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2024 WSO Field Trip to Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit.

On Saturday, June 1, at 5:30 AM, 17 people gathered at Jersey Flats Prairie Restoration Project for the WSO’s Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit field trip. The day’s weather was cloudy; with a light SE breeze, and temps in the mid-60s.

Our route for the day included; Jersey Flats, Zillmer Trail parking lot, the New Prospect Horse Riders Camp, Haushalter Lane, Mauthe Lake Recreation Area, Long Lake Recreation Area, the Dundee baseball field, and Spruce Lake Bog.

From our meeting location at Jersey Flats, we were greeted by Eastern Bluebirds right by our cars. After taking attendance, we walked a short distance along the horse trail into the prairie. Here we were treated to 3 singing Henslow’s Sparrows (scope view), Clay-colored Sparrows (scope view), Field Sparrow, Eastern Meadowlark, a pair of Brown Thrashers, and Eastern Kingbirds. We also added 4 fly-by Wood Ducks, Red-tailed Hawk, calling Sandhill Cranes, and Northern Flicker.

After Carpooling at the  Zillmar Trail parking, we headed to the New Prospect Horse Riders Camp entrance. At the Horse Camp, we had a pair of Red-shouldered Hawks calling, good looks at a Mourning Warbler, a Blue-winged Warbler, a flyover Purple Martin, a Scarlet Tanager, an Indigo Bunting, and a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.  

CEDW 01 Kettle Moraine SF Mauthe Lake Rec. Area 20240601


Our next stop was Haushalter Lane. This area can be very productive. We had the most species (54) here than at any other site on the day. Although, we had to work to find these. Notable species included; Broad-winged Hawk, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Olive-sided Flycatcher (heard once), Eastern Wood-Pewee, Acadian Flycatcher (heard two), Alder Flycatcher, a pair of Great Crested Flycatchers visiting a nest cavity, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Veery, Wood Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Swamp Sparrow, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-White Warbler, Hooded Warbler (heard a couple), and Chestnut-sided Warbler (visiting/building a nest).

EATO 01 Kettle Moraine SF Haushalter Ln. 20240601  EASTERN TOWHEE - PHOTO BY JEFF BAUGHMAN

At Mauthe Lake near the entrance, we heard a couple of Virginia Rails calling from the wetlands. After a little coaxing, we eventually saw one of the birds moving through the tall grass. We added Great Egret, several Least Flycatchers (one on a nest), Yellow-throated and Warbling Vireos, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Baltimore Oriole, and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.  

From Mauthe Lake we returned to the Zillmer Trail parking lot to retrieve cars. Here in the parking lot, we were able to get excellent views of a Pine Warbler.

Our next stop was the Long Lake Recreation Area. I don’t normally visit this site for this trip but for the last couple of years, a Brewster’s Warbler (a hybrid of Blue-winged & Golden-winged Warblers) has taken up summer residence here. Although not a countable species, it’s an exciting find for most people. We had trouble finding it at first and it was starting to drizzle. But someone in the group got on the bird and everyone had nice looks at this uncommon hybrid.   

One of the traditions for this trip is to stop in Dundee at the ball field to view the Ospreys at their nest site. I’m fairly certain this is the 25th straight year a pair has used this area to raise their young. This year was no different. A pair was sitting on the nest when we arrived. 

From here we drove a short distance north to Spruce Lake Bog. It was still drizzling and it was now late morning so we had only a few birds singing. We didn’t add any new bird species but the bonus here is all the Pink Lady-slippers, and Pitcher Plants are in full bloom. There is also a nice variety of ferns and we did find a couple of tiny Sundew.

Thanks to everyone who attended. I sure enjoyed spending the morning with you all.

WSO Field Trip -Committee Member/Trip Leader

Jeff Baughman

Campbellsport, Fond du Lac County