Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lake Park, Milwaukee, 8/26-27 – Ten new Milwaukee BIGBY species

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: 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, chestnut coloring 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??

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