On Monday, May 18th, at the stroke of midnight, our WSO team consisting of Daryl Tessen, Jeff Baughman and Tom & Wendy Schultz departed on our Big Day bird count. Our nighttime hours took us to places such as the White River Marsh (Green Lake Co.) and Comstock Bog (Marquette Co.), during which we heard a nice variety of night-calling species, such as Barred, Northern Saw-whet and Long-eared Owls, and Marsh Wren, LeConte’s Sparrow, Sora, Virginia and Yellow Rails.
Dawn found us at Buena Vista grassland, where we added such goodies as Great Prairie-Chicken, Upland Sandpiper, Short-eared Owl, Western Meadowlark, Orchard Oriole, Brewer’s Blackbird, and a very pleasant surprise was a Loggerhead Shrike – which was really the highlight bird of our entire day. Several woodland stops on the way south added Cerulean Warbler, Acadian Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush and many others.
Flooded fields in the area near Goose Pond produced a nice variety of shorebirds, including White-rumped Sandpiper, Semipalmated Plover and Ruddy Turnstone, and Horicon Marsh enabled us to find Trumpeter Swan, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and Black-crowned Night-Heron. Unfortunately we had to deal with very strong winds during the entire day, which made it much more difficult to find birds, but altogether we ended up with a nice total of 163 species.
In order to make a contribution to the Bird Protection Fund on behalf of our WSO team for the Great Wisconsin Birdathon, please visit our page at: http://www.wibirdathon.org/nrfw/teampage.asp?fundid=1987