Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Autumn from Michigan to Georgia

Autumn colors lined the roads as we traveled north from Wisconsin into Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Our first stop was Seney National Wildlife Refuge where families of Trumpeter Swans dotted the waterways in white.

We spent the night at Grand Marias on Lake Superior.  We went to Whitefish Point and spent the day birding with Bill & Sarah Krouse who were vacationing here from Green Bay.

Thousands of White-crowded Sparrows, Juncos, Thrushes, Kinglets, Am. Pipits, and warblers were migrating through from Canada.

We drove south through Lower Michigan and into Ohio in heavy rain and even a few snow flurries.  It stopped long enough for us to tour the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary near Battle Creek, MI.  This is the place from which the first Giant Canada Geese came to Green Bay in the 1930's.  Note the white forehead patch that identifies the Giant subspecies.

Into the rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio and the tree covered mountains of West Virginia.  We stayed at Pipestem Mountain RV Park where new birds were Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, and Mockingbirds.
Great Egret at Bogue Intet

We moved through the narrow part of Virginia and into North Carolina.  We were doing well following the advance of colored leaves and bird migration.  We headed to the coast just south of the Outer Banks and found our first Laughing Gulls, Fish Crows and Boat-tailed Grackles.

On October 7th was the beautiful full moon and early the next morning was the total eclipse.  Thankfully we were blessed with a clear night sky.
Greater Black-backed Gull

We stayed along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and found some interesting finds near Ft. Macon National Monument.
Ghost Crab at Fort Macon

Gulf Fritillary 

Red-spotted Purple

Crystal Coast NC on the Atlantic

Eastern Bluebird

We were feeling the record heat and humidity along the coast as we traveled down through South Carolina and into Georgia.

We are now camped on Jekyll Island State Park for a few days and the front that moved across the country with severe weather only brought us some rain and lower humidity as the skies cleared.
Doily Spider

Golden Silk Orbweaver

Painted Bunting on Jekyll Island

Fisherman's unwanted catch, active Crab

On the road again soon through the beautiful Live Oaks hanging with Spanish Moss and looking forward to Florida birding.

As always, love and prayers,
Ida & Ty Baumann

Friday, September 26, 2014

Last month in Wisconsin

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Waterfalls

From August 28th to Sept. 15th we spent time in Green Bay catching up with friends, joining bird walks at the Wildlife Sanctuary, enjoying time at Celebration Church and the Cup 'o Joy.  Not enough space to mention everyone but we sure enjoyed our time visiting with you and seeing all the changes in Green Bay.  Also the necessary things like dentist, eye doctor, shopping at Cabela's and the new Packer Pro Shop.
Shamrock Orbweaver


We headed north and found lots of Broad-winged  Hawks in the National Forests.

We had freezing temps for our night in the north woods, decorating the ferns with frost.

We drove to Superior and joined WSO birders for "Jaegerfest" on Wisconsin Point.  We arrived each day for magnificent sunrises.

American Golden Plover

Franklin's Gull

Over 80 birders lined the beach to watch for migrants to cross the water from Canada.  We had great sightings including all three Jaeger species, Sabine's, Franklin's, Lesser Black-backed and Boneparte's Gulls, Red-throated Loon, Surf Scoter's, Sanderlings, and Am. Golden Plovers.

We had a Red Fox hunting before dawn along Moccasin Mike Road on the way to the Point.

It was a fun week and we totaled 102 species of birds for the Point plus adding a few at our RV park including a Harris's Sparrow.
Young Yellow-rumped Warbler

Pied-billed Grebe

We then drove to Douglas County Management Area where we found 6 Sharp-tailed Grouse. Then onto Crex Meadows for a Sparrow fest with 9 species including a Nelson's.  Lots of ducks, swans and geese filled the flowages.  Sandhill Cranes were in all the fields.
Trumpeter Swan family

We drove back east across the state through beautiful Autumn colored trees.  Absolutely beautiful!  Spent a beautiful day and 2 nights birding the forest roads east of Three Lakes finding more than we had hoped for.  Spruce Grouse (pictured), Boreal Chickadees, Gray Jays, 2 Black-backed Woodpeckers, and . . . . 2 Timber Wolves that crossed the road between us.

Well after a few more days in Wisconsin we will be on the road again.  We are enjoying all that God has created in the birds, plants, flowers, and animals that we encounter.

May God bless all who read this.
Ida & Ty Baumann

Monday, September 1, 2014

More Wisconsin Treasures

For the last two weeks in August we were able to explore areas that we hadn't spent much time at before.  Going to the beach and harbor in Racine where we found this Least Sandpiper.

We camped at Bong State Recreation Area for two nights where we added Bobwhite to our growing Wisconsin bird list.

We birded around Whitewater Lake where we hadn't camped since our sons were little.  We found this family of turkeys that seemed awfully small for near the end of August.

Bill & Ty

We spent two days with our friends Bill & Glenda in Janesville visiting the Old Mill Park and the Rotary Botanical Gardens.  Glenda and Ida became friends at Edgerton High School (oh so many years ago.
Glenda & Ida

Bull Frog at the Old Mill Pond

Cicada on Purple Cone Flower

Carmen & Troy

We headed northwest in a round about way to Madison where we camped at Lake Farm Park for a week.  We walked to Nine Springs a couple of times and over to Lake Waubesa.

Best was daily time with our son Troy and his wife Carmen including birding the Columbia County ponds, watching an IMAX movie (Guardians of the Galaxy that our other son Travis worked on), and eating out at several of Madison's great restaurants.
Northern Waterthrush at Nine Springs

Troy took new photos of us for the blog profile and the phone ID.  It was not an easy task.

We drove up to the Ripon area to find 6 White-faced Ibis but too far out for good photographs but this Widow Skimmer Dragonfly came in close.

We went to Montello to visit Ida's mother who turned 92 on July 4th.  Spent time with Ida's sister Ella on her birthday and heard Whip-poor-wills in her yard where we camped for the night.

Spent the next two and half days birding the Horicon Marsh area finding Sora Rails (pictured), American Bittern, and Black-crowned Night-herons.  We spent time in Mayville finding the reported Rufous Hummingbird visiting a feeder, plus attended Gateway Community Church for worship and fellowship.

The last morning we walked out Old Marsh Road in the fog finding a Tri-colored Heron that we posted on the bird alert.  As we were a mile and a half from the RV a very fast moving electrical storm enveloped us.  We hunkered down along the dike in the cattails getting drenched.  After 20 minutes it let up but instead of heading back we resumed our search to find a Snowy Egret and Black-necked Stilts that we successfully found.
Wild Cucumber

Next stop was Kohler-Andrae State Park south of Sheboygan.  Thankfully they have a laundry for all our drenched clothes.  The RV had an appointment at Horn's so we went birding with Dave & Margaret Brasser for the day.  A stop at Harrington Beach was very good, including a number of warblers and for us our 500th bird for the year - a very active Carolina Wren.  Also birding North Point beach and rock area where we returned the next morning when it wasn't quite as busy and more birds (Red Knot, Ruddy Turnstone, and Sanderlings).

We had lunch with Ty's Aunt Carol and Uncle Jack and enjoyed the beautiful flowers and birds in their yard.  Now we are in Green Bay until September 14th.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann