Thursday, May 6, 2010

What a week!

What an awesome week it has been for birding in Milwaukee! Exactly one week ago, I birded Lake Park, and only could find YR and Palm Warblers. Since then, Lake Park alone has given me 35 FOY birds!

Once again, I am pretty impressed by the birding in Milwaukee. I feel pretty fortunate to live where I do. With easy access to Lake Park/Vet's/Lakeshore State Park, it's really easier for me to BIGBY than it is to drive to these same locations to bird. The variety of birds that pass so close to my current home is astonishing, and I've really enjoyed being able to witness it this year. Over the last week, I've been able to tour Lake Park all but one day, and each day has provided at least a couple of new goodies and surprises (and, as was the case last Friday and yesterday, loads of new arrivals!!). A White-eyed Vireo at Lake Park yesterday was especially exciting, as six of us were able to share the bird as it cooperatively foraged beneath us in Locust Ravine.

On Monday, I also made a run at the CGI. I was not a Milwaukee resident during its 'heyday', but even the decline of habitat over the last couple of the years is very noticeable and pretty sad; really a unique lakeshore habitat. I got down there later than I wanted to, with the sun dropping and the wind whipping; but as usual, it still produced a good variety of shorebirds, including three Phalaropes frantically spinning in the easternmost impoundment. I did not get a satisfactory ID on all three birds, though one striking female Wilson's stood out, and the clear underwing of a second made two for that species. A Peregrine swooped down in front of me at the impoundment as well, spooking up two Pectoral Sandpipers that had been hidden before. Definitely looking forward to a few more return trips to this spot! Very hopeful that it will grant me the lifer Whimbrel I've been hoping to see here since I first became a Brew City resident!

Is anyone planning on doing a Big Green Day? Depending on how the weather matches my work schedule the second half of May, I'm definitely planning on making a run or two. Another outlet for our BIGBY obsessions!

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