Arctic Tern in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 15, 2018

After returning home from birding some of the lakefront in Milwaukee in the morning I realized my birding was not finished for the day. I saw the rare bird report of an Arctic Tern found by Amy K up at Sheboygan. I needed this bird for my Wisconsin state life list so I decided to make the run up around 12:30 pm. My last try for this species was back on May 21, 2016 when there was one present at the time of seeing the famous White-winged Tern in Manitowoc, but I missed that bird by a day. I got a hold of Amy and she told me exactly where she saw the Arctic Tern and from where. I picked up Bruce on the way up as he had an interest in seeing this bird. We arrived around 2:00 pm and went to the hot spot, the Blue Harbor Pier. We could see very many gulls and some terns from the pier on the rocks in the harbor, but unfortunately it was too far to get an ID. We tried by the sailing club and met Barry B there, but could not ID the Arctic Tern 100% from there with the distance. None of us brought a scope! We knew our only hope was to wait for a birder with a scope to show up. Along came Davor G with his scope. We headed back over to the pier and with in a minute or two Davor had the tern in his scope. The bird was about 1/4 mile away from us so images are not much, just a couple of doc shots. Big thank you to Amy K for finding the rare bird and getting the word out to others, and Davor for nailing this bird in his scope. There was a lot of excitement had with all of us and a few birders that showed up after the big find. A mostly sunny period when I was there, stiff breeze off the lake where, felt very cool and it made me have to have two light coats on. Images were taken on June 15, 2018.

Arctic Tern surrounded by Common Terns…bird is a couple inches above the round hole in the rock…image taken at about 1/4 mile from tern..

Red arrow to see the tern location…just above the round hole in the rock…

Arctic Tern

Binomial name: Sterna paradisaea

Category: Gulls, Tern, and Skimmers

Size: 12” long, 31” wing span

Weight: 3.9 oz

Note: Breeding grounds for this species is the High Arctic and wintering is in the Antarctic, migrating across the oceans each year, what a distance!

Preening…

Head turned in as it was preening…

A Laughing Gull was also present giving nice views at a distance from the Sailing Club…

Red-headed Woodpecker feeding young in Marquette County Wisconsin on June 11, 2018

Doing some birding I came across a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers. One bird was bringing insects to the nest hole in a dead oak. The other adult perched at a distance off a ways  from the nest hole. I hung around for 3 feedings and then let them be. It was a beautiful day, mostly sunny with some gusts of winds which made for a stunning day out there, and no mosquito’s. Images were taken on June 11, 2018.

Red-headed Woodpecker leaving the nest hole after feeding young…

Bringing the insects to the young after a few minutes…

Going into the nest hole…

Before entering the nest hole…

Leaving…

Just standing by, the young know that…

Another bill full for the young…

Just before entering…

Perched in a nearby tree by the nest hole…

Taking a look around, watching the nest hole too…

Great Blue Heron with the Goldfish at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County on June 8, 2018

One of my birding stops this morning was Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County. A slow morning out, the highlight at Greenfield Park was a Great Blue Heron hunting, catching and eating a Goldfish. It is always nice to see a heron eat something other than a Goldfish, but I guess it is good if they are taken out of the pond. Other species seen where a few Green Herons doing some high flybys. A beautiful morning out with light sun, low winds and temps in the upper 60’s. Images were taken on June 8, 2018.

The Great Blue Heron looking and waiting for something to eat…

Intense listening and looking and waiting for the next meal…

The catch…

Some handling of the fish…

More handling of the fish…

More handling of the fish…

Turning the fish in the correct position to swallow…

In it goes…

Going in…

Going down…

Gulp…

More gulp with a quick drink which is what they do typically after eating something…

Waiting for the next snack…

To a new fishing spot…

Bobolinks at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha County Wisconsin on June 7, 2018

I made the annual early June stop at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha to see if any Bobolinks were around. There were at least 10 males and some females present, I really did not do a count. They flew to many field locations and gave nice views flying and perching near me at times. Nice to see them there. No sign of Dickcissels which I had hoped to see there too. It was a warm sunny morning with little winds, I was hot standing out on a trail there. Images were taken on June 7, 2018.

Bobolink, male

Bobolink

Binomial name: Dolichonyx oryzivorus

Category: Blackbirds

Size: 7” long, 11.5” wing span

Weight: 1.50 oz

Notes: A male Bobolink may have more than one mate. A well known birder in Wisconsin had called this bird a “skunk blackbird” because of the whitish stripe down the back of the head.

Bobolink, female

Bobolinks, male left, female right…

In flight and calling…

Bobolink, female perched with Golden Alexanders

Bobolink, male

In flight and calling…

Bobolink, female at takeoff…

Bobolink, female

Bobolink, female, just hanging on…

Bobolinks, female left, male right…

Bobolink, female

Bobolink, female looking…

Bobolink, male in the stalks which they typically perch in…

In coming…

American White Pelicans at North Point Park in Sheboygan Wisconsin on May 29, 2018

I made a run up to North Point Park in Sheboygan on Lake Michigan’s lakefront to see if American White Pelicans where present. Arriving just after sun up, there were about 150 off the rock point. The water on the lake is high and there is less room for them to gather on the point so they were more condensed I would say. A couple of the old concrete piers to the south of the point held some pelicans on and off while I was there in the morning, they were flying back and forth. There was not much action when I was there other than some flying back and forth to the piers or flying just down the shoreline along with preening and small interaction among them. Even with little action, these majestic birds are still exciting to see. Only other bird to note was a 1st summer Lesser Black-backed Gull. It started out feeling like a cold fall morning with good winds right out of the NE and some haze. Temps did warm up some mid morning with a little sun coming through. Images were taken on May 29, 2018.

American White Pelican

American White Pelican

Binomial name: Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Category: Pelicans

Size: 62” long, 108” wing span

Weight: 16.4 lbs

Cool fact: One of the largest birds in North America. Their pouch, bottom of their bill can hold up to 3 gallons of water.

Congregated off the rock point at North Point Park

Just a flyby…

3 preening on the rock…

Alone…

American White Pelican with a Ring-billed Gull on the rock…

In the water…

Incoming…

Dropping down…

Overhead…

Dropping down…

Wisconsin Native Wildflowers in Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties on May 25, 2018

At a couple of locations today, Wehr Nature Center being one, also our backyard, I took a few minutes to photograph some of the stunning wildflowers native to the state that were currently blooming. Images were taken on May 25, 2018.

Shooting Star, Dodecatheon meadia

Wild Cloumbine, Aquilegia canadensis

Red Trillium, Trillium erectum

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

Jacob’s Ladder, Polemonium reptans

Foamflower, Tiarella cordifolia

Wild Blue Phlox, Phlox divaricata

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

Large Flowered Trillium, Trillium reccurvatum

Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

Golden Alexanders, Zizia aurea

Red Trillium, Trillium erectum

Wild Cream Indigo, Baptisia leucophaea

Large Flowered Trillium, Trillium reccurvatum

Mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

 

Western Tanager at the Lion’s Den in Ozaukee County Wisconsin on May 22, 2018

With only a couple hours available today for birding, I thought I would give the male Western Tanager a try that was reported yesterday at the Lion’s Den in Ozaukee County. I arrived at 5:15 am with heavy fog and very little light. The images show that. After about 30 minutes walking along the bluff and different  areas, I spotted the Western Tanager on a bluff trail. This species is well out out of it’s normal range. Typically I think we get 1 or 2 in the state each year but their presence is usually short lived with a day visit. A male Scarlet Tanager was usually within the area of the Western Tanager. They both actively feed while I was present for a few minutes I was there as I had to head back home. A cool life bird that I did not have on my life list for Wisconsin yet. Life bird #339 for the state. Sorry for the poor quality of the images, but I tried to capture some of the action to share. A gloomy early morning at the park with heavy fog, little light, but temps where mild, so that was a good thing. Thanks to the finder of this bird and for those who got the word out for others to see it. Images were taken on May 22, 2018.

Western Tanager, the male in the fog…

Western Tanager

Binomial name: Piranga ludoviciana

Category: Piranga Tanagers and Allies

Size: 7” long, 11.5” wingspan

Weight: .98 Oz

Note: Normal range for this species is Wyoming and west.

With a gnat…

Looking for a gnat…

Going for a gnat…

Getting the gnat…

Warblers at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha Wisconsin on May 13, 2018

I had an hour free in the afternoon so I stopped at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha. It had a nice selection of warblers but not a lot of numbers of each. Warblers species seen, Blackburnian, Cape May, Yellow, Tennessee, Nashville, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, American Redstart, Black-and-white, Blackpoll, and Northern Parula. They actively feed along the river. It was a cloudy day, mild temps in the mid 60’s, little wind. Images were taken on May 13, 2018.

Northern Parula, female

Magnolia Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male getting a gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler, female

Blackburnian Warbler, female getting a gnat…

Northern Parula getting a gnat…

Yellow Warbler, female

Tennessee Warbler, female with a gnat in the bill…

Blackburnian Warbler, female getting a gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler perched pretty…

Magnolia Warbler, male

Northern Parula, female

Blackburnian Warbler, female

Blackburnian Warbler, female going for the gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler, female with a gnat in the bill…

Northern Parula looking for the next gnat…

Northern Parula going for a gnat…

Northern Parula going for a gnat…

Northern Parula posing…

Northern Parula

American Redstart, male

Tennessee Warbler, female, going for a gnat…

Blackpoll Warbler, male

Cape May Warbler, female

Magnolia Warbler, male

American Redstart, male

Magnolia Warbler going for a gnat under the bark…

 

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 11, 2018

While birding Lake Park in Milwaukee one of the highlights was a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher feeding on gnats and then a little preening. A cold day and winds off the lake, it sure did not feel like spring. Images were taken on May 11, 2018.

Getting those gnats on sumac…

Looking…

Tail spread…

Perched pretty…

Some preening…

More preening…

Resting…

Looking for the next gnat…

Blackburnian Warbler at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 10, 2018

Making a stop midday at Lake Park gave nice views of many warbler species. One of the highlights was a Blackburnian Warbler feeding on gnats on a opening Maple tree. Other warbler species seen, Cape May, Yellow, Magnolia, Chestnut-sided, Nashville, Tennessee, Northern Parula, Orange-crowned, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-rumped, American Redstart, Palm, Prothonotary, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s, and A Black-and-white. A fun time out with great views for the 2 hours I was there. A pretty nice day, mostly cloudy, mild temps and low winds. Images were taken on May 10, 2018.

Blackburnian Warbler

Looking for a gnat, it is what they do, it is what they eat…

Going for a gnat…

Looking at you…

Going for a gnat…

Looking around…

Calling…

More calling…

Looking for a gnat…

Just looking…

Cape May Warbler at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha Wisconsin on May 9, 2018

While birding at the Fox River Sanctuary this afternoon another stunning warbler species seen feeding was the Cape May Warbler. It was doing what all the warblers do, feeding as they migrate through our area. There were 3 present while I was there. Gnats, gnats were everywhere there, clouds of them in a air and the trees must have been loaded too. Other warbler species to note, Northern Parula, Tennessee, Magnolia, Yellow, Nashville, Palm and Cape May. It was cloudy with a mist once in awhile with temps in the mid 60’s.

Perched pretty…

Deciding what gnat to get next, with two in front of him…

Looking for the next gnat…

Looking under the leaf for the next gnat, it is what they do…

Looking for the next gnat…

Getting a gnat…

Getting the next gnat…

Looking for the next gnat…

Perched off a ways with a gnat close by….

Going to the next branch…

Prothonotary Warbler at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha Wisconsin on May 9, 2018

I made a quick birding stop after the rain let up today at the Fox River Sanctuary. It was quiet for the first few minutes but then I spotted a Prothonotary Warbler down stream. It feed on gnats on a branch over hanging the river which is typical. The air was filled with gnats as a few times I got them in my mouth. Other warbler species to note, Northern Parula, Tennessee, Magnolia, Yellow, Nashville, Palm and Cape May. It was cloudy with a mist once in awhile with temps in the mid 60’s.

Prothonotary Warbler

With a gnat…

Looking for a gnat…

Just perched pretty…

Giving good looks…

Looking for the next gnat…

Reaching for the gnat…

Reaching for the next gnat…

With a gnat…

Looking for the next gnat…

Looking for the next gnat, that is about all they do…

 

 

Sora at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 7, 2018

Birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee today, a stop at Lakeshore State Park provided nice views of a Sora. It came out of the cattails a couple of times to do some feeding. At first I thought it was an American Coot, seeing only the front of the head in the dark, but then, yes and Sora! It was a beautiful spring day with perfect temps, sunny skies with low winds.

Sora

Sora

Binomial name: Porzana carolina

Category: Rails, Gallinules, and Coots

Size: 8.75” long, 14” wingspan

Weight: 2.6 Oz

Note: Member of the rail family

Coming out through the cattails…

Looking for something to eat…

Going for something here…

Looking for food…

edible…?

The Sora drops it…

It went for something….

Walking around, looking for something to eat…

Finds something on the rock, but it does not take it…

Leaves it…

Back to the water…

Dives for something…

Has something here…

Eats it…

Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 6, 2018

A stop this morning at Wehr Nature Center provided nice views of Chestnut-sided, Wilson’s, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow, Magnoila, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, and the American Redstart. Also present a Swainson’s Thrush. They put on a great show feeding while I was there. A beautiful spring like day with low winds, some light cloud cover with temps around 65 degrees.

Yellow Warbler, male

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Black-and-white Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat in search of a gnat, it is what they do….

American Redstart, male

Swainson’s Thrush

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male looking for a gnat…

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Yellow Warbler, male

American Avocets at Lakeshore State Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 5, 2018

My first stop for birding was Lakeshore Sate Park in Milwaukee. A bird I have been waiting for since the last time they were on the lakefront, the American Avocet. They were at the beach there and doing some feeding and preening, but for the most part they rested. Once they were flushed by a dog walker with 3 dogs at the end of the beach, but that was the only time they took to the skies and they were present when I left. There where 11 birds present in this flock. Female Avocet has a more upturned bill. An amazing bird to photograph and watch too on a mostly sunny day with temps in the 70’s and little wind. Images were taken on May 5, 2018.

American Avocet

Close up, a male…

Coming in…

All Eleven of them…

The way they were…male in the front, female second, with another female third…

Just a drink, probable female…

Feeding…

The pose…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Bathing…

Preening…

Preening…

Preening…

Grooming those feathers…

Stunning reflection….

The stretch…

A few loops around high up after being flushed by the dogs but they returned…

Circling above…

On their way down…

Landing…

Just pretty, female…

Walking along, male…

Something to eat in the bill here…

A little run here…

Looking pretty with gnats around…

Resting and what they did a lot of…

The reflection…

Mouth stretching…

One feeding, others resting…

Walking along…

Calling…

The drip…

Preening…

More bathing…

Beautiful…

Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Franklin Wisconsin on May 2, 2018

I made a brief stop at Wehr Nature Center this afternoon to see if there was some warbler action and there was. Warblers seen were Magnolia, Orange-crowned, Black-throated Green, Palm, Yellow-rumped, Black-and-white, Blackpoll, and Northern Waterthrush. They put on some great shows feeding while I was there. A warm afternoon with partly cloudy skies and low winds. Images were taken on May 2, 2018.

Black-throated Green Warbler diving to a gnat…

Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Magnolia Warbler

Palm Warbler looking for the next gnat

Orange-crowned Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

Black-and-white Warbler ready to get a gnat…

Black-throated Green Warbler

Magnolia Warbler looking for the next gnat

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Northern Waterthrush

Blackpoll Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler looking for the next gnat

Palm Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler looking for the next gnat

Black-throated Green Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler looking for it’s next gnat…

Blackpoll going to make the leap…

Blaclpoll making the leap…

Palm Warbler looking at you…

Black-throated Green perched pretty…looking for the next gnat…

Eastern Screech-Owl in Southeastern Wisconsin on April 29, 2018

While out birding I came across a Eastern Screech-Owl sitting in a natural cavity. The owl sat there not doing much but was keeping track of a couple of Grey Squirrels that caught its attention. I will say it is the year of the Eastern Screech-Owl, this is the 5th different one I have seen. It was another cool day with temps in the upper 50’s midday, with plenty of sun but with an east wind made for a chilly day for this time of year. Images were taken on April 29, 2018.

Eastern Screech-Owl resting peacefully in a natural cavity…

Eyes on a Grey Squirrel a tree away…

Looking out yonder…

Looking below at another Grey Squirrel…

Great Horned Owl with Owlets in Southeastern Wisconsin on April 27, 2018

While out birding this morning along the lakefront in Milwaukee I received a tip of Great Horned Owl with 3 owlets. Birding was a little slow along the lakefront where I was with nothing really going on so I made the drive to check these cuties out. When I arrived there were 3 owlets in a row on one limb. The adult female stopped in a couple times to check on the little ones but did not hang around. I’m not sure how old these owlets are but I’m sure they will be flying some soon and spreading out in the tree some too. It was a nice opportunity to see the first owlets of the spring. It was a bright sunny day with little wind but chilly at first. Images were taken on April 27, 2018.

The 3 Great Horned Owl owlets…

The one on the right is looking at the adult female off in a tree…

Great Horned Owl, adult female off a ways in a tree…

Great Horned Owl, adult female…

Just a pair cuddled up…

Red-throated Loon in Breeding Plumage at McKinley Marina on April 20, 2018

Birding along the lakefront in Milwaukee today I ran into John Miller who in talking had never seen a Horned Grebe. I said I had seen 3 at McKinley Marina on the about an hour ago. We were at Lake Park and it was quiet so we meet over at the McKinley Marina. We walked out the concrete pier about a 1/4  mile with not much seen other than the Long-tailed Duck which was not close, male which was still hanging around. On our way back to our cars I spotted a couple of Horned Grebes. John started photographing them. While he was busy doing that I used my bins and checked out north of the big pier. I spotted what I thought was loon out quiet a ways. I knew this was a loon I had never seen before, I thought OMG, it is a Red-throated Loon nearing full breeding plumage. It dove 5 times and stayed under for long periods of time. Each time it surfaced, it was a couple hundred feet more out in the lake until it was pretty much hard to make out anymore details. I never thought I would have ever seen one of these as we typically see the none breeding plumage Red-throated Loons, it must be the weather! A fun time out which started out slow. Still present at the marina, 100 Bonaparte’s Gulls, Long-tailed Duck, adult male, and noticed a nice raft of about 25 Ruddy Ducks near Bradford Beach. Finally a gorgeous day out with plenty of sun, felt like 60 and no wind.  It has been along time since I could go with out my snow boots and winter coat, how sweet! Images were taken on April 20, 2018.

Great Egrets at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 19, 2018

One of my birding stops today was at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee. There have been a couple of Great Egrets hanging around there and they were still present today. They did a little fishing but for the most part remained perched in some trees on one of the islands there. A nice stop over for them there as they won’t be around long. Along with the Great Egrets, a few Red-breasted Mergansers, Blue-winged Teal and Mallards were present. A nicer day than what we have had in the past with some sun and temps near 40 degrees. Images were taken on April 19, 2018.

The beauty of two Great Egrets looking for a place to perch…

Fishing

More fishing…

A flyby…

Perched on an island…

Focused on the next meal…