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

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