I’ve really been striking out on shorebirds lately. Bradford Beach and the North Point algae mats have been really quiet. Yesterday all I saw there was one Spotted Sandpiper. Today I had another solitary Spotted Sandpiper, and several Semipalmated Plovers. And things looked so promising earlier in the week...
So, I decided to shift gears and head up the bluff into Lake Park on a warbler quest. There’s a spot in Lake Park where I’ve had pretty good luck with warblers this week. It’s a section of the Locust Street Ravine Trail where the tree canopy is kind of open. (I’ve marked this spot on the following Google map: http://bit.ly/agUk4L). I met up with Brian Hansen for part of my Thursday trip.
Some Lake Park highlights:
* Started out Thursday with a mystery warbler. Couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was. Thought I had something exotic...I looked through Sibley and it turned out to be a 1st winter female Chestnut-sided Warbler. Not even a new BIGBY bird. Oh well. Interesting bird, though...no chestnut coloring anywhere...so of course I never thought Chestnut-sided Warbler.
* Next I saw three juvenile Eastern Bluebirds in an ornamental fruit tree near a parking lot. I saw bluebirds everyday in southern Indiana before I moved to Milwaukee. These are the first I’ve seen since I moved here a month ago. Milwaukee BIGBY species #90, and a real tonic for the soul.
* Black-throated Blue Warbler. BIGBY #91.
* Black-throated Green Warbler. BIGBY #92.
* Bay-breasted Warbler. BIGBY #93.
* Pine Warbler. BIGBY #94.
* Merlin. BIGBY #95. Brian Hansen and I were watching warblers when we saw an oddly moving flock of swallows up high. At first we wondered if they were hunting dragonflies. Then we realized they were mobbing a Merlin that was headed south along the lake bluff. Good find!!
* Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Female. BIGBY #96.
The following highlights are from this morning, Friday, 8/27, also in my favorite Lake Park warbler spot:
* Wilson’s Warbler. BIGBY #97.
* Ovenbird. BIGBY #98.
* Golden-winged Warbler. BIGBY #99.
* Chimney Swifts. A couple hundred swifts were flying over Lake Park relatively silently.
* Great Crested Flycatcher. I had the good fortune to see six of these birds flying at once in Lake Park. Family group??