Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week One 2015

Well I've made it through the first week of 2015. My blogging significantly dropped off late in 2014. I couldn't even muster the energy to talk about 2014's highlight for me, the female Rufous Hummingbird that visited my yard in southern Wisconsin for nine days in October. Perhaps one day soon I'll get around to talking about that golden experience.

In the interim I am pushing myself to make relatively effortless posts with just a few photos to highlight my week.

2015, will this finally be the year I... well nevermind, onto the highlights for week one...

January 2nd brought well needed sunshine. I felt fortunate in having sun on my side during my first birding excursion of 2015. This cooperative American Kestrel and an uncommonly-seen-in-Wisconsin Western Red-tailed Hawk were fine sightings to start off my year.

I've been spending much of my birding time at the outlot next to Kohl's in Johnson Creek hanging out with a nice variety of gulls. Because what else is there to do in the winter in Wisconsin, but bird the gulls or harass owl? I'll opt for the former. My gull species list for the year already includes this nice adult Thayer's Gull. I waited over an hour for this bird to give me a wing stretch to clinch the ID.

I've been visiting Jefferson Marsh in the late afternoon and early evenings in hopes of finding a cooperative Short-eared Owl to photograph in sufficient light. FAIL. However I can't complain about the show these owls have put on, perching, hunting, vocalizing and interacting at close range during civil twilight. Sometimes the sun setting offers a nice prelude to the Short-eared Owl show. Though lately it seems the sun is a rather rare sighting.

Jefferson Marsh
Familiarity can be quite comforting, This particular Barred Owl, a recognizable inhabitant of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, put a bright spot in what felt like a dark week.

It's onto week two. It feels like it's going to be long winter and even longer year. Forward for now.

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