Sunday, May 1, 2016

Highlights to April's End

I skipped birding this weekend. The cold damp weather was less than inviting especially considering the morning radars all week looked very much the same as this screenshot from Tuesday. Birds stacked up below a horizontal just south of Wisconsin.

While some new species eeked through the unfavorable north winds, numbers were fairly lackluster.

Looking ahead, I'm in full on fear that I'm going to be losing the bird migration lottery in the next 7-10 days. I suspect the migration gates will really open up next weekend while I am working (what the hell I was thinking when I scheduled work??!). Last I checked Tuesday morning also looks to hold some potential, but once again I will be working. I've resorted to several conversations with myself already trying to pacify my angst over missing key migration days in southern Wisconsin. I'm not quite buying into my reasoning which I won't bore anyone with here. I'll just have to wait and see how the week plays out. Hopefully I will be able to keep my bird envy in check. They're just birds after all, right? And if I miss them on spring migration I have another chance in fall. BORING. As if a fall Bay-breasted Warbler compares at all to a male in the spring. Not a chance.

The final week of April was highlighted by following:

A confiding Northern Parula at Pheasant Branch Conservancy in Dane County.

My first of the year Blue-headed Vireo also at Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

Confiding Palm Warblers at CamRock County Park in Dane County.

More Yellow-rumped Warblers.

High numbers of White-throated Sparrows moving through the woods.

An early Cape May Warbler sighting (not the most sensational photo by any means).

My discovery of a new state natural area which I'm keeping under wraps for now (I think it holds some great potential for a number of goodies in the plant, reptile and bug department). On this first visit it had a few migrating warblers and a horking Red-headed Woodpecker.

During the hork...

After the hork

And FINALLY on Friday I located a Louisiana Waterthrush at Pheasant Branch Conservancy after trying to see/hear this species at this location for at least the past two+ years. It was a new lifer for me at this site and my official eBird lifer for Dane County (though I believe I had this species in Dane many years ago at Blue Mounds State Park).

I celebrated my achievement with an overindulgence of Lagunita's Waldo Special Ale at the Craftsman Table and Tap which added to the reasons why I skipped birding the rest of weekend.

Bring on May!

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