Friday, March 11, 2011

Madison - Milwaukee, put the heat on?

so these new upstarts from Madtown seem to think that they can get more birds than those of us in Brewtown. They talked about wagers. Thoughts?

Oh - and Robin just helped me find 3 new BGBY birds outside her house CAWR, COME and SOSP. What's with all this cooperation? Something in the drinking water? (Thanks ROSQ!)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Newbie to BIGBY

Hello all -

My name is Daniel Schneider and this being my rookie BIGBY season, I thought I would introduce myself. I work for UW-Madison doing grassland bird research. I will be basing my BIGBY from my house on the eastside of Madison which fortunately, is within striking distance of many of Dane county's hot spots.

I took up cycling last year and have been a lister for years so I thought I would combine the two and go Green. Combine that with my guilt for all those winter time airplane rides to warm, tropical birding destinations and there's no way I could resist when Andy P. mentioned the group sometime last year.

Glad to be aboard!



After seeing Chuck's post regarding his sightings at Estrabrook, I decided to set out first for that park. There were quite a few Buffleheads, Mallards on the river, and finally, one lone Hooded Merganser. There were also female Common Goldeneyes (about 7), but no males (why?). I spent a long time watching and studying the birds (and took field notes a la Richard Crossley's suggestion) and then continued on through the park. Right before the dog park, I noticed two RWBB in the brush. They were perfectly still. So still that I looked around to see if any predator (besides me) was nearby. The birds had a brown mottling at the nape, and the epaulet only showed yellow. I wondered if they were immature males and hunkered down to avoid any confrontations. I continued on to the Shorewood Nature Preserve where there were 11 crows in a raucous party around a tall fir. Stomping through the snow, I finally got my glasses on the fir and saw a GHOW sitting amidst the branches. The crows finally flew away, but the GHOW never twitched a feather. The ice is quite far out at the preserve, but you can see rafts and rafts of Bufflehead and Scaup at Atwater. Still looking for a Brown Creeper, I continued on to Downer Woods, but all was quiet. Two Peregrines sat on the Engineering building at UWM, and two RWBB called along Lake Drive. Species total for the day was 20.
Just now I looked out at my feeder to see a White-crowned Sparrow.