Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Effectively "Out of the Running"

So, it is with a heavy heart I confess that I am effectively out of the running for the BIGBY this year, due to some serious fall migration slacking! I'm missing a few crucial warblers, but I still have time to makeup some waterfowl. No matter, though; I got into this to document walking-distance birding in my neighborhood, and I'll continue to do that through the year. My neighborhood is pretty "privileged," in that it is full of old trees, city parks, and on an isthmus. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have such good birding on foot, but it makes me happy to live where I do. And watch out, next year, if I get a bike, I may be a serious threat! ;)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Odd Places We Bird...

I was unfortunately unsuccessful in relocating the red crossbills that Max W found and David L rediscovered the following morning! However, the cemetery is unexpectedly beautiful in spring, and very birdy. While swarming with migratory birds, probably my favorite find of the morning was a hairy woodpecker cavity with begging nestlings.
forest hill cemetery
Both migration excitement and a flu have kept me from blogging much, but of course, warbler/neotropical migrant madness has hit and spring has sprung! Red-eyed vireos, rose-breasted grosbeaks, common nighthawks and veery are around for the taking, just to name a few. It's arguably the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The "Hidden Trails"

I discovered the forest trails next to Glenway golf course today, where I turned up a few blue-gray gnatcatchers and a tufted titmouse.
the unmarked trails
Over the golf course itself, I caught a glimpse of a broad-winged hawk just as it was flying over. Along the southwest commuter path, I found my FOY house wren.

Looking more and more like spring every day!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Birds of my Neighborhood

This was part of my route this afternoon... Afterward, I walked home, making the total route about 3.5 mi. White-throated sparrows along the commuter path were nice!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

April in Madison

Like a few of us this year, this is also my first BIGBY, and I'm loving it! I'm truly getting to "smell the roses" as I spend afternoons walking the city, parks and lakes. I've gotten to know new parts of my neighborhood and check out things I'd always breezed past before.

Today, I picked up 4 new species: a winter wren in Edgewood, a greater scaup in Vilas Park, northern rough-winged swallows over Lake Wingra and an osprey over Monona bay.
lake Wingra dam
I also got a lifer of another taxa...muskellunge at the dam!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Late Addition to the BIGBY

Hi all,

I finally "bit" and joined the WI BIGBY about 1/4 of the year in. Bird of the day: chimney swift! Spotted from my apartment window on this otherwise rainy, cold day in Madison.

A little about me...I'm studying the response of forest songbirds to extreme climate events. I started at UW Jan 2012, so I've lived in Wisconsin a little over a year. I've really enjoyed getting to know a new community of birds and birders, far different from my last residence of SC!

I'm a member of the Great Wisconsin Birdathon team "Bird So Hard." We're currently raising funds for WI bird habitat, and there's an awesome deal at stake: if you donate $25+ to our team, you'll be entered to win a pair of Eagle Optics Rangers 8x42, generously donated by our sponsors! Please help us out!

I live in the near west, and I don't own a bike! My stomping grounds are Lakeshore path to Wingra. Will keep you posted on my progress.

-Jessica Gorzo @setophaga

Saturday, January 5, 2013

My First BIGBY

I've been impatiently waiting for the calendar to flip over to 2013, not to make resolutions or start a new year list, but to start my first BIGBY.  I learned about the BIGBY Challenge about half way through 2012 and love the idea of Green Birding.  I couldn't wait for 2013 to come so I could get started!  I live in Kaukauna (Appleton area) and have set a goal of at least 100 species.  There are some great birding locations within biking distance so I hope to make it.  Time will likely be the biggest obstacle.

Today I took my first major excursion after adding the usual yard birds on New Years Day to get the list started.  I took my bike down from the rafters and rode two miles over to the 1000 Islands Environmental Center to bird along the Fox River.  My trip was well worth it as I added 13 species to bring my list total to 30.  The highlight of the day was easily the Peregrine Falcon, which was also a lifer for me.  I had a great time on my first ever January bike ride and look forward to what the year will bring.

Good BIGBYing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013!

The slate is wiped clean, the spreadsheets are blank, and all is ready for a new year of fossil fuel free birding. Please contact me or Tim if you aren't up for the challenge this year (you can always come back next year) or you know someone in Wisconsin who would like to join. And congratulations to Jesse for his 2012 high total of 214 species! Here are the 2012 Top Ten:

Jesse          214
Daniel        207
Kim           199
Andy         197
Alex          190
Kay           184
Todd          180
Scott          178
Jeff            173
Max           169

Happy Green Birding in 2013!