Thursday, May 28, 2015

Visiting & Birding around Wisconsin

Turkey Vulture over the Wisconsin River from the bluff at Wyalusing

We arrived in Wisconsin on Easter Sunday in the southwest corner of the state checking out a rare bird in Cuba City; a Band-tailed Pigeon.  We camped at Wyalusing and just the first Spring migrants had arrived.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Pussy Willow

We camped at Yellowstone Lake State Park and had the whole campground to ourselves.  Then moved to DeForest and birded around Dane and Columbia Counties.
House Finch

Snow Geese at the DM / I ponds near Madison

Rusty Blackbird

Ring-necked Pheasant near Goose Pond

Sandhill Crane sounds off

Eastern Towhee

Parked at Lake Farm Park in Madison while on a trip to Costa Rica - check out the last three blogs for details of that great adventure.

When we returned, we spent time at Madison, Horicon and Sheboygan before our 17 day stay in Green Bay.
Prothonotary Warbler at 9 Springs in Madison

Skunk Cabbage

Brown Creeper

Red-winged Blackbird on deck at Van Patten Road

Almost every morning we walked the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary trails in search for every warbler, vireo and thrush and every other Spring migrant.  Notice we are all in coats and gloves, just a little chilly!!
Northern Parula checks out the birders

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Baltimore Oriole in the Crabapple Blossoms 

Scarlet Tanager gives everyone a great look

Red-tailed Hawk has snake breakfast

We had many interesting experiences and also many wonderful visits with friends.  Not easy trying to fit everyone into a tight schedule of birding.  If we missed seeing you this year we will try again on our next stop back into Wisconsin.

We had a very cold trip north even with some snow (just in case we missed Wisconsin winters) and enjoyed a Bay Area Bird Club field trip to Buena Vista Grasslands.
Short-eared Owl at Buena Vista

Grasshopper Sparrow

Whooping Crane at Horicon Marsh
A few more stops in Wisconsin and then it's on to more adventures.  Heading west to the Rockies then to Texas for the winter.  (Hey, not so fast!)  Summer hasn't even begun in Wisconsin yet.

God Bless you all on your own adventures, make each day count!
Love & Prayers,  Ida & Ty

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Pacific Lowland Forest - Costa Rica Part 3

Time moves on and we needed to also.  We drove along the Pacific Highway northwest to Ojochal where we would be staying at the Hotel El Castillo for two nights.  Perched on the cliff 600 feet above the ocean it was very elegant, but the driveway to the hotel absolutely required our 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Northern Jacana

On our way we did see some birds that were  worth a stop . . .
Roadside Hawk

Red-breasted Blackbird

Sunset from the Hotel El Castillo

After checking into the hotel, first priority was a dip in the infinity pool.  Felt wonderful after enduring days of heat and humidity.
Blue Morph Butterfly

Each morning we drove to Hacienda Baru' for guided walks through the Pacific Lowland Forest.  After three hours of magnificent birding we were treated to a Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto (rice & beans) with scrambled eggs and tortillas.  Then a couple more hours of birding.  Here's a sample of what we saw. . . .

Great Curassows - turkey sized

Orange-collared Manakin

Owl-eyed Butterfly

Boat-billed Heron

Cattle Egret in breeding plumage

Chilamata Tree with buttressed roots

Three-toed Sloth high in the tree canopy

White-faced Capuchin & baby on back


Mangrove Cuckoo

Rufous-naped Wren

Beetle with powerful mandibles in the hotel

Yellow-bellied Gecko on hotel ceiling

White-faced Capuchin checking us out

Cocoa Tree - fruit forms on trunk

Gray-necked Wood Rail

Blue Dacnis female

Potoo taking a nap

Black-mandibled Toucan

Carmen and Troy tested the waves on the way back to the hotel
White-necked Puffbird near the hotel

Ida, Ty, Troy & Carmen by the roots of the Chilamata Tree

Now for the afternoon drive back into San Jose; a special supper that cost 68,898 colonies (that could make you faint if you didn't know the exchange rate).  Repacking for the flight home and trying to get some sleep before a 4 am breakfast and shuttle to the airport.

All in all this trip was wonderful, thanks to Troy & Carmen's planning.  Memories will last forever.  What a marvelous adventure seeing so many exotic birds, animals and plants.  We ended with 245 species of birds (171 lifers) for us and many more for Troy & Carmen.

Just a taste of all that God has created.
Ty & Ida Baumann