Saturday, August 9, 2014

Wisconsin Wandering

We arrived in Wisconsin on July 26th at Prairie du Chein and camped at Wyalusing State Park for the next 3 nights.  The prairie flowers are in full bloom attracting a myriad of hummingbirds and insects like this Hummingbird Moth.

We searched diligently for southwestern Wisconsin specialty birds which are harder to locate without their Spring territorial songs.  We did locate the Yellow-throated, Kentucky, and Cerulean Warblers, Acadian Flycatcher, Yellow-throated Vireo and Scarlet Tanager.

A short trip down to Bagley Bottoms on the Mississippi River produced a lone Prothonotary Warbler. Up Gasner Hollow, we found Tufted Titmouse and a surprise, a White-eyed Vireo plus this Eastern Comma Butterfly.

It's a beautiful view from the top of the bluff at Wyalusing looking down at the mouth of the Wisconsin River where it enters the Mississippi.  This has always been one of our favorite places to camp and bird through the years.

We spent two nights at Gov. Dodge State Park and enjoyed the Stephens' Falls Trail.  We found a quiet Bell's Vireo on the ridge to the north and added a family of Willow Flycatchers by the creek.  Beautiful days to spend some time at the beach of Twin Valley lakes.

Drove to Spring Green Prairie and walked in the morning fog listening to the songs of Lark & Grasshopper Sparrows and a Blue Grosbeak.

A walk to Baxter's Hollow near Baraboo added a lone Louisiana Waterthrush singing.
Young Bobolink

Northward to Buena Vista Grasslands, finding large flocks of Bobolinks gathering before migration to South America.  We added Henslow's and Clay-colored Sparrows, a late flying Short-eared Owl and 4 Prairie Chickens out on a plowed field.

We drove around White River Marsh adding Whooping Cranes; Lake Puckaway - Cattle Egret; Grand River Marsh - Black & Forester's Terns; and Germania Marsh.  A visit with Ida's mother in Montello ( she turned 92 on July 4th).  Stayed in my sister's yard north of Westfield where Whip-poor-wills serenaded after sunset and again before dawn.  After breakfast out and church we headed to Lake MIchigan.

We found these Cedar Waxwings at Kohler-Andrae State Park.  We were surprised to see how little beach if any is left at the park.  Next morning we headed north stopping at Sheboygan's North Point finding Lesser Black-backed Gulls, then Manitowoc where we found 2 Little Gulls, and Caspian and Common Terns at Kewaunee and Algoma.

We camped at Potowotami State Park and next day was a great Door County warbler day.  We traveled north along the lake stopping at Whitefish Dunes S.P., Caves Point County Park and Toft's Point Nature Preserve finding 13 species of warblers including Canada, Black & White, (both pictured), Chestnut-sided, Blackburnian, Tennessee, & N. Parula, etc.

We stayed at Wagon Trail Campground at Rowley's Bay and headed back down the bay stopping at Peninsula State Park, finding Red-shouldered Hawk.  We found Great Spangled Fritillary Butterflies on the milkweed and a full-grown Ring-necked Snake that only measures 8 inches.

We drove south through Collin's Marsh, Sheboygan Marsh and into the northern Kettle Moraine and camped at Long Lake.  We found this little Gray Tree Frog (looked green to us too) in our electric box.

There were lots of Blue-winged Warblers feeding young in the area.  We found the above Widow skimmer Dragonfly near Long Lake.

Next stop was Horicon Marsh, where this pair of Trumpeter Swans were reflecting on on the crazy traffic on Highway 49.

We added Least Bittern, Common Gallinule, Sora & Virginia Rails, and saw 4 Whopping Cranes near Ledge Road.

We camped at Ledge Park south of Mayville, later we toured all the shorebird ponds on the west side of the marsh finding 14 species including, Red-necked Phalaropes, Stilt & White-rumped Sandpipers and American Golden Plovers.

Next stop was the southern Kettle Moraine where we finally picked up the Hooded Warbler.  Several hours of scanning the Wind Lake Sod Farms turned up a Buff-breasted Sandpiper among all the Killdeer and Horned Larks.

We are now near Racine and checked the sand and jetty areas.  We had several Semipalmated Plovers (pictured) and one Black-bellied Plover.

Looking forward to more of Wisconsin, visiting with family and friends and getting more birds with fall migration.

Blessings & Prayers,
Ida & Ty Baumann