Green Herons on the nest in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 29, 2019

I have never come across and active Green Heron nest in the 9 years I have been birding or even an empty one. So this one I photographed today was a real treat. The 2 adults were present most of the time I was there, sometimes together on the nest, other times the male was out on a limb with the female on the nest. I am sure an egg was laid while I was present as when I arrived the female seemed to be circling on the nest and no egg was present. Shortly there after I noticed an egg on the nest. I was there for a very shot time. It was a cloudy day with some mist early but mild temps and low winds so it was not too bad out. Images were taken on May 29, 2019.

The female sitting on the nest when found…

The male comes over to the nest and the female does some moving around on the nest and a blue egg is now seen…

Both adults together, they were moving around the egg with their bills…

Both birds looking at the egg…

The female turns around maybe to lay another egg, I left the area not wanting to disturb anything…

Painted Bunting in Douglas County Wisconsin on May 21, 2019

After hearing about the male Painting Bunting that was visiting a feeder for a few days in Douglas County Wisconsin I just knew, working on my state life list, this one I would have to try for. I made the almost 6 hour ride up there leaving about 7:00 am on a chance. After 2 hours into the trip I get a call from a friend that says, the bird has not been seen yet this morning! Maybe turning around is not the craziest idea they said, but obviously it was my choice? Well, I said I would continue on for another 15 minutes or so and re-think about what to do. Chasing birds is so darn exciting!! 2 minutes later my friend called back and the bird has just been seen. That was great news! I had just gotten a text from Amy the homeowner and she confirmed that and I gave her my ETA. I arrived at 1.00 pm at the residents and Amy was out to greet me as she was working on flower beds. I stood a good distance away from the feeder area, maybe 50′-60′. After 1.25 hours the bird showed up  and landed a few feet from the feeder on the ground. The Painted Bunting worked its way to under the feeder where bird seeds have fallen. After about 2 minutes the Painted Bunting flushed to a deciduous tree and then off into the woods. I was puzzled on why it flushed as I never moved while it was there. Looking at my images when I got home I notice a Song Sparrow came in near the Painted Bunting. The Song Sparrow caught the attention of something that possibly landed in the tree above as its head was looking up, the bunting looked up too and decided not to hang around and flew off. It was a beautiful day in Douglas County, with almost full sun and almost 70 degrees. Amy was a wonderful host and a big thank you to her for sharing the amazing Painted Bunting with the birding community. No question on why this bird is called the Painted Bunting! To think this bird is still hanging around, Amy said they had just gotten 7 inches of snow 2 days ago. Images were taken on May 21, 2019.

Note: The normal range for this bird is southern Nebraska and south.

The Painted Bunting, no question on why it got it’s name…

Painted Bunting

Painted Bunting still eating seeds…

The Song Sparrow comes in…

The Song Sparrow looks up into the tree above and the eyes of the Painted Bunting do too…

The Painted Bunting flushes due to the circumstances I would assume…

In the beginning……………….. when the Painted Bunting flew into below the feeder area…

Found a few things to eat on the way to below the feeder…

Getting closer to below the feeder where bird seed has fallen…

Prothonotary Warbler and other warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 19, 2019

I stopped at Wehr Nature Center this morning in hopes there was still some warbler action going on. There was and many warblers were present in the time I was there. Warblers species seen this morning were Prothonotary, Bay-breasted, Northern Parula, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s, Yellow-rumped, Canada, Magnolia, Black-and-white, American Redstart and the Mourning. The Prothonotary Warbler bathed for a few minutes which was quite exciting to watch. It was a nice morning with pleasant temps, no rain as it was predicted, and low winds. Images were taken on May 19, 2019.

Prothonotary Warbler, female

Prothonotary Warbler, female

Prothonotary Warbler, female with a bug

Mourning Warbler, male

Canada Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male

Prothonotary Warbler, female, right before bathing…

Prothonotary Warbler, female about to take a bath…

In the water…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Prothonotary Warbler, female out after bathing looking around…

Wilson’s Warbler, male

A Common Yellowthroat, male walks the shore in search of things to eat…

Common Yellowthroat, male

Prothonotary Warbler, female walking the shore looking for things to eat…

Prothonotary Warbler, female in search of food…

Bay-breasted Warbler, male

American Redstart, male

Prothonotary Warbler, female looking for the next bite…

Magnolia Warbler, male

Prothonotary Warbler, female

 

 

Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 16, 2019

One of my birding stops for warblers today was Wehr Nature Center. After an hour things got busy and nice species where seen. Some of the highlight warblers were Mourning, Bay-breasted, Blackburnian, Blackpoll, Yellow, Canada, Magnolia, American Redstart, Common Yellowthroat and Chestnut-sided. It was an overcast morning and nice temps, low winds making it very comfortable. Images were taken on May 16, 2019.

Mourning Warbler, male

Canada Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

American Redstart, 1st year male

Yellow Warbler, male

Blackburnian Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

American Redstart, male, calling

Black-throated Green Warbler, female

Common Yellowthroat, male

Canada Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male

Bay-breasted Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

Blackpoll Warbler, male

Blackpoll Warbler, female

Black-throated Blue, female

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

American Redstart, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male

Scarlet Tanager, male

Yellow-throated Warbler at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha Wisconsin on May 15, 2019

After birding for a good part of the day and getting home, I was surprised to see the report of the male Yellow-throated Warbler a few miles from me by Tim Hahn. I decided to chase over there and try for it. After birding for awhile I ran into Greg N there we we birded together for about 20 minutes. While birding I spotted Tim and Pat H there. They took us to where they had seen the Yellow-throated Warbler. After about 5 minutes, the bird appeared.  It hung around for 3-4 minutes and then flew off. I have only heard this bird at Wyalusing State Park, so not a lifer, but sure nice to finally see one right here in Waukesha. Thanks to Tim Hahn for getting the word out on this bird. I hope the bird hangs around in case others want to try for it. A pleasant afternoon it was. Images were taken on May 15, 2019.

Summer Tanager at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 15, 2019

My first birding stop this morning was Wehr Nature Center for warblers. I was headed into Milwaukee but felt I had to check this place out first as talk of weather pattern might give us a great day for warblers. The creek areas were very quiet warbler wise. My next stop was over at the center itself to check if anything had come in over night. Upon arriving a stunning 1st year male Summer Tanager was looking right at me near the feeders on a fence. The bird went for a bee at the hives there, perched and ate it. It took another and perched and ate that too. The bird looked a little tired and maybe had flown very many miles recently. On a third try for a bee the tanager came down out of a tree and did a small window crash but never lost flight, never hitting the ground. It was shocking to see this happen. After that it perched fairly high for a couple of minutes and then took off flying west. I remained at the area for another hour and it never returned. Hopefully this beautiful bird will come back for others to see it. A beautiful morning out with full sun, low breeze, very pleasant. I then headed back over to the creek area for warblers and it had become very busy! Images were taken on May 15, 2019.

The first year Summer Tanager, male…

With a bee…

 

Perched in a nearby tree…

Perched again…

Singing…

Here with another bee and killing it…

Eating the bee…

Summer Tanager, a female at Wehr Nature Center Milwaukee County Wisconsin May 13, 2019

A rare bird the female Summer Tanager was reported at Wehr Nature Center a few days ago. This morning I made the stop there and after a 30 minute wait the bird showed at the feeder. It took a bee off the hive at the center and flew up into a nearby tree. It killed the bee and ate it. That is one of the things this bird species eats. There were plenty of bees buzzing around the hives there so this bird might hang around longer. A couple of beautiful FOY Indigo Buntings showed up there at the feeder while I was waiting for the tanager to show. It was a beautiful morning, cool but the sun was shinning, something we had not seen in a while. Early temps were about 40. Images were taken on May 13, 2019.

Note:  A rare bird because it is a little out of it’s normal range which is central Illinois and south.

The Summer Tanager, female

Summer Tanager with the bee in the bill…

Summer Tanager with the bee in the bill…getting a better grip…

Squishing the bee…

A nice pose…

Hooded Warblers at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 13, 2019

One of my birding stops today was Lake Park in Milwaukee. The birds of the day there were 2 beautiful male Hooded Warblers. They fed high up in the tree tops most of the time. At one time one was lower and gave great views near the north bridge. One image shows a fly in the bill of the bird, that was one of the things these birds were eating at the park today. A couple warblers were seen but nothing to brag about there. A beautiful sunny day but the steady winds off the lake made for a chilly day! Images were taken on May 13, 2019.

The Hooded Warbler, male

Perched on a log, maybe waiting for a fly…

Looking around…

A fly in the bill…

Looking around for the next snack…

Maybe resting…

Higher up in the tree, looking for a gnat…

Pine Warblers Feeding in the Yard in Waukesha County Wisconsin on May 12, 2019

Up to 4 Pine Warblers have been visiting and feeding here in the yard. They have been viewed for about the last 3 weeks on and off daily. I think they might nesting close?? The bird(s) feed for 5 -10 minutes then leave. On occasion they will take a grub from the lawn and fly away with it, to a possible nest?? It has been fun to watch and I will soon see if I can get more details on this event trying to watch where these birds are going. Images were taken through the glass from inside the house. These images were taken on May 5, 2019.

Pine Warbler looking for things to eat in the yard…

In search of food…

The Pine Warbler gets a caterpillar…

Gets a better grip on it…

Flips it…

Getting ready to eat it…

In it goes…

More searching for things to eat…

Hoping around as it must hear things moving around at ground level…

Coming for something…

Going for something…

Gets what looks like an ant…

White-eyed Vireo at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 9, 2019

I started out the day at Lake Park with a impromptu bird walk with some friends. The fog was so think you could cut it with a knife. A lot of nice birds were seen but the highlight of the day was the White-eyed Vireo. Jim Frank was the finder of the bird and he hunted us down at the park to let us know about it, thank you! It gave brief views at the rusty bridge and then moved on south. It was birdie on and off. Other nice birds seen were a Scarlet Tanager and Yellow-throated Vireo along with other birds expected to be seen this time of year. Numerous warblers were seen including Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Palms, Yellow-rumps, Orange-crowned, Black-and-white, Nashville, Northern Parula, Cape May, Prothonotary, Pine and American Redstart. All and all a fun time birding with friends even with the gloomy weather for a good part of the morning. Images were taken on May 9, 2019.

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

White-eyed Vireo

 

Cape May, Chestnut-sided, Yellow and Common Yellowthroat Warblers at Whitnall Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 6, 2019

One of my birding stops today was for warblers at Whitnall Park. Earlier birding in the rain along the lakefront produced very little to brag about. Lake Park had nice views of White-crowned and White-throated Sparrows everywhere, along with a split-second glimpse of a beautiful Ovenbird. The rain was just letting up as I headed west and the stop at Whitnall Park produced views of a stunning Cape May Warbler. Other warblers present, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Yellow-rumps, Common Yellowthroat, Palm. Other warblers that made very brief appearances were the American Redstart, Black-throated Blue, Black-and-white, not even long enough to get the camera on them. Very many Ruby-crowned Kinglets were also present. Always exciting to see new warblers as they start coming though the area. A rainy morning to start but then cloudy skies which was great. Temps chilly to start but warmed up nicely. Images were taken on May 6, 2019.

Cape May Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Yellow Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Cape May Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Black-throated Blue Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, female

Yellow Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, male

American Avocets, Willets and a Marbled Godwit at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 1, 2019

My first birding stop this morning was Lakeshore State Park. I having been hitting it regularly the last few weeks waiting for the American Avocets. This morning was the day as 14 were present when I arrived, btw, my favorite bird! A few minutes later 24 Willets showed up and a while later another ~35 showed up. It was exciting to see this species again. Last year May 5, was the day they showed up at this park. Very skittish they were as when a person walking by the beach area at the park, the American Avocets flushed and landed in the lagoon in a very tight group. It seemed that after about 15-20 minutes they worked their way back to the beach area and hung out with the Willets, sometimes by themselves too. A Marbled Godwit was found in the group of Willets on the beach by Jennifer A later on. The bird may have just joined the group on one of the flushes.  All the birds were flushed many times while I was there but by pedestrians not knowing what was going on, it was all innocent.  Weather was not great as there was a mist coming down for at least the first hour I was there. On and off it was very cold out there on the island park. Stunning birds regardless! It was a fun time with friend birders and photographers that showed while I was there. Images were taken on May 1, 2019.

The American Avocet, male

Flying free…

A group of them…they hung tight all day…

The American Avocets returning to the beach area…

Marbled Godwit left, Willet right

Willets coming to the beach with the Marbled Godwit standing out…

Willets coming in…

Willet

Willets with the Marbled Godwit in the middle…

Willets coming in…

Marbled Godwit preening

American Avocets in flight coming in…

Willets coming in…

American Avocets, a pair, could be a female left, male right…

Willets landing at the beach…

American Avocets landing at the beach…

Willet and Marbled Godwit left to right…

Marbled Godwit in front with the Willets

The Marbled Godwit

Huddled out in the lagoon…all 14 of them…

Willet playing with a crayfish claw that a gull left after eating the crayfish…

Marbled Godwit with something in the bill to eat…

Willet with something in the bill to eat too…

Willets in coming…

Marbled Godwith surrounded by Willets but feeling at home…

Black-capped Chickadees Excavating a Nest Hole at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 26, 2019

While birding at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center I came a across a couple of hard working Black-capped Chickadees. They were taking turns excavating a nest hole in a dead tree along a path. They would chip away in the nest hole and then take a bill full of wood pieces from inside the hole carry them to a nearby branch and let them fall. I watched them from a distance for about 3-4 minutes. It was a beautiful morning out birding but bird action and species was slow in the location I hit. Images were taken on April 26, 2019.

The Black-capped Chickadee with a bill full of wood pieces…

The Black-capped Chickadee excavates in the bottom of the nest hole…

The Black-capped Chickadee excavates on the side of the nest hole…

One of the Black-capped Chickadees sits in a small tree a short distance away waiting for its turn to do some work in the nest hole…they just kept taking turns working in the nest hole…

Hanging on the nest hole opening looking and taking a break…

Checking out the progress…

Just after landing at the nest hole the Black-capped Chickadee takes a look around before working…

The Black-capped Chickadee excavates in the upper part of the nest hole…

The nest hole in the tree…

The Black-capped Chickadee on the side of the tree at the nest hole opening…

Northern Shoveler at the Fox River in Waukesha Wisconsin on April 25, 2019

One of my last birding stops today was the Fox River in Waukesha. I check it almost daily in case something new has showed up. Today a Northern Shoveler was the treat giving nice views. It hung around with a couple of Mallards and fed once in awhile along the shoreline of the river. What a beautiful duck! It was a gorgeous day with mostly sunny skies, little wind and a pleasant temperature. Images were taken on April 25, 2019.

Northern Shoveler, male

Northern Shoveler, the reflection…

Close-up, those colors…

Feeding…

Giving great looks!

Say….Ahh….

Feeding along the shoreline…

Some action…

So pretty!

Yellow-rumped, Palm and Yellow Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on April 23, 2019

One of my birding stops today was Wehr Nature Center in Franklin for warblers. I have not been to the nature center since April 9 of this year. Yellow-rumped Warblers were the only warbler species present on that day and today was almost the same. Today it was mainly Yellow-rumped Warblers again with 2 Palm and 1 Yellow warbler. A few Ruby-crowned Kinglets were also seen. It was exciting to get my first Palm and Yellow warblers of the year! Some Swamp Sparrows were also present. I birded some of the Milwaukee lakefront before Wehr this morning and birds to note, 2 groups of Ruddy Ducks, one of 25 or more ducks and another smaller one. Also a group of 12 Northern Shovelers all near the Art Museum. A flyover Common Loon. It was a beautiful morning, but chilly near the lake early winds off the lake, I still needed a scarf! Once the sun came out around 11 AM things started to warm up. Images were taken on April 23, 2019.

Yellow Warbler, male

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Palm Warbler, male

Yellow-rumped Warbler, female

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Palm Warbler, male singing…

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male

 

 

 

Bonaparte’s Gulls at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 15, 2019

I birded some of the lakefront this morning in Milwaukee and it was pretty slow. The only place I could find a little action was north of McKinley Beach at the gravel beach. There were Bonaparte’s Gulls  feeding heavy there, about 20 of them, thinking these are all adults.  Some Ring-billed Gulls were also present standing on the shore by the Bonaparte’s and appeared they weren’t happy that someone was in their fishing spot! After some shots, more Ring-billed Gulls came in and I left. I photographed the Bonaparte’s Gulls last year a few feet away at McKinley Beach on April 16, one day off! It was a beautiful morning even though there was 3″ of snow on the ground with 29 degrees when I walked along the shore. Images were taken on April 15, 2019.

Bonaparte’s Gull, adult

Something in the bill to eat…

Something in the bill, feeding on crustaceans or marine worms…

Something in the bill, probably feeding on crustaceans or marine worms…

Looking for something to eat, then the heads goes down and they get it…

Something in the bill…

Flying by…

Flying by….

Just before landing…

How they are grouped up sometimes when they feed along the shore, they sit in the waves at the shore…this is typical…

A close up…

Turning the head to grab something here…

Just looking for something to eat…

One of the Ring-billed Gulls watches from the shore, they are in my fishing spot!

Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 12, 2019

I have hit Lake Park in Milwaukee almost daily this week in hopes to see the large numbers of the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers that come through. This year like last, I may have missed the big event. Stops have had numbers of just 3-5 birds and some times not even photograph-able as they were high up in the trees. Maybe they are still coming but I think it is just one of those things that I won’t see that event. The few I have seen have been stunning as always, actively feeding on sap, making new holes in trees for more sap, they seem to know where to go. Most of the birds I have seen were higher in trees, not low near the truck. I would think that has to do with the sap situation in the tree. Still exciting to see these birds come through even if it was only one. Images were taken on the 8th and 12th of April 2019.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male, working on a hole getting sap too…

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male working on a hole…

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, female-left, male-right

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male, they like to hide when someone is around and come around corners slow…

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, male

Getting sap

Working the hole and then getting more sap…

Female getting sap…

Getting sap…

Eastern Towhee at the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 12, 2019

One of my birding stops today was the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. The highlight was a FOY Eastern  Towhee. Update: The female Eastern Towhee was photographed at the same location on April 15, 2109. This male put on a nice show eating seeds as I watched from a distance. Another highlight was at least 25 Northern Flickers that were feeding in a field. As I walked a path on the property they flushed from distance in a field. They flushed twice as I did not know they were there till they started taking off. They appeared to just fly to another area there. A Great Horned Owl made an appearance along with a Belted Kingfisher, Song Sparrows, Fox Sparrows, Chipping Sparrows, a flock of 12 Wild Turkeys, with males displaying and Yellow-rumped Warblers to name a few. Stops along the lakefront earlier were very quiet bird-wise with nothing special to report other than a couple of Horned Grebes. I made my first stop of the spring at the Magic Hedge, it was bird-less. Weather was nice early in the morning but then before noon, it got overcast, windy and a north wind made it chilly. Still a nice day to be out birding. Images were taken on April 12, 2019.

Eastern Towhee, female

Eastern Towhee, female

Eastern Towhee, female

The Eastern Towhee near a feeder looking for seeds…

Getting a seed probably…

Looking for seeds…

Near a puddle the Eastern Towhee looks for seeds…

Tail up…

Pretty bird!

Getting a seed in the water maybe…

Winter Wren at Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 9, 2019

While birding Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County, Golden-crowned Kinglets were plentiful along with a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, a bird that hides and feeds along the banks of creeks the Winter Wren was also present. These birds are very shy to say the least. While warblers and kinglets don’t even seem to acknowledge your presence, this bird sees you, and it is out of sight. It could be to that their food, gnats and bugs are in in vegetation, logs, around them, under them and along shore banks of creeks where we don’t hang out much to see them. These birds move fast and don’t typically sit still. This bird gave nice views from across the creek for a few moments and I tried to capture some of the action I saw. Clouds rolled in some during the day and temps were mild. Images were taken on April 9, 2019.

The Winter Wren, just how they stand…

Some of the habitat they hang out in and feed…

Moving along getting things to eat…

Moving along looking up, getting things to eat, sometimes they jump up for their food in the air, short flights…

Just looking around for something to eat…

Where you may see them..

 

 

Yellow-rumped Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 9, 2019

One of my birding stops today was Wehr Nature Center. I was hoping to see the start of the Yellow-rumped Warbers migrating through the area, also known as “Butter butts”. My timing was right, it was the start, only a couple of birds of that species were present, but it was very exciting! It was nice to see them as bigger things to come was on the horizon with warbler species. There were the most ever seen by me at one location, Golden-crowned Kinglets. The trees were loaded with them feeding heavily, they never stop! The Yellow-rumped warblers, only a couple present, were also busy eating gnats non-stop. My other stops along the lakefront in Milwaukee were very quiet for birds. It was a beautiful morning out with temps around 60, a little wind, but mostly sunny skies. Images were taken on April 9, 2019.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

A short flight to a gnat…

Around the tree looks a Yellow-rumped Warbler…

Looking for a gnat…

Another short flight to a gnat…

Looking …

Looking for the next gnat…and giving nice looks…

Going for a gnat…

Looking at me…

Golden-crowned Kinglet…