Monday, May 3, 2010

Weekend Recap

Hey folks,
Finally getting a chance to recap what has been an awesome weekend! Had the chance to bird quite a bit the last three days, and it's been awesome. Friday was the day for FOY warblers... I was lucky enough to pick up 6 new additions, including great looks at a male Black-throated Blue with Robin and Maria in Locust Ravine. I biked to Schlitz after that (I think I mentioned my obsession with Scoters as a teenager... old habits die hard, and the report of a Black a day earlier was too much to resist)... unfortunately, the weather turned, things were much quieter, and my 25-ish mile pedal was not rewarded with any new BIGBY birds, though a very pale gull working down the shore caught my eye... definitely the first Iceland Gull I've ever seen when I was in shorts, a consolation prize I was pretty pleased with!
On the way back from Schlitz, I was able to find one of the Great Horned Owls at Estabrook (thanks Robin for the heads up!!!). I gambled that I had a little time before the weather hit and passed my apartment, heading a little bit south to Vet's Park, adding the Black-crowned Night Herons that returned earlier in the week. I decided to make a sweep through Lakeshore State Park as well, and was surprised to see 13 Willets huddled on the beach there. The skies opened up, though I managed to get home before getting too waterlogged.

Saturday morning, the crowd of 40+ birders gathered for the Lake Park Bird Walk was perhaps as impressive as the parade of new migrants that morning. Saturday was less about warblers, with Black-and-White being the only new pickup (really shocked at how elusive this species has been this year). Highlight was definitely the Piping Plover at Bradford, a new Wisconsin bird for me, and the first time I've seen this bird away from its breeding grounds.

While the influx of new species was a little slower this morning than Friday and Saturday, the flow of migration was still very evident at Lake Park, with a noticeable increase in the number of Common Yellowthroats, Yellow Warblers, and Black-throated Green Warblers. A Yellow-throated Vireo over the Lake Park Bistro bridge was particularly cooperative. I made a run at Maria's Least Bittern without success, but got a Green Heron as a consolation prize and bird 120 for the BIGBY run.

Overall, what a fun weekend to be out! Really enjoyed every moment I had out there, also enjoyed meeting a few of you all out and about this weekend! Can't wait for things to really take off here shortly!

Good birding!

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