December 2012 Highlights
by Mark Korducki
November proved a tough act to follow but there were still some nice rarities around in December to chase. It was a great month for Purple Sandpipers. An early December bird in Racine left quickly after it was located. However later in the month 2 more were seen together and cooperated by staying to be tallied on the Racine Christmas Bird Count. They were joined at times by a late Sanderling. A Purple Sandpiper was also found on the Milwaukee CBC and later was joined by a second individual. Another single bird was seen briefly in Kewaunee. A Baird’s Sandpiper in Sheboygan was record late by over a week. The adult male Barrow’s Goldeneye returned again to Sheboygan. Another male Barrow’s Goldeneye was seen briefly in Racine. A young male and a female Harlequin Duck were both found in Milwaukee.
A Western Tanager was seen briefly at a yard in Manitowoc. More cooperative was a male Summer Tanager at a feeder in Vilas. A female Summer Tanager visited a feeder in LaCrosse. A Spotted Towhee was frequenting a yard in Marathon. Yellow-throated Warbler was a nice find at a Manitowoc feeder. The Vermilion Flycatcher in Rock was last seen on December 1st. White-winged Crossbills are being seen in good numbers across the state and a few Common Redpolls were seen in the southern part of the state.
The Snowy Owl irruption seemed to peak in the early part of the month. Well over 100 individuals were reported. The LaCrosse airport and the Oconto harbor both reported as many as 7 individuals!
Posted: January 4th, 2012