Monday, May 25, 2009

Enjoying Nature and Birds

Christine and the girls are in central MN visiting family, so I am trying my best to utilize my current flexibility. After two mornings of waking up early only to return back to bed becasue of rain I actually did go birding this morning. I participated in a Madison Audubon Society Field Trip to Baxter’s Hollow nature conservancy. We heard many birds but because of the full foliage it was a challenge to see all of them. Besides birds we found a few mosquitoes, a snake, tadpoles, a handful of butterfly species (including a Tiger Swallowtail being eaten by an Eastern Phoebe), and a handful of Yellow Lady's Slipper.

I carpooled the 30 miles with the trip leader and another excellent birder. After Baxter's Hollow the three of us went to Spring Green Preserve. While we did not find the Northern Mockingbird we were looking for I was able to see and hear a Dickcissel and Grasshopper Sparrow for the first time. We were also unsuccessful in finding many shorebirds around Spring Green, but we did find this Wilson’s phalarope.

After a short nap I was back outside and squeezed in a couple of short birding walks during laundry’s wash and dryer cycles. I did not find many new birds during the two 20 minute walks, but came across a White-tailed doe in the UW Arboretum (pictured above) and a flock of Dunlins (in picture below) and Semipalmated Sandpipers at the Water Treatment plant ponds.

Over 100 bird species today (most for me in a single day) and nearly 8 miles of walking. It was relaxing and a gorgeous day to be outside enjoying nature.

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