April 2012 Highlights
by Mark Korducki
The balmy temperatures of March disappeared with the transition to April. The mean temperature for the month of April was actually a few degrees cooler than March. That has only happened once before. With cooler temperatures migration and leaf out both slowed to some extent. Some rare birds were found though and a few record early arrival dates were established. The most unusual find of the month was an adult Brown Pelican. This bird was seen mainly on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River but did wander over to Wisconsin on a few occasions. A Black Vulture was an excellent flyby in Portage County.
Black-necked Stilts were seen in the Horicon Marsh about a week earlier than the previous early record. These birds proved very difficult to relocate and I am not sure if they will nest again there this year. Other stilt reports came in from Dane and Marquette. Both Hudsonian and Marbled Godwits were found together in Dane a bit ahead of schedule. Other Marbled Godwits were found in Jefferson and on the south side of Madison. Willets were observed in Racine and Jefferson. A small flock of American Avocets was found in the Horicon Marsh. Eared Grebes were found in Green Lake and Washington. A cooperative White-faced Ibis was found in Brown and a pair of them were found north of LaCrosse. Unidentified dark ibis were seen in Grant and north of Green Bay. Harlequin Ducks continued in Milwaukee and another was found in Door.
An adult male Summer Tanager in Milwaukee established a record early arrival date. A Yellow-throated Warbler was also a good find in Milwaukee. 6 of them returned to their traditional nesting location at Wyalusing State Park. There was a scattering of other warbler reports from around the state but there hasn’t been a big push of any species other than Yellow-rumped and Palm Warblers. Migrant Lark and LeConte’s Sparrows were both enjoyed right near downtown Milwaukee. The next few weeks will bring a huge influx of migrants and hopefully a few chasable rarities.
Posted: May 12th, 2012