plovers

Size: 7.25” long, 19” wing span

Weight: 1.9 oz

Note: The research I have done states this bird is listed as Endangered in Wisconsin

The colored leg bands…

Got something here to eat…

 

Dunlin at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Stopping at McKinley Beach today also gave nice views of another species of shorebird, the Dunlin. The Dunlin hung out with the Ruddy Turnstone and the Semipalmated Sandpipers while feeding along the beach on the algae mat. All the birds gave nice views on this cloudy day with mild temps and light winds. Light rain started and I left the area. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Dunlin

Binomial name: Calidris alpina

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 8.5” long, 17” wing span

Weight: 2.1 oz

Feeding

Feeding

Eating something…or maybe sifting through the sand in the bill for something to eat…

At takeoff…

Preening

Preening

Fluffed up after preening…

At you…

Feeding

More feeding…

Feeding…

Closeup

Moving along the shore…

More feeding…

Just looking…

 

Ruddy Turnstone at the McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 23, 2017

Doing some birding long the lakefront in Milwaukee today, the stop at McKinley Beach proved fruit full for a few nice shorebirds. A stunning male Ruddy Turnstone was feeding along the algae mat and put on a great show. It worked some of the big rocks too along the side of the beach feeding. Amazing as I have seen before, I watched this bird turn over rocks looking for food, probably why it got the name “turnstone”. Also present a Dunlin, and some Semipalmated Sandpipers. The Piping Plover was still present too! When I arrived at the beach I saw Sue K capturing a few shots already from the other side of the beach. A few rain drops started coming down and I left. Images were taken on May 23, 2017.

Finding things along the rocks to eat…

Ruddy Turnstone

Binomial name: Arenaria interpres

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 9.5” long, 21” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Coming in…

Finding things to eat as the wave comes in…

Looking for things to eat…

Something to eat, a crustacean…

Something to eat, a crustacean…

Getting things to eat

Getting something to eat…

Warblers at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 22, 2017

Stopping at Whitnall Park this morning provided some nice views of some stunning warblers. The hardest to locate today was the Mourning Warbler, you can assume it is around as it had been seen, but showed itself the least. On a few occasions it came out of the log jam and I captured a few shots, but the shows were very short lived and it was usually on the move getting gnats. A Gray Catbird chased it out of the area a few times from the log jam, but it soon returned after a while as it popped out again from the sticks and logs. Other warblers species seen were Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Wilson’s and Canadas. One is always hoping for more species, but this was fun and for the most part there were numerous of each species. It was a fun time with great birds and friends! Some sun but mostly cloudy skies with mild temps. Images were taken on May 21-22, 2017.

Mourning Warbler, male

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Canada Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

Canada Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, female

Canada Warbler, male

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Blackpoll Warbler, male

American Redstart, male

American Redstart, male

American Redstart, male

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Canada Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Greater White-fronted Goose at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 19, 2017

While checking the beaches early this morning about 6:30 am, I was very surprised to find a Greater White-fronted Goose hanging with some Canada Geese. Watching it for awhile, it appeared to be lost or acting like is this the right place, seriously! Anyways it strolled along with the Canada Geese, where they went it went along. This bird is considered rare for this date at this location. Other birds to note, 2 Common Terns and what I think is a 2nd cycle Lesser Black-backed Gull. I wonder if the strong northeast winds had something to do goose and gull being here. It was a cold morning, cloudy with 41 degrees. I actually wore my winter coat, scarf, and winter hat and it was still chilly. I guess in Wisconsin you just can’t put those items away too early. Images were taken on May 19, 2017.

NOTE: A bird that should be in Alaska or far northern Canada breeding!

The look it gave, like where am I?

The drink…

The look it gave, like where am I?

Baltimore Oriole eating caterpillars on a blooming tree at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin May 16, 2017

On a walk through Lake Park this morning in Milwaukee I was greeted with a male Baltimore Oriole eating caterpillars on a beautiful blooming tree. I observed this for about a minute with calling in between the feeding. Moments later a female Baltimore Oriole flew by the tree and off they went. This took place near the lighthouse. What a treat! Images were taken on May 16, 2017.

The call…

Sneaking around on the tree looking for caterpillars…

Sneaking around on the tree looking for caterpillars…

With a caterpillar in the beak…

The call…

Looking around…

With a caterpillar…

The call…

Looking…

Eastern Kingbird eating Sumac berries at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 16, 2017

I came across a pair of Eastern Kingbirds today eating sumac berries at Lake Park in Milwaukee. Some Gray Catbirds enjoyed the berries too along with some American Robins. These few Sumac plants at the park have been a food source for some many bird species this year it is amazing. It looked like to me these plants have plenty of food remaining on them too. Just part of a fun day out birding looking for warblers which there were some all over, but hard to get the list real big on the species you would expect to see this time of year. A cool start to the day but come noon it was hot out with good winds from the south. Mostly sunny skies, high was around 88 degrees. Images were taken on May 16, 2017.

Eastern Kingbird with a sumac berry…

Eastern Kingbird

Binomial name: Tyrannus tyrannus

Category: Tyrant Flycatchers

Size: 8.5” long, 15” wing span

Weight: 1.4 oz

Getting something good here…

Just posing…

Stabilizing after a gust of wind…

Gulp!

Maybe the most common pose we see the Eastern Kingbird in…

 

Warblers at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 11, 2017

I had been stopping at numerous warbler locations this week getting ready for the big surge of warblers and it really has not happened yet. I stopped at Whitnall Park and there was some nice warbler action but only a few species. Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-and-white, Yellow-rumped, Palm and Prothonotary which I did a blog post on yesterday. Here are a few images I captured while this burst lasted as today, the 12th of May, a warbler could hardly be found. Where are they all some ask? I think they are still coming. These images were taken on May 11, 2017 on a beautiful day with great friends too!

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Palm Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Gray Catbird

Gray Catbird

Prothonotary Warbler at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 11, 2017

My first stop this morning was Whitnall Park hoping for some warblers. It seems like it takes forever for good numbers to arrive. One of the first warblers seen this morning was a Prothonotary, male. It was a stunning bird and gave nice views most of the morning. I have seen them in the past but this one put on some nice shows feeding. Other warblers present, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-and-White, Yellow-rumped, American Redstart, and some Palms. Other birds to note, White-eyed and Blue-headed Vireos. It was a fun day out with friends and meeting some new ones too! Finally, a mild day with warmer temps and mostly sunny skies, no wind there. Images were taken on May 11, 2017.

Singing away this morning…

Going for a gnat!

Getting the gnat!

Looking for the next gnat…

Looking around for a gnat…

Going for a gnat!

Glossy Ibis at the Horicon Marsh in Dodge County Wisconsin on May 7, 2017

I saw the report of the Glossy Ibis along with 3 White-faced Ibis at the Horicon Marsh yesterday evening. I made the run up and after awhile with other birders all 4 were located south of Hwy 49 and west of the pump house. They all gave distant views and flew to a few different locations in the area but always stayed pretty far from the road. They continually appeared to find things to eat in the marsh cattail areas. A life bird for me and a beautiful rare one at that. With 8 years birding in, nice to finally get this one. Not sure who found these birds, but thank you for getting the word out for others. There were 19 cars lined up along 49 just one time when I counted. It was a fun time too with some good birder and photography friends! Images were taken on May 7, 2017.

Glossy Ibis in flight…

Glossy Ibis

Binomial name: Plegadis falcinellus

Category: Ibises and Spoonbills

Size: 23” long, 36” wing span

Weight: 1.2 lb

White-faced Ibis on left, note white border around reddish face — Glossy Ibis on the right

Glossy Ibis, note NO white border around reddish face

White-faced Ibis

White-faced Ibis, note white border around reddish face

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 5, 2017

A stop at Lake Park in Milwaukee this morning gave nice views of many Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. One was cooperative for the camera while preening and hanging out. The Red-headed Woodpeckers are still hanging around near the lighthouse and the FOY Baltimore Oriole sang high up in a tree in that area too, to mention a few highlights. A few Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers were also seen. A Wild Turkey also hung out near the bird feeder. Pretty quiet for the beginning of May but it felt like winter weather with a stiff wind off the with 41 degrees early in the day. Images were taken on May 5, 2017.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Binomial name: Polioptila caerulea

Category: Gnatcatchers and Gnatwrens

Size: 4.5” long, 6” wing span

Weight: .21 oz

Preening

Stretching

Scratching

More scratching

Preening

Wild Turkey near the bird feeder

Grasshopper Sparrow at the Magic Hedge in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 3, 2017

I hit the lakefront in Milwaukee early this morning and the bird of the day I guess was this one. It actually had 4 different names today, coming from the “Magic Hedge”, who knows I guess, but it is a Grasshopper Sparrow. It gave very brief views for about 10 seconds and that was it. Other birders were right next to me but just did not see it. Images were taken on May 3, 2017.

Back view…