Sunday, March 28, 2010

Milwaukee Lakefront

I too birded along the Milwaukee lakefront today. First stop was Lakeshore SP, where the female White-winged Scoter remains. Lakeshore has been particularly good to me thus far this year (WW Scoter, Harlequin Duck, and Snowy Owl), and I'm hoping that the inlet will give me another gift or two before waterbird migration winds down. I then turned into the wind and biked north to McKinley Marina, where I found some of the gulls Owen ran into earlier in the day. An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was particularly cooperative, sitting no more than 20 yards off the shore. The NE winds made duck-watching particularly difficult on the open water, though I did luck into a male Ring-necked Duck (56) for my first BIGBY pickup of the day at North Point. I swung through Lake Park on the way home as I was beginning to lose light, and found a Fox Sparrow (57) at the Wolcott statue.

For me, one of the more rewarding aspects of the BIGBY has been picking up birds that are species I have previously driven many miles chasing. More than anything, I'm really appreciating how "birdy" Milwaukee is. Growing up in southern Ohio, to me, scoters always had a mystique about them... I took countless trips to local reservoirs or the Ohio River hoping to catch one, generally missing... it's one thing to drive a 50-60+ mile round trip to see a bird, but it's even more frustrating when you drive that distance and miss! Being able to see these birds within a mile or two of my apartment in Milwaukee is quite a treat. Similarly, I've seen fallouts at Lake Park that rival anything I've experienced at the world famous Lake Erie migrant traps. I am leaving Milwaukee in a couple of months, and will definitely miss the easy access to so many great and varying bird habitats!

1 comment:

Owen said...

Oh no Sam, we're losing you!?! Going somewhere cool? Will you continue to Bigby in your new location? You should and continue to update us through the blog/spreadsheet.