Brown Booby on the Black River in La Crosse Wisconsin on August 11, 2022

When I saw the report of a Brown Booby being reported in La Crosse Wisconsin it sounded impossible! A bird that lives south of the US in the oceans of Mexico, east and west was a bird I wanted on my WI life list. It was too late in the day to make the run up there as it would be dark but put together a trip for early morning. Jym and Nathanal went along for the ride with me. Leaving at 3 am from Waukesha and arriving at 5:30 am worked out well, a few minutes before light. After about 20 minutes the bird was found opposite the eagle watch parking lot on the other side of the Black River perched in a tree. After about 15 minutes the bird left the perch and flew around some over the open water, eventually landing in the water. The next couple of hours the bird repeated the flying and landing on the water giving excellent views and pretty far for photos every 10 minutes but never came close up but remained towards the other side of the river or body of water opening. What a great find, the original finder of the exciting bird was Tim Collins, and it was actually found 2 days earlier, this being the 3rd day. A big thank you to Tim for getting the word out on this bird. It was a beautiful morning with temps around 60 degrees and no wind and some clouds. I hope it hangs around for a while for others to enjoy. Life bird #370 for my Wisconsin life list.

At first decent light, the Brown Booby was found perched in a tree on the other side of the river…

Brown Booby during one of its flights over the river at a distance…

In flight…

Just floating around, the bird seemed to be comfortable…

In flight, the bird put on a great show!

In flight…

Fulvous Whistling-Duck at Hog Island in Dane County Wisconsin on May 16, 2022

There have been a few birding surprises this spring and they have not stopped showing up yet. In Dane County a Fulvous Whistling-Duck was found and the word got out. We were up north when I saw the post in wisbird, but only a little over an hour drive I thought it was a smart move to head south. This is only the second Wisconsin state record for this bird species so it is very rare here in the state. The normal range for this duck is central Mexico coastlines, South America, Florida east coast and is known to breed on the east Texas coast. I need it on my state life list! No wasting time we arrive and a few birders were around to give some pointers on where to see this gem. With about a 1/4 mile hike walking at top speed I came to a shoreline with other birders, we did not see the duck! After a partial walk back and communication with others we went back to the spot and it was along the shore sorta tucked in. It flew out off of the shore and gave nice views for a few minutes. What a beautiful duck and a new state life bird #366. A big thank you goes out to Marcus Brown for getting the word out on this duck for others to see. As of 4:00 PM 5/17/22, the bird had not been relocated on this day, so one day wonder? It will be interesting to see if this bird is re-found in the days ahead.It was a beautiful day with plenty of sun, low winds. Images were taken on May 16, 2022.

The Fulvous Whistling-Duck about 150 feet from shore…

Incoming…but turned around..

The Fulvous Whistling-Duck with a female Mallard…they hung around together for a few minutes while I was there…

Wood Ducks in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 14, 2022

I had the opportunity to photograph some Wood Ducks and did not pass it up. These beautiful ducks gave nice views on a gorgeous sunny day  but with the wind it almost felt like winter. Images were taken on April 14, 2022.

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, female

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, male

Wood Duck, male on the run…

Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, Redhead and Common Goldeneye at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on March 8, 2022

A birding stop at the Fox River in Waukesha early am produced nice views of Ring-necked, Lesser Scaup, Redhead and Common Goldeneye ducks. Also present was 1 American Coot and a lot of Mallards. The main river had a thin layer of ice so these ducks were closer to the dam area on the west side of the river. Most of the time all these ducks were sleeping, but on a few occasions they had their heads up. It was a beautiful morning with sunshine and mild temps around 28 degrees, some wind kept things cold. Images were taken on March 8, 2022.

Common Goldeneye, male stretching…

Lesser Scaup, male

Redhead, male

Redhead, female

Ring-necked Ducks, males

Lesser Scaup, 3 males…

Common Goldeneye, male

Common Goldeneye, male 1st winter…

American Coot

American Coot

Mallard, male

Mallard, female

Mallard, male

Ross’s Goose at South Shore Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on February 19, 2022

A Ross’s Goose, a rare visitor, was present at South Shore Park along Milwaukee’s lakefront this morning. It had been reported in the area and was hanging out resting and a little eating with about 15 Canada Geese. It was a bitter cold morning with temps around 6 degrees  at the time with full sun which actually did help in taking the bite out of the air. Images were taken on February 19, 2022.

The Ross’s Goose sitting on the freshly fallen snow…

Did just a little walking around while I was there maybe getting something to eat…

Beautiful…!

Resting in some partial shade…

Not much to eat at this location…

Green-winged Teal on the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on January 9, 2022

One of my birding stops today gave nice views of a beautiful Green-winged Teal on the Fox River in Waukesha. This male hung around with Mallards and Canada Geese as if it was one of them. I check this place often in winter months as you never know what will show up.  It was a cold day with temps at 14 degrees with plenty of sunshine and a good breeze, we are in January, no surprise. Images were taken on January 9, 2022.

Green-winged Teal, male

A stretch!

Green-winged Teal with a Mallard, female, a big difference in size!

Another stretch…

At takeoff…

Just being a duck…

Hooded Merganser in Waukesha County Wisconsin on November 7, 2021

One of my birding stops today provided excellent views of a male Hooded Merganser in Waukesha County. It swam around with some Mallards, ate and did some preening too. A beautiful bird with partly cloudy skies, light winds and mild temperatures. Images were taken on November 7, 2021.

The Hooded Merganser, male…

Closeup…

The hood up…

 

The hood with a breeze…

Talking to another duck…

Preening…

Alert!

Just up from a dive…

Just a good looking duck!

Wood Ducks in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 17, 2021

I had the opportunity to photograph some Wood Ducks, juveniles and did not pass it up. These beautiful ducks gave nice views on a gorgeous sunny day with mild temps. Images were taken on September 17, 2021.

Wood Duck, juvenile male…

Wood Duck, juvenile female…

Wood Duck, juvenile male…

Wood Duck, juvenile male…

Wood Duck, juvenile male…

Wood Duck, juvenile males…

Wood Duck, juvenile male…

Wood Duck, juvenile males…

Mute Swan on the Fox River at Frame Park in Waukesha on February 27, 2021

One of my birding stops today gave nice views of a Mute Swan at Frame Park on the Fox River  in Waukesha. The river was almost wide open around noon when I was there. There were some ducks present but off a ways, species I saw were Common Goldeneye, Lesser Scaup, Common Merganser, Hooded Merganser and of course Mallards. A location that should be watched closely as ducks were coming and going and it is that time of the year. A beautiful February day with temps around 50 degrees and sunny skies.

The Mute Swan…

A little preening…

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…

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…

Tufted Duck at Fresh Air Park in Winnebago County Wisconsin on April 16, 2020

Trying for the male Tufted Duck today was worth the almost 2 hour trip. This Eurasian species, very rare for the state, even North America was very exciting to finally see. On arriving at Fresh Air Park, the word was the duck had not been seen for a least an hour. Not what I wanted to hear, but doing some scoping along with other birders, I think his name was Dave from Baraboo spotted the duck! It was down shore a long ways and out from shore too. The duck went out a long ways and returned a few more times to shore but never close. It hung with some scaups a couple of times but for the most part stayed by itself. On one of its return to shore runs I snapped a couple of photos. I felt the photo was good enough for a ID shot and a memory. I tried for a Tufted Duck last year way up north on the Mississippi but missed on it, it was nice to get the bird finally on my list. Life bird for the state of Wisconsin #348. A big thank you to Jim M for finding, ID-ing the bird, getting word out and letting birders onto their property. It was a sunny day, winds not bad and temps around 40 degrees. Image was taken on April 16, 2020.

The Tufted Duck, male

Wood Ducks in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 9, 2020

One of my birding stops today gave nice looks at a pair of Wood Ducks. They were just swimming around doing their thing while I patiently observed their actions. The nice light this morning brought out the very best in Wood Duck breeding colors. It was a cool morning to start with stiff winds, never really got pleasant out. Images were taken on April 9, 2020.

Wood Duck, the male…

Wood Duck, the female…

Back view, beautiful too…

Hooded Merganser at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on March 22, 2020

One of my birding stops today was at the Fox River in downtown Waukesha. As I came around the corner in the car standing in front of me in the middle of the road, a Hooded Merganser, a male with a female Mallard. Is this “Hollyhood”?? Before I got parked both ducks were off into the middle of the river being ducks. The Hooded Merganser seemed to be checking out numerous females Mallards and doing some displaying, trying to show off but none of the females seemed to be impressed or interested. After a few minutes, the Hooded Merganser just took off and flew to the north up the river out of sight. It was a cold breezy morning with temps hanging around 32 degrees, with no sun. Images were taken on March 22, 2020.

Hooded Merganser, male, is this Hollyhood?

On shore for a moment…

The back view…

Displaying…

Sees a female Mallard, in a hurry…

 

Trumpeter Swans at Frame Park in Waukesha Wisconsin on March 4, 2020

At ​Frame Park today in Waukesha along the Fox River a couple of Trumpeter Swans had come in since my morning visit. ​Sometimes it pays to check places out twice in one day! ​Always nice to see something different as everyone is anxious for the start of spring migration. These 2 – 1st summer birds floated down the middle of the river when I arrived. After some distance they stopped and did some feeding. Canada Geese joined them in the area as food must have been plentiful. They did not do much other than a little preening and the feeding. A bright sunny day finally with not much wind and temps around 40 degrees. Images were taken on March 4, 2020.

Trumpeter Swans the pair…

Just up from something to eat…

Some preening…

Both underwater getting something to eat, aquatic plants…

Looking pretty…

Just a nice look…

The close-up…

More preening…

I would call this a short scoot…

Just up from eating some aquatic plants…

Another view…

Trumpeter Swans the pair…

Redhead Ducks at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on February 10, 2020

I made a stop at the Fox River early morning in Waukesha to see if anything was going on. 9 Redheads, 5 males and 4 females were present, all resting near the dam. That area was the only part of the river that was not froze over with temps starting out at 10 degrees in the morning. A couple of quick dives and one stretch was the only excitement I saw while I was there for a few minutes. With the main river froze over, I’m sure the ducks were conserving energy by not being active. The river was probably open by noon with the warm sun shinning. Stunning ducks in their breeding plumage. The full sun made for a nice morning out! Images were taken on February 10, 2019.

Redhead, male

Both male and female just finishing up a drink…

A resting male…

Redhead, female

A close up…

Stretching…

More stretching…

A pair…

Incoming…

Some of the gang…

Redhead Duck, juvenile drake at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on February 2, 2020

Ducks along the Fox River in Waukesha this morning had the common suspects, a 100 plus Mallards other than one duck that stood out, a Redhead, and juvenile drake. Not a stunning duck but still beautiful in it’s own way. It was nice to see something different. Also, a couple of 100 Canada Geese made for some noise along the river. It was a beautiful morning for the time I was out with sunny skies, low winds and temps at 45 plus degrees. Images were taken on February 2, 2020.

Redhead, juvenile drake…

Perched on a rock resting…

Up and looking around….

A turn to the right…a nice look at this duck…

Just cruising along looking pretty…

 

Head up!

Just moving around on the river in between the Mallards…

Hooded Merganser on the Fox River in Waukesha County on January 24, 2020

One of my birding stops today provided nice views of a male Hooded Merganser. It was hanging out with some Mallards along the Fox River in Waukesha. A few times it dove for something to eat and came up with a crayfish. The weather was misty with a few flurries mixed in, mild temps around 35 degrees with no wind. Images were taken on January 24, 2020.

Mr. Good Looking!

Cruising around off the ice…

Duck talk!

Up from a dive has a crayfish…

Tosses it around the get the right end to go down first…

Looking at me I guess…

A nice pose…

White-winged Scoter at the Petroleum Pier on Milwaukee’s Lakefront on December 28, 2019

Birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning one of the highlights was a female White-winged Scoter neat the Petroleum Pier. It dove while I was there coming up with mussels to eat. A drab duck but always nice to see something different this time of year. Another species to note there were two Great Black-backed Gulls on ice in the Kinnickinnic River at Jones Island. A gloomy day with some light drizzle, mild temps of 40 degrees, and a light breeze while birding the lakefront this morning. Images were taken on December 28, 2019.

The female White-winged Scoter…

Just after a dive eating a mussel…a little white seen on a wing here…

Eating more mussels…

Trying to break apart the mussels here as numerous ones are stuck together…

White-winged Scoter with a blurry Greater Scaup female behind…

A distant shot of one of the two Great Black-backed Gulls present this morning…