Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pleasant Surprise: Black-necked Stilts

Today's afternoon sunshine proved to luring for me after yesterday's rain and I was home shortly after 4 to go for a walk with Christine and the girls. We grabbed our camera gear ready and headed out for a short walk before planning on a shopping trip to Walmart. We decided on Nine Springs in hopes of finding a butterfly or dragonfly. Dane county parks burned off the praire grass and it has come back beautifully green, however we struck out on butterflies and dragonflies.

We were not quite ready to go shopping at Walmart after our short 20 minute walk so we headed across the street to the boardwalk. We often walk around the water treatment ponds and Michaela informed us we were going the wrong way. After a bit of convincing she was okay going down the boardwalk instead of the bike trail leading to the ponds, and she practiced her balance by walking on the edge board.

At the end of the boardwalk I showed Michaela where we normally walked and asked her to count all the gulls. Because we were not planning on birding I did not bring binoculars with, but habits are hard to break so I looked through the camera lens in order to identify what was on the island besides the Ring-billed Gulls, Great Egret, and Caspian Tern. I soon dismissed the goal of having Michaela count the gulls, as to my pleasant surprise I saw a Black-necked Stilt. Such a cool looking shorebird and a brand new bird for us!!

Shortly thereafter I spotted a second one and we quickly decided to walk the ponds in order to get a better look at them....besides we can always go shopping tomorrow. The above picture is heavily cropped with poor lighting, but at least you can see what we were looking at tonight. The stilts were a very pleasant surprise.I think you can tell by my smile that I enjoyed this much better than shopping.

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