Barred Owl in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 17, 2021

On one of my birding walks today I was happy to encounter a beautiful Barred Owl. The owl was quietly roosting in a tree which is what this species does during the day. At night they are hunters for small animals  and rodents. It was an overcast day with very light snow flurries, mild temps around 30 degrees. Images were taken on January 17, 2021.

The roosting Barred Owl with some light snow flurries coming down…

A side view of this beautiful bird…

 

Spotted Towhee at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 13, 2021

One of my birding stops today was at Greenfield Park to see if the Spotted Towhee was still present and it was. I hung around for about 20 minutes before it came out of the bushes just west of the waterfall. It gave nice views at that time. This was my second try, seeing it twice now, this rare bird visiting the area. It was an overcast morning with a slight breeze but great temperatures getting near 40. Images were taken on January 13, 2021.

The Spotted Towhee at takeoff…

Look at that tail!!

Hoping from one place to another…

 

 

American Pipit at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on January 9, 2021

A stop at McKinley Beach this morning produced 1 American Pipit. It was digging through algae on the beach finding things to eat. It is considered a rare bird on this date at this location because it is a late bird. It was a beautiful January day with temps around 32 degrees and only a slight breeze, sunny skies. Images were taken on January 9, 2021.

American Pipit stops for a moment for a photo…

Food in the bill here, a worm…

The American Pipit digs through algae for things to eat…

Hopping around on the beach, digging through algae is how they find their food…

In their habitat here, in migration, this a late bird…

Spotted Towhee at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on January 8, 2021

As I thought my birding day was winding down I got a message from Jacob C. that a Spotted Towhee, a hatch year bird was found by an unidentified birder at Greenfield Park. I made the quick run over and the bird was present near the small waterfall. We both got nice views but for the most part the bird perched in trees. It was almost dark out but I managed a couple of quick photos while it fed on the ground as I was leaving. A cloudy day with temps around 30, not bad for the start of the new year. Images were taken on January 8, 2021

Spotted Towhee

Another look…

Great Horned Owl in Waukesha County on January 1, 2021

My birding morning started off in Milwaukee County. Common birds that are expected to be seen this time of year were found. A couple stops in Waukesha County on my way home produced a beautiful Great Horned Owl. It was sitting in a pine perched pretty and was there when I left. Coming across this nice bird was a great way to start out the birding new year. A gloomy morning, temps around 30, some wind, not bad for the 1st of the year!

Harlequin Duck at Port Washington in Ozaukee County Wisconsin on December 28, 2020

The 1st year male Harlequin Duck put on a nice show today at Port Washington. It hung with Mallards feeding, resting and moving around near the north beach area. For the most part it would be in the middle of the groups of Mallards, must have made it feel safe or one of them. An exciting visiting bird. It was a cold day with the wind on the water, the sunny skies did help. Images were taken on December 28, 2020.

The Harlequin Duck, 1st year male…

The Harlequin Ducks habitat of fast moving water and rocks, this was close to that…

Getting something to eat…

Just moving around…

Giving a nice look here…

Long-tailed Duck at Port Washington in Ozaukee County Wisconsin on December 26, 2020

A stop today at Port Washington gave nice looks a Long-tailed Duck. This stunning male has been seen for a few days on and off recently. It fed many times on fish while I was present. It was a cloudy day, very cold around 18 degrees when I arrived. A slight wind which just made it feel colder. Images were taken on December 26 and 28th, 2020.

Long-tailed Duck, male

A nice look!

Coming in to feed…

Coming in…

When it dives for food, it appears it gets fish 50% of the time…

That long tail, wow!

Long-tailed Duck on December 28 with some sun…

Long-tailed Duck on December 28 with some sun taking off…

Allen’s Hummingbird in Green County Wisconsin on December 18, 2020

The report of the Allen’s Hummingbird had me very excited, and a 1st state record for Wisconsin too. The normal range for this hummingbird is the coast of California, SE Arizona and Mexico. It is so far out of it’s range! I hope it survives in the days ahead and finds it’s way home. The homeowner Mista, saw the hummingbird out side one day before Thanksgiving and put a feeder out. It has been there since, going on a month. After that, Mista wanted the word out that anyone that wants to see this bird is welcome and a big thank you goes out to her. Upon arriving at her home, and going to the feeder area, the bird was present drinking. I hung around for a couple of drinking sessions and left. The bird pretty much sat at the feeder while it showed, photos were hard to get. An exciting day, Wisconsin life bird #358. A chilly morning at 19 but winds were calm, mostly cloudy. Image was taken on December 18, 2020.

The Allen’s Hummingbird, a little blurry, at a distance near the feeder…

Allen’s Hummingbird in a tree off a ways from the feeder taking a break…

Bullock’s Oriole at Sturgeon Bay in Door County Wisconsin on December 15, 2020

I saw a report of a Bullock’s Oriole in Sturgeon Bay, it had only been seen once yesterday, Sunday.  The Bullock’s Oriole is a western bird that typically does not come this far east. It was so exciting to hear of this bird in the state, it’s a beautiful young male. I needed this for a life bird for the state, so I really had to try for this bird, I made the decision to go. The homeowner did not even know what species the bird was and posted it in a Wisconsin bird group to try to find out. Jack C worked with the homeowner to get it recorded, a location and the homeowner agreed to let birders come to see it too. Leaving the house at 4:00 am, I arrived about 7:00 am, just getting some light. One birder arrived before me. Slowly there were 7 of us waiting for the bird. Almost 4 hours had passed and we were all getting a little, like, the bird was not going to show. I was in my car on the phone and spotted the bird in the bushes behind the feeder. I jumped out of my car, the other birders were just standing around talking bird talk, I said, there is the bird! At that point we all got great looks of the bird. First on the heated bird bath, then on the feeder chowing down, I’d say close to five minutes it ate. After that it took to a few trees around the yard area, gave more great views and then took off across a field. What an exciting moment it was for all of us today! A big thank you goes out to the homeowners who were very kind to let us in and share their great bird with the birding community. It was cold, 15 degrees, but we all could see the feeder from our cars so that was not too bad. Getting out was to socialize for a few minutes and stretch. Life Bird #357 for the state of Wisconsin. Another beautiful bird that made a showing at their feeder today was a Pileated Woodpecker, homeowner said a pair visit daily. Images were taken on December 15, 2020.

The Bullock’s Oriole, a young male

Leaving a branch…

The Bullock’s Oriole perched in a close by pine tree for about a minute…

Another nice pose by the Bullock’s Oriole!

The Bullock’s Oriole flies out of the bushes and to the heated bird bath…

Bullock’s Oriole spent much time chowing down seeds, could have been for 5 minutes…here with a Pine Siskin…

Snowy Owl at the Lake Express Ferry in Milwaukee Wisconsin on December 13, 2020

One of my birding stops today produced a beautiful Snowy Owl. A female, at the Lake Express Ferry along the Milwaukee lakefront. There was very little action from this bird while I was present. Who knows, it maybe just had a big meal before arriving and was just kicking back and taking a break. They typically don’t do much during the day anyways. It was a partly cloudy day, very little wind, temps are 32 degrees. Images were taken on December 13, 2020.

The Snowy Owl fluffing up those feathers just after preening…

Snowy Owl preening…

Just a beautiful bird!

Common Redpolls at the Summerfest Amphitheater in Milwaukee Wisconsin on December 8, 2020

Birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee near the Summerfest amphitheater I came across some recent reported Common Redpolls. They were a large flock of 50 plus birds. They fed on flower and weed seeds along the south end of the amphitheater. They did not hang around long while I was there but long enough for a couple of shots through the cyclone fence. No other special birds to note for the morning out. It was a chilly cloudy morning with temps starting below 32 degrees with a steady wind. Images were taken on December 8, 2020.

Common Redpoll in flight…

Common Redpoll eating Canada Goldenrod seeds…

Common Redpoll eating Evening Primrose seeds…

Common Redpoll eating Evening Primrose seeds…

Common Redpoll eating Evening Primrose seeds and keeping balance…

Common Redpoll eating aster seeds…

Common Redpoll eating aster seeds…

Evening Grosbeak at Grant Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on December 1, 2020

Checking out the bird feeder at Grant Park in Milwaukee today there was 1 Evening Grosbeak, a nice looking female. There have been some reported at this location so it was not a big surprise. But it is a nice surprise to have them in our area at this time. Hope we see more winter birds from the north soon. It was a cloudy day early on, cold with the wind and temps around 34 degrees. Images were taken on December 1, 2020.

Evening Grosbeak, female…

A look back…

Beautiful bird!

Sanderling at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on November 19, 2020

While birding Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee I came upon a lone Sanderling at the beach. A late one for sure migrating south, here for a stop. I only hung around for a minute and a couple quick photos, I never saw it on shore, it only stood in the water. It stood in the wave action at the shoreline and appeared to find things to eat. Mild temps, but the wind made it chilly, and sun on and off. Images were taken on November 19, 2020.

Sanderling posing pretty…

In the wave…

Getting something to eat…

Another wave…

A nice pose…

Sandhill Cranes in Waukesha County Wisconsin on November 14, 2020

Birding out in Waukesha County this morning I came across a family of 4 Sandhill Cranes. There were 2 adults and 2 juveniles. They were feeding in a field finding things to eat and actually came across a small spot where some corn was spilled. They hung around the corn for a few minutes and then left the area. It was a nice morning out, some sun to start but later clouded over, temps were cold about 31 degrees. Images were taken on November 14, 2020.

Sandhill Crane, adult looking for things to eat…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile just walking the field…

Sandhill Crane adult with juvenile (left) eating together, some of the spilled corn…

Sandhill Crane adult with juvenile (right) eating together…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile scratching…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile…

Sandhill Crane, adult just looking around…

Sandhill Crane, juvenile with corn in the bill…

Sandhill Crane, adult grabbing corn off the ground…

Sandhill Crane, adult

Sanderlings and Dunlins at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 31, 2020

I started out my birding morning at McKinley Beach walking north along the lake. I heard of a Common Redpoll being seen in that area. No luck with that but on my way back to the beach area, using my bins, I noticed  some shorebirds on the south end of the beach. A quick walk over provided nice looks at 3 Dunlins and 2 Sanderlings. They seemed hungry and fed while I was present other than a little bathing by one Sanderling. It was a chilly morning with good winds from the north with some sun. Other places along the lakefront I stopped at were quiet. Images were taken on October 31, 2020.

One of the Dunlins in nonbreeding plumage…

Dunlin with food in the bill…

3 Dunlins…

Sanderling with the waves coming in…

Sanderling bathing…

Sanderling with food in the bill…

Sanderling closeup…

Sanderling looking pretty…

Sanderling preening…

Sanderling preening…

Sanderling fluffing up…

Sanderling, some wing stretching…

Sanderling

Dunlin posing pretty…

White-rumped Sandpiper at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 30, 2020

While approaching the beach area at Lakeshore State Park a bird drops out of the sky 100 feet in front of me and lands at the beach. I was like what?? The bird, a White-rumped Sandpiper which is considered a rare bird for this location on this date. I quickly took a couple of photos as a guy behind me has 2 leashed dogs and he walks them at the beach everyday. I had 1 minute to photograph this bird as the dogs start coming down the beach right behind me and the bird flushed.  The bird took off and while birding at the park the next 30 minutes I did not see the bird return. It was a partly cloudy morning, a cold breeze from the north, temps around 35 degrees. Images were taken on October 30, 2020.

White-rumped Sandpiper, a white rump there…

Getting something to eat…

Back view…

More to eat in a very short time…

More to eat…

Moving out in the water before being flushed…

Dunlin at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 26, 2020

Birding Lakeshore State Park this morning I was surprised to come across a Dunlin. The bird was in nonbreeding plumage so it was not as colorful as if it were spring, but still a beautiful bird. It was feeding on the east shore of the island. It appeared it was finding plenty to eat and moving around on a few of the rocks. It was a cold morning out with snow flurries earlier in the morning, temps around 34 with a good cloud cover. Images were taken on October 26, 2020.

The Dunlin getting back up on the rock after a little slip…

A beautiful shorebird!

Something on the bill…

Down into the water for something to eat…

Looking for things to eat…

Looking for things to eat…

It seemed like it was finding plenty…

Dunlin in breeding plumage, image taken on May 23, 2017

Snow Buntings at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on October 25, 2020

Birding along the lakefront around noon in Milwaukee produced Snow Buntings at McKinley Beach. I came across 9 of them walking the area. They continually fed on grass or weeds seeds while I was present and did not move around much. Beautiful birds they are, first of the fall for me! It was a cold late morning when I was there with a good wind from the north, cloudy skies with temps around upper 30’s.

The Snow Bunting…on the rocks…

A slight wing stretch…

Eating grass seeds…

In search of grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Just a pose…

A look to the left…beautiful feathers…

On the rocks…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Eating grass seeds…

Looking for more seeds to eat…

A beautiful species that blends in very well with the surroundings…

On the rocks…

California Gull at Johnson Creek in Jefferson County Wisconsin on October 20, 2020

I saw the report of a California Gull, rare for this area at  Johnson Creek and decided to check it out this morning. Far from it’s normal range of the west coast but some do come inland a few states off breeding season. I arrived at the location reported, a new large concrete Kwik Trip parking lot still under construction north of the interstate.  When I arrived, present was Jim F in his car and had the gull already located. So that made it easy for me with the couple of hundred gulls present with some always coming and going. The gull did stand out though with the mantle being a little darker and the gull being a little larger than a Ring-billed Gull. It was resting when I arrived, eyes closed I would say. After about 25 minutes the gull coughed up a large pellet, I thought wow! A few minutes later it took flight and headed east towards the landfill. I noticed the gull only had one foot. A big thank you to Spence, Christin and Sandra for finding this awesome rare gull and getting the word out. Not a lifer as I saw one here back at this location in 2012. It was a cold cloudy morning, with some wind making it feel pretty cold! Images were taken on October 20, 2020.

The California Gull…with Ring-billed Gulls…

Resting when I arrived…

A wing stretch, leg stretch…1 foot…using its wing to balance…

Coughing up that LARGE pellet, which gulls do…

Maybe more to come but other gulls, Ring-billed Gulls looking on…

It was just time to take off I guess and head to the landfill…

The gulls were not flushed, it was just time to go…

Heading east…

The bill…

Preening…

Another one of when I arrived…