Monday, July 22, 2013
One of the most unique areas in Wisconsin is the Spring Green Prairie Natural Area. This is the first time we have visited when the prairie was in full bloom. Some of the flowering plants were Butterfly Weed (pictured), Common Milkweed, Lead Plant and Prickly Pear Cacti.
The Prairie habitat is home to some very unique birds and animals too. We have found it to be very reliable for these birds: Lark Sparrow (on right), Orchard Oriole and Grasshopper Sparrows. Last year we even had a rare Blue Grosbeak here.
We spent three days at Governor Dodge State Park birding its many habitats. This is one of the last nesting areas for Bell's Vireos in the state and we found two active nests.
Down the Stephen Falls trail we found a singing Louisiana Waterthrush and Acadian Flycatchers. The Falls pictured to the left is very beautiful and because of all the rain this summer is flowing nicely.
Eastern Towhees were singing over the vast acreage of the state park.
We had a nice visit with our son Troy and his wife Carmen who drove over from Madison on Saturday afternoon. What a wonderful surprise!
Many Ruby-throated Hummingbirds hover around several feeders at the entrance station at Wyalusing State Park. This Park is the best place to find Kentucky, Prothonotary, Cerulean, and Yellow-throated Warblers, the Tufted Titmouse and Yellow-billed Cuckoo of which we were successful on all counts.
From our campsite on the "Ridge" we looked down on the Turkey Vultures flying over the Wisconsin River and the town of Prairie du Chien. The bluffs are 500 feet above the river where it converges into the Mississippi. This summer the area was deluged with 10 inches of rain in one day causing flooding and much road damage.
Birds aren't the only beautiful fauna we found - this Great Spangled Fritillary stopped for a photo before flitting away.
Some of the other insects in the park weren't so pleasant. Millions of gnats clouded the sky, mosquitoes and biting flies were more than annoying in the hot, humid weather.
The female Giant Wolf Spider with a body length of over 2 inches was in one of the CCC shelters on the fireplace.
We traveled east along the Wisconsin/Illinois border through the croplands of towering corn golden hay fields and grazing cattle. All along the many miles were singing Dickcissels that were nesting in the fencerows and fallow fields.
We settled into Crazy Horse Campground west of Brodhead on the hottest day of the year. Thankful for the cooling waters of the swimming pool that day and the next.
These Black Saddlebags Dragonflies were gobbling up the gnats but just couldn't keep up with the hoards.
This House Finch was nesting in our friend's Bill & Glenda Berger's yard in Janesville where we stayed for the weekend. Glenda and Ida went to Edgerton High School together oh so many years ago and have enjoyed an enduring friendship. We toured some of the old stomping grounds, walking down memory lane together. It was a great time!
Now unto some more of Wisconsin's best birding areas!
Best regards & prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann