Great Blue Herons at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on September 9, 2022

A few juvenile Great Blue Herons have been present at Greenfield Park lately. They have been not very active but on a few occasions I have caught them catching fish. Most of the time they are just standing in the water waiting for something to come by to eat and I really think fish numbers are down in the lagoon. Maybe that could be one of the reasons there has been little action as it takes awhile for fish to come by. No adults around as there were earlier but they must have moved on or are heading south. Skies have been mostly sunny and light winds. Images were taken on  September 7-9.

A nice catch by this juvenile Great Blue Heron…

Just waiting for the next fish…

Drying off those wings…

More waiting…

What??

Another nice catch!

Walking along the island shore hoping to get a nice catch…

Just moving along the shoreline in water…

Great Egrets at Echo Veterans Memorial Park in Burlington Wisconsin on August 26, 2022

I made a run down to Echo Veterans Memorial Park in Burlington to see if there were any Great Egrets around. They are typically present near the dam this time of year or out on the lake. There were about 30 present when I arrived. They kept to the south end of the dam or out on the lake in trees most of the time I was there. They were not as active as I would have liked but with a few fishermen around the area or visitors to the park walking around the birds seems skittish for the most part. A couple of times the Great Egrets came over to the north side fishing for food but their stay was short lived. Still a great visit to see these beautiful birds hanging out in nice numbers near the dam. The morning started out cloudy giving way to some sun on and off while I was there. Actually I had to go to my car to get a coat as it was too cold with a breeze off the lake there for just a tee shirt. Images were taken on August 26, 2022.

The Great Egret coming in for a landing at the dam…

The elegant Great Egret…

Typically what I saw when I was there…

Circling near the dam…

Waiting for a fish to be seen…

Below the dam just looking pretty…

Some serious fishing being done here, waiting for a fish to be seen…

Some preening…

Getting those feathers in place…

A photo down the lake at one of the trees they perch in…

 

Common Nighthawk at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on August 27, 2022

I made a stop at Greenfield Park this morning and the bird of the day there was a Common Nighthawk. It was perched in a deciduous tree giving great looks. While I watched it, it preened a short time, nice to see it with its eyes open. These days right now, mid to the end of August this species migrates through the state and looking up into the sky before dark you may see them flying in all directions but slowly moving south. Not uncommon to see 100 at a time. I heard peak day for migration is August 25th. I saw many last night over Waukesha County up high in the sky just looking for a few minutes. It was a day of sun with passing clouds, temps around 80 degrees, low winds. Images were on August 27, 2022.

The Common Nighthawk perched pretty…

Some of that tail showing…

Some preening…

More preening…

Another shot…

Juvenile Green Herons at Greenfield Park on August 15, 2022

A stop at Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County gave nice looks at a couple of juvenile Green Herons. They did some fishing for food but came up empty each time as they are still learning how to get their food. They are cute with the fuzz on their heads. It was a sunny morning with temps around 70 degrees, low winds and sunny. Images were taken on August 12, 2022.

Green Heron, juvenile, fuzz on head…

Green Heron, juvenile walking down a stick in search of food…waiting for something to come by…

Goes for something here…

The Green Heron went for something  but it was a miss, came up empty…

Black-crowned Night-Herons at Humboldt Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin August 16, 2022

One of my birding stops today was Humboldt Park and the highlight there were a family of Black-crowned Night-Herons. 2 Adults and 4 juveniles hung out on the side of an island. They flew a few feet here or there but no major show by them. Maybe they had already eaten this morning but I saw no food being gone after or consumed. Some preening did occur. It was a beautiful morning with a light breeze, some sun, and mild temperatures. Images were taken on August 16, 2022.

Black-crowned Night-Heron #1, adult…

Some preening…

Stretching…

Stretching…

Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile…

Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile…

This one up in a tree, Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile…

Looks like it was watching for something to eat…Black-crowned Night-Heron, juvenile…

Black-crowned Night-Heron #2, adult…

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…

Wisconsin Native Wildflowers 2022

Wisconsin has so much to offer with native wildflowers blooming spring through fall, I thought I would share a few. Most were taken in the yard here in Waukesha County and some were also taken in some local parks.

Spiderwort, Tradescantia ohiensis

Wild Geranium, Geranium maculatum

Wild Blue Indigo, Baptisia austrlis, native south of Wisconsin

Smooth Phlox, Phlox glaberrima interior, endangered species in Wisconsin…

Spiderwort, white, Tradescantia ohiensis, white found in the wild

Cream Wild Indigo, Baptisia leucophaea

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta

Royal Catchfly, Silene regia

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea purpurea

Yellow Coneflower, Ratibida pinnata

Rattlesnake Master, Eryngium yuccifolium

Prairie Blazingstar, Liatris pycnostachya, a butterfly favorite…

Turk Cap’s Lily, Lilium michiganense

Wild Bergamot, Monarda fistulosa

Rosen Weed, Silphium intergrifolium

Wild Petunia, Ruellia humilis, endangered species in Wisconsin…

Black-headed Gull at South Side Municipal Beach in Sheboygan Wisconsin on June 13, 2022

I saw a report of a rare Black-headed Gull found at Sheboygan’s North Point late evening. I got up early and headed to Sheboygan and was there at sun up. After doing some searching at different locations and coming up empty I got a message that there were a lot of Bonaparte Gulls at South Side Municipal Beach. I checked it out and there were a 1,000 gulls there! I messaged a bunch of birding friends that were at North Point and they came over to help in the search. After looking about 45 minutes the gull was found. We all stayed very far away from the gulls as they took a large section of the beach shoreline, not wanting to flush them. It was preening most of the time and hard to spot. All I could capture was one photo from the event but it was enough to make it my 369th Wisconsin life bird. It was a gorgeous morning with temps around 58 degrees, low winds and sunshine. Images were taken on June 13, 2022.

The Black-headed Gull in the middle of the photo with the reddish bill…

A small part of the overall gull population on the beach…

One time a walker flushed the birds, they took to the sky but returned…

In search of the Black-headed Gull…the gulls a long ways away…

Cassin’s Kingbird in Marathon County Wisconsin on June 6, 2022

The Cassin’s Kingbird, so very rare to the state of Wisconsin, in fact the 1st state record seen on June 6. This birds normal range is southwestern US. At 2:15 AM, Greg and I made the run up to Marathon County with hopes to see the bird on the second day. The bird was seen in the area northeast of the intersection of Huckleberry Road and Chestnut Hill Ln. just east of Colby, WI. After arriving about 5:30 AM, and 2 hours of searching and rain, I spotted the Cassin’s at the same location it was seen yesterday. It must have been perched out of site until found this morning or off somewhere. It gave nice but distant views for well over an hour and we never really lost sight of it as it moved back and forth over the road, telephone wires, high trees etc. Dan B originally found this bird yesterday looking for Dickcissel’s.  A big thank you to him for the find and getting the word out for others to see. Wisconsin life bird #368 for me. A day of rain the whole time we were present and a breeze too. Images were taken on June 6, 2022.

The Cassin’s Kingbird in the rain…

The Cassin’s Kingbird way out in a field on a perch, it stayed here to quite a while…

The scene as it was, birders looking at the Cassin’s Kingbird near the edge of the grass in the field about 150 feet down the road…

Bobolinks at Retzer Nature Center in Waukesha County Wisconsin on May 31, 2022

It was that time of the year and I thought I would check to see if the Bobolinks are back at Retzer Nature Center. They were giving nice views from a distance. Males were chasing around some females. These are interesting birds to follow as they move to different spots, the males calling to the females. There is no sense in trying to figure out where they will land next. I stood at one location and they once in a while landed near me for a couple of photos. I think I saw 5 of them, 3 males and 2 females. Always fun to watch these birds. It was a cloudy day with some good breezes at times, making it seem tough for these birds to hang on to lanky old flower stalks from last year’s wildflowers, but I’m sure they are used to it. Temps around 70 degrees. Images were taken on May 31, 2022.

The male Bobolink calling to the female a ways away…

In between calling…

The female Bobolink perched in some old Yellow Coneflower stalks from last years wildflowers looking at the male…

The female perched a distance from a male…

From a distance the male hangs on tight calling…

The female…

The male hanging on with a good wind…

A look back for a female…

Flying by…

Female just trying to hang on…

Male calling…

Lark Bunting at the Lake Express in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 23, 2022

Birding some of the lakefront in Milwaukee this morning a stop at the Lake Express was well worth it. A Lark Bunting, male had just been seen by Jym M. but was not currently being seen. What a great bird and find! I thought I would hang around to see if it returned and after about 30 minutes I decided to check out other places along the lake. After checking some beaches I returned to the Lake Express and once again, I had just missed the Lark Bunting. This time I was going to stick around for a while. A short time had passed and I spotted the bunting in a nearby small tree. It moved around some and gave nice views for just a couple of minutes and then was out of sight. It also fed with some House Sparrows on the lawn near the building area in the shade. A Wisconsin life bird for me, #367. I will say, it has been a great year so far for state life birds, I hope this continues. It was a sunny day, with a cool breeze and temps around 50 degrees. Images were taken on May 23, 2022.

The Lark Bunting, male…

Another view…

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…

Connecticut Warbler at Lake Park in Milwaukee Wisconsin on May 13, 2022

While I was at Wehr Nature Center this morning checking out warblers I heard there was a reported Connecticut Warbler, male at Lake Park in Milwaukee. I made the run over to Lake Park and the warbler was found in the Locust Ravine. The bird was eating gnats from what I could see the whole time I was there moving up and down the slopes giving nice views. The warbler went to the bottom of the ravine twice while I was there continually finding things to eat. This ravine is on the north end of the park. I took some photos as you just don’t see this species often. What a beautiful bird!! It was a sunny day with some wind, cool along the lake at 61 while inland it was 91. Images were taken on May 13, 2022.

The Connecticut Warbler, male

At the ravine bottom looking for things to eat…

Going for a gnat on a blade of grass…

Near a puddle…

Gnat in the bill…

Just a pretty setting the Connecticut was in…

Nice pose with a gnat in the bill…

Always looking for things to eat…

Walking around the bottom of the ravine looking for things to eat…

On the move looking…

Looking up at the gnat and it did get it…

Warblers at Wehr Nature Center in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 10, 2022

A stop at Wehr Nature Center and a brief stop at the Fox River in Waukesha produced some great warbler action today. Some of the species seen were Yellow, Magnolia, Blackburnian, Black-throated Green, Bay Breasted, Blackpoll, Golden-winged, Common Yellowthroat, Orange-crowned, Northern Parula, Mourning, Canada, and Wilson’s along with Yellow throated and Philadelphia Vireos. Some species I would expect to see I did not. It was a warm day with some breeze at times with full sun. Images were taken on May 10, 2022.

Singing Magnolia Warbler, male

Blackburnian Warbler, male

Bay-breasted Warbler, male

Canada Warbler, male

Blackburnain Warbler, male

Mourning Warbler, male

Prothonotary Warbler, male

Blackpoll Warbler, male

American Redstart, male

Magnolia Warbler, male

Wilson’s Warbler, male

Common Yellowthroat, male

Blackburnian Warbler, male

Blackpoll Warbler, male

Philadelphia Vireo

Black and white Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Magnolia Warbler, male

Blackpoll Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Say’s Phoebe at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on May 2, 2022

While out birding I heard of a report of the rare for this area, a Say’s Phoebe at Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee County. The normal range for this species is western Dakota’s and west. I was only a few minutes so I made the run over there mid morning. After about 15 minutes the bird was found in a small tree east of the pond. It went for a couple of gnats and then flew off. It had not been seen for a while but then it was relocated mid afternoon. A big thank you to Steve L for finding this bird and getting the word out to others. It was a cloudy day with mild temps finally. Images were taken on May 2, 2022.

The Say’s Phoebe perched in a tree in a small field at the cemetery…

Another look…

 

 

Willets at McKinley Beach in Milwaukee Wisconsin on April 29, 2022

I stopped by McKinley Beach and it was a nice surprise to see 24 Willets. They were spread out all over the beach finding things to eat. No pedestrians or dogs were around so they were just doing their thing. Some looked very tired as they were probably were just stopping for a break on their migration trip. It was a nice afternoon with some sun and warmer temps around 50 degrees. Images were taken on April 29, 2022.

A group of the Willets on the beach…

Walking the beach finding things to eat…

Something to eat in the bill…

A pair…

Some larger waves were coming in…

Getting something to eat underwater…

That tongue…

Closeup…

In the bubbles…

One resting its eyes…

Preening…

More preening…

The birds feathers, protection for their body…

Just resting…

Ash-throated Flycatcher at Wind Point in Racine Wisconsin on April 27, 2022

There was a report of a Ash-throated Flycatcher at Wind Point in Racine and I needed this species for my Wisconsin life list. When I arrived at the lighthouse I found other birders and they said I just missed it! They then said it just flew down the hedge along the lake. After some looking I did find it, it was easy to spot as it was bigger than the swallows and warblers in the area. It liked hanging out inside the trees but there was a time when it made a brief appearance higher up in the open and I took a couple of photos. A Wisconsin life bird #365. It was a mostly cloudy day with a breeze and temps around 40 degrees. Images were taken on April 27, 2022.

The Ash-throated Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at Racine Wisconsin on April 27, 2022

It was a fun time photographing this rare bird, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Being in Racine, this male is far from its normal range, Nebraska and south. It has been visiting the area of Shoop Park Golf Course beach area there. This bird put on a great show and I found out watching it, appeared it was eating dead insects such as Milkweed Beetle, Lady Bugs, Hornets and Stink Bugs to name a few on the beach. It would typically perch for a awhile in nearby trees and then eat for awhile, then repeat. What a stunning bird!! It was a mostly cloudy day with a light breeze and temps around 40 degrees. Images were taken on April 27, 2022.

The Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, male

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher with a possible stink bug…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher at takeoff…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher perched in a tree resting…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher taking off…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher going for an insect…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher with a Lady Bug…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher perched pretty…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher going for another insect…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher coming in for a landing, spotting another insect…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher resting…

(Series photo #1) Scissor-tailed Flycatcher coming in for an insect

(Photo#2) Scissor-tailed Flycatcher coming in for an insect

(Photo #3) Scissor-tailed Flycatcher coming in for an insect

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher coming in…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher coming in…

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher on to another insect…

Warblers at Warnimont Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 26, 2022

Warnimont Park was the hot spot today if you ask me. Hooded, Black-throated Green, Chestnut-sided, Yellow, Nashville, Black and White, Tennessee, Palm, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula, and Orange-crowned  were some. It was a cloudy day with a good breeze, cold. Images were taken on April 26, 2022.

Hooded Warbler, male

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male

Black and White Warbler, male

Black-throated Green Warbler, male

Nashville Warbler, male

Tennessee Warbler, male

Palm Warbler, male

Yellow-rumped Warbler, male

Yellow Warbler, male

Chestnut-sided Warbler, male

Hooded Warbler, male

Hooded Warbler, male

Summer Tanager at Warnimont Park in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 26, 2022

A stop at Warnimont Park in Milwaukee provided nice views of a Summer Tanager, an immature male. This bird is out of it’s normal range which is mid Illinois and south. We do get a couple in the state every year. The Summer Tanager fed on gnats along the bluff area back and forth the time I was there. It was my birdie-st day so far this year with very many warbler species. It was a mostly cloudy day with cold temps from the northwest high of around 45 degrees. Images were taken on April 26, 2022.

The Summer Tanager…

The hop…