Horned Larks at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on November 1, 2019

While birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee the highlight of the walk were two adult Horned Larks feeding on seeds in the grass in the snow. On one occasion I saw one eat an insect, so they are not strictly seed eaters. They pulled seeds off of plants and ate nicely while I watched from a distance until a jogger not knowingly flush them off a ways. It was partly cloudy, low winds and temps around 30 degrees. Images were taken on November 1, 2019.

Horned Lark, one of two present…

Horned Lark

Binomial name: Eremophila alpestri

Category: Chickadees and Titmice

Size: 7.25” long, 12” wing span

Weight:  1.1 oz

Picking seeds off of a plant and eating them…

Seed in the bill…

Getting another seed off the plant….

Another seed in the bill…

Another seed in the bill…

They were in a grass area for a moment…

Insect in the bill here…

A closer look…

American Pipits at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County on November 1, 2019

A stop at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee along the lakefront provided views of 2 American Pipits. Thinking these are 1st winter birds…They fed along the beach clutter along the shore finding things to eat. Ring-billed Gulls were in the same area and slightly harassed the pipits on occasion flushing them. Nice to see something different for a change. Images were taken on November 1, 2019.

American Pipit

American Pipit

Binomial name: Anthus rubescens

Category: Sandpipers, Phalaropes, and Allies

Size: 6.5” long, 10.5” wing span

Weight: .74 Oz.

Note: Pipits are found on all continents, except Antarctica

Finding things to each with a Ring-billed Gull nearby…

Looking for something to eat…

The two American Pipits perched on a log just looking around…

Something in the bill to eat…

Just looking pretty!

Pied-billed Grebe at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on October 1, 2019

On a walk this morning at Lakeshore State Park I noticed a Pied-billed Grebe feeding along the cattails. It did its normal feeding routine of diving for 15-30 seconds presumably getting something to eat and then resurfacing for a longer time. A fairly quiet day at the park other than a handful of White-crowned Sparrows I saw feeding from a distance on seeds from the wildflowers. At the park it was mild temps and a light drizzle with low winds. Images were taken on October 1st 2019.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe, adult

Just up from a dive!

Snow Goose at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 30, 2019

Once again a Snow Goose has stopped for a visit at Greenfield Park. I found this adult hanging out with Canada Geese, typically of what one will do when visiting. The Snow Goose was not in the lagoon but on shore. Minimum action from this species in shots but still cool to see one here at the park. Last year a Snow Goose stopped for a long visit at the park on October 22, 2018. So this one is a little early when comparing those two. Starting out the day with fog then changing to sunshine with plenty of humidity, low winds. Images were taken on September 30, 2019.

A little stretch…

Hanging out with friends, the Canada Geese…

Just a little drama…

Eating together, that great grass!

Feeding…

Looking for a good patch of grass…

Friends…

Posing nicely…

The cross-over…

The Snow Goose, adult with some grass on the bill…

Marsh Wrens at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 27, 2019

While birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee the highlight of the walk were 3 Marsh Wrens at the small detention ponds. There are a few areas of cattails there and the Marsh Wrens were in and out of each area every couple minutes getting insects. They were quick up and down in the cattails getting things to eat. I was impossible to keep track of where they were most of the time as they pretty much stayed out of sight. One juvenile was seen. On a few occasions they briefly showed themselves and I got a couple of shots. They are considered “Secretive birds”, I know why.  It was a gloomy morning with cool temps, a good breeze, it was fall coat weather. Images were taken on September 27, 2019.

One of 3 Marsh Wrens…

Marsh Wren always looking for the next insect to eat…

Marsh Wren, how they typically perch in the cattails…

The juvenile Marsh Wren, once seen on a rock…it did pick a few insects off the rocks too but usually was in the cattails.

Looking around for insects…

Marsh Wren looking for things to eat…

Getting a spider…

Just perched pretty and looking…

Chukar in Racine County Wisconsin on September 26, 2019

The Chukar, a Eurasian species introduced here in the US is considered a released game bird here in Wisconsin. I found this adult feeding along a roadside in Racine County this morning eating seeds. It put on a nice show eating seeds as I watched it at a distance. I am posting this as some birders have never seen one so it is for educational purposes I would say. It was a gorgeous fall like morning with sunny skies, temps around 60 and very little wind. Images were taken on September 26, 2019.

The Chukar as I found it…

The close-up, a beautiful bird…

Here the Chukar is finding seeds and eating them…

Eating seeds…

Getting that seed!

Just looking…

Looking for seeds, it is what they eat…

Looking for seeds and getting some…

Those colors!

Looking pretty!

Just looking around…

Mississippi Kite in Wisconsin on August 16, 2019

After a tip from a friend about a Mississippi Kite here in Wisconsin, I decided to check it out. I arrived early and found this male bird perched in a dead tree in the area it might be found. I watched it for awhile as it repeatedly went for large flying insects and dragonflies or it perched. It preened a lot and when it was not preening it just remained perched looking for something to eat. Once I saw it fly and could see why it got the name “kite”. The bird was trying to get something on the side of a leafed out deciduous tree and it was flying like a kite would look, both top of the wings facing me, make like small radius’s in a figure-eight. Pretty cool to see! Obviously a life bird. Sorry, I can not share this location. The early morning started out cloudy but soon gave way to some sunshine. Images were taken on August 16, 2019.

The Mississippi Kite is found perched in a tree after looking sometime for it…

The Mississippi leaves the perch and does some flying around in the area, always looking for things to eat…

Always searching for food…

Must have excellent vision as it went for an insect about 500 feet away from the perch at the bottom of tree…

Cruising low in search of things to eat…

Close by overhead…

Returning to the perch, it flies over me…

After some time the Mississippi Kite returns to the area…soaring low, always looking for something to eat…

Searching…

Searching…

Off a ways in search of…

A pass over me…

Soaring around the area…

Here the bird appears to be onto something that I could not see.

Semipalmated Plover and Sanderlings at Bradford Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 10, 2019

With some light rain falling this morning, I decided to check a few beaches on Milwaukee’s lakefront. Bradford Beach had 1 Sempalmated Plover and 21 Sanderlings. I took a few shots when the rain let up. Always so cute to see the Sanderlings running up and down the beach, in and out in search of things to eat. McKinley Beach and Lakeshore State Park had nothing today, at least when I stopped. It was a foggy morning, slight drizzle at times and light winds from the east. Images were taken on September 10, 2019.

Semipalmated Plover

Semipalmated Plover going for something here…

Semipalmated Plover with a Sanderling in the background…

Just looking…

Sanderling with something in the bill…

Sanderling getting something….

Sanderling, the wing stretch…

Sanderling reflection…

The bug goes flying!

Sanderling, something in the bill…

Sanderlings, three of a kind…

Just looking…

More food in the bill…

Waiting for the next wave, and then getting the next food…

Spotted Sandpiper Feeding at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 5, 2019

Birding Lakeshore State Park I came across a juvenile Spotted Sandpiper that was feeding on the rocks on the big lake. Watching this bird for about 15 minutes, it never stopped feeding, catching very small insects and eating them. It bounced from rock to rock, back and forth putting on a great show for me. My presence watching from a distance was not a problem for this bird, it never stopped searching for and feeding on insects. Eat to survive, and this bird was doing just that. After a few minutes I left. It was a beautiful day at the park as they say, with perfect temps with a slight breeze, partly cloudy. Images were taken on September 5, 2019.

Spotted Sandpiper checking out this old log getting a few insects off of it with Bittersweet Nightshade Berries in the background…

Insect in the bill…around all the rocks it looked for food and found it, small insects…

It sees an insect…

And gets that insect!

Posing pretty!

Looks up the side of a large rock for insects…

Insect in bill….finds insects under this old stick…

Over the edge of the rock it reaches and grabs an insect…

Closeup…

Great pose, the Spotted Sandpiper, juvenile…

Moving around on the rocks in search of food…

Insect in bill….it finds a few things to eat here on the side of this rock…

Another nice view…

Sneaking around on the rocks looking for those insects…

Another beautiful shorebird, the Spotted Sandpiper…

Sanderlings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 3, 2019

After photographing the Red Knot at Lakeshore State Park I headed over to McKinley Beach. 3 Sanderlings were present and they were feeding along the beach area at waters edge finding things to eat. It was a beautiful day and exciting to see the first Sanderlings of the fall migration. Images were taken on September 3, 2019.

Sanderling looking for things to eat…

Something in the bill to eat…

Another catch…

Food in the bill…

Walking around and looking for things to eat…

Something in the bill to eat…

Posing…

Close up…

Walking and looking for things to eat, sand on the bill from the last probe…

Grabbing something to eat here…

Food in the bill…

The Sanderling, what a beautiful shorebird!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sora at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 5, 2019

While birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee this morning it was a nice surprise to see a Sora. This juvenile bird was feeding along the rocks and in the water at one of the detention ponds. It gave nice views for a few minutes and then a gull flew over head just above the cattails and the Sora darted into the cattails a couple of feet away. The gull was probably just looking for crayfish. I could just see the Sora standing in there on a little flat stick. One safe haven in the whole area of cattails for this little one to rest and sit out of sight. It remained in there for minutes just looking around, preening and I left. It was a beautiful morning out with perfect temps with a slight breeze, partly cloudy. No other birds to note at the park. Images were taken on September 5, 2019.

Sora, juvenile

Food in the bill…

Getting things to eat…

Slipping through the leaves of a wildflower looking for things to eat…

Grabbing something here to eat…

Picking something off the algae to eat…

The Sora sits out of sight after the gull spooks it…

Looking pretty…

Closeup…

Something in the bill to eat…

Another nice look…

Red Knot at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on September 3, 2019

I got a tip that a rare bird for this area, a Red Knot was seen and reported yesterday at Lakeshore State Park. I made the run down to the lakefront this morning assuming the bird was not present but something else could have come in. The juvenile bird was present at the beach area at the park and gave nice views. It fed finding things to eat while I was present taking some photographs. This bird is considered a rare sighting as the normal range for this species is east and west coasts of North America. Thanks to Tracy C for finding this bird and getting the word out for others to try for it. It was partly cloudy early morning with light winds and mild temps. Images were taken on September 3, 2019.

The Red Knot, a juvenile

Walking the beach area finding things to eat…

Getting something here to eat…

Closeup…

Just looking…

Getting something to eat here…

 

The Red Knot sees something to eat…

The Red Knot grabs it!

Something in the bill…

A leg up…

Another closeup…

For those who have not seen an adult close to full breeding plumage, this adult I photographed in Hustisford on August 16, 2014

Canada Jay, Red Crossbills, Broad-winged Hawks and more in Forest County on August 19, 2019

I saw a recent report of the Canada Jay and Boreal Chickadee species in Forest County Wisconsin. I had the urge to try for these species once again to get them on my Wisconsin life list.  An earlier winter trip a couple of years ago for these species was a bust. Mike Wanger wanted to join me as he needed the Boreal Chickadee. We met at 2:30 am in Milwaukee and made the run up. Arriving at 7am, it was 48 degrees, clear as a bell, quiet as a mouse and it pretty much remained like that for that till noon. We birded up and down Sheltered Valley and Pine River Roads, known areas for these species to be seen. Every 5-10 minutes or so we would park, get out and walk up and down the road quietly for 10-30 minutes, look and listen. After and hour or so we found a Canada Jay in a Tamarack tree a little ways off the road. It only hung around for a second after spotting it.  I got a horrible shot of the Canada Jay, but was enough for a ID. We came across some Red Crossbills eating cone seeds on a Tamarack tree. Two juvenile Broad-winged Hawks put on a show at one location, they were looking for food. We saw a few small flocks of warblers feeding, they were moving around. It was amazing that we both could walk a ways out on a bog on a possible deer trail and there were no mosquitoes or flies!  It was a exciting day for the both of us! No Boreal Chickadee was seen or heard, I guess it will be another trip another day. I have attached Mike’s ebird report for species at that location (below).

It just was not a great day for photos, but the photos show some of the species seen.

Broad-winged Hawk, juvenile

Broad-winged Hawk, juvenile

Red Crossbill, male

Canada Jay, doc shot

Broad-winged Hawk, juvenile

Black-billed Cuckoo 1 (heard)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird 1
Common Loon 1 (heard)
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Broad-winged Hawks 2
Belted Kingfisher 1
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker (Yellow-shafted) 4
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Great Crested Flycatcher 1
Blue-headed Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 3
Canada Jay (Northern) 1
Blue Jay 6
American Crow 2
Common Raven 1 (heard)
Black-capped Chickadee 12
Golden-crowned Kinglet 2
Red-breasted Nuthatch 2
White-breasted Nuthatch 4
Hermit Thrush 2
American Robin 6
Red Crossbill 2
American Goldfinch 5
Song Sparrow 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow 1
Nashville Warbler 5
Common Yellowthroat 2
Cape May Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 3
Black-throated Green Warbler 1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 2
Indigo Bunting 2

Osprey Catching a Goldfish at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on August 17, 2019

An exciting moment this morning at Greenfield Park was an Osprey stopping by and catching a goldfish for most likely for some young. This Osprey has been seen on and off at the park for the last couple of weeks. It usually stops once in the morning and I guess later in the afternoon too by what others tell me. It is probably still feeding young somewhere close as it takes the food away. The location of the nesting area is not known to anyone that I know. It was a gorgeous morning out doing a little birding with temps around 65 to start, mostly sunny skies with a little breeze. Images were taken on August 17, 2019.

Osprey arrives at the park and starts to hunt for a fish…

Osprey spots something and then circles around…

Still in search of…

The bird takes another loop around then then drops down…

The Osprey makes a splash and then comes with a nice Goldfish…

Heads towards the west with the Goldfish in the talons…

Heads farther west, then does a turn around and then north over me…

Coming towards me and then north…

North…

Great views at this point…

Has a nice grip on this fish and then out of sight…

Summer Blooming Wisconsin Native Wildflowers in Waukesha County on July 24, 2019

With birding slower during the summer I turn towards taking some images of the native wildflowers around us. Some images are of species not native to Wisconsin but the states around us, they are noted. Many of the images taken here in the yard and also a few on the road in Waukesha County Wisconsin. I have added a few images too from late spring.

Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima

Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum

Royal Catchfly, Silene regia, native to IL and south, not Wisconsin…

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Queen of the Prairie, Filipendula rubra, not native to Wisconsin but all the states around us…

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Wild Sweet William, Phlox maculata

Hoary Vervain, Verbena stricta

Ozark Coneflower, Echinacea paradoxa, native to Missouri and south, not Wisconsin…

False Sunflower, Heliopsis helianthoides

Wild Iris, Blue Flag

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, native to IL and south, east and west of that state, not Wisconsin…

Prairie Coreopsis, Coreopsis palmata

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Blue-eyed Grass

Wild Blue Indigo, Baptisia australis, native to IL and south, east and west of that state, not Wisconsin…

Yellow Pimpernel, Taenioia intergerrima

Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis

New Jersey Tea, Ceanothus americanus

Rosen Weed, Silphium integrifolium

Nodding Pink Onion, Allium cernuum

Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

Royal Catchfly, Silene regia, native to IL and south, not Wisconsin

Butterfly Milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa

Whorled Milkweed, Asclepias vertcillata

Purple Milkweed, Asclepias purpurea

Purple Milkweed, Asclepias purpurea

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis

Red Bee Balm, Monarda didyma, native range is eastern US…

Polk Milkweed, Asclepias exaltata

Wild Iris, Blue Flag

Blue-eyed Grass, Sisyrinchium sp.

Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Prairie Coreopsis, Coreopsis palmata

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, native to IL and south, east and west of that state, not Wisconsin…

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum ~ Spring

Virginia Bluebells, Mertensia virginica ~ Spring

Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum

Common Loons in Sawyer County Wisconsin on June 31, 2019

On a recent trip to Sawyer County in Northern Wisconsin, I had the opportunity to watch and enjoy Common Loons with the chicks. These chicks were already big and only saw chicks on the back of an adult from a distance one time. A total of 8 adults and 4 chicks, 3 families and some singles were seen over a period of a few days. Images were taken during the last few days of June.

Common Loon with chick…

The adult passing food to the chick…

Common Loon chick, just received a piece of food, probably part of a crayfish from an adult…

Passing a small piece of food to the chick…

Adult watching the chick handle the food on it’s own…

Adult breaking up a piece of food before passing it on to the chick…

Stretching…

Just hanging out….

A family…

Chick in a small wave from the adult going down for more food…

Adult bring food to a chick off a a ways…

Passing food to a chick…

Great Horned Owl Owlets in Sawyer County Wisconsin on June 28, 2019

While fishing along a shoreline in a boat in Sawyer County, it was a sweet surprise to find a pair of Great Horned Owl owlets starring at me. Two days in a row these owlets were perched in the same area, a dark woodland along the shoreline. No adults were seen but I’m sure with the way these owlets eyes were moving around, looking, the adults were close by.  Images were taken on June 28, 2019.

The pair found starring at us…

They were looking around as if adults were close by…

Looking as an adult was close by…with the woods dense, it was hard to see in the woodland…

 

Sandhill Cranes Feeding a Colt in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 12, 2019

I birded some of western Waukesha County this morning for something different. The highlight of the morning was 2 adult Sandhill Cranes feeding a cute colt. This was a young colt and it stayed close to both adults. They both probed the ground and gave the colt things to eat, sometimes passing something or dropping it in front of the colt to eat it on its own. Pretty exciting to watch this from a distance. It rained briefly while I was there but cranes just went about their business feeding and feeding the colt. Images were taken on June 12, 2019.

Sandhill Crane adult with the colt…

The Sandhill Crane colt…with rain falling…

Passing a grub to the colt…with a drizzle…

Colt eating the grub…

The colt pulling the worm out of the ground, the adult partially pulled it out…

Colt with the worm, the adult watches…

Dealing with the worm…

I’m going to get this down…the adult just watches

Almost down…

An adult briefly looks around…it is still drizzling…

The adult drops a grub in front of the colt and the colt picks it up…

The colt then eats the grub…

The adult pulls a grub out of the ground…

The pass…

The adult walks around in search of food, the colt just watches, it is an on going lesson how to get things to eat…

Another grub is passed on to the colt…

Time to get it down…

Another pass…

And another grub…

Watching the adult, could be the female…

Great Crested Flycatchers Nest Building in a Screech Owl House in the Yard in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 8, 2019

A pair of Great Crested Flycatchers have been seen in the yard over the last few days. They are currently working on nest building in a Screech Owl house I put up last fall. I have photographed them with nest building materials in their bills and going into the house. A House Wren is occupying a house 10′ from the Screech Owl house. I hope the excitement continues that they raise some young here in the yard. At this time there are Indigo Buntings, House Wrens, Eastern Bluebirds (2nd time this year), and Chipping Sparrows nesting here and most likely Gray Catbirds, Northern Cardinals and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Images were taken on June 8, 2019.

Great Crested Flycatcher exciting the Screech Owl house…

Great Crested Flycatcher with nesting material on the Screech Owl house…

Entering the house with nesting material…

Leaving the house…

Bringing in nesting material…

Great Crested Flycatcher in a near by tree with nesting material…

American White Pelicans, Ruddy Turnstones and more at Sheboygan Wisconsin on May 31, 2019

I made a run up to Sheboygan on Lake Michigan to see what birds are hanging out. North Point had a few American White Pelicans on the rock, all that remains of the once large rock point. A few pelicans also loafed on some of the jetties at North Point there along with gulls. Some gulls were present but nothing odd that I could come up with other than Bonaparte’s Gulls. Probably 1,000 gulls were present out on the South Pier Boardwalk way out, but with just the bins, nothing seemed interesting. The Deland Park pier surprisingly had 3 Ruddy Turnstones and 10 Sanderlings feeding off the pier and rocks present. For the most part the pelicans were just hanging out, I did not see much feeding or interaction going on with them. It was a gorgeous day out, full sun and a nice breeze. Images were taken on May 31, 2019.

Ruddy Turnstones, 2 males…

American White Pelican at takeoff…

Fighting for the “Rock”, the American White Pelicans..

Ruddy Turnstone, a male finding things to eat on the rocks…

The closeup

Sanderling, transitioning to breeding plumage feeding on the pier with something in the bill…

Sanderling, adult breeding plumage

Then there was one…

Takeoff time…

Just flying by North Point…

Coming in for a landing…

Floating around looking for food…

Takeoff…

Bonaparte’s Gull, adult nonbreeding

Bonaparte’s Gull, adult nonbreeding