Unlike a lot of people, I have less time for birding on weekends than during the week. But I managed to get out a few times, and added seven more species to my 2010 Milwaukee walking BIGBY list. That list now totals 120 species.
Monarch butterfly migration continues. I had the good fortune this morning to come across a bush in a sunny protected spot that held at least 30 resting Monarchs. I snuck up to within two feet of the bush. Wonderful close-up views. I've decided that I think that the underside of a Monarch's wings are more striking than the orange and black upper side. The upper side has flashier colors, but the underside has more subtle, intricate details. Almost like a stained glass window.
I started out the extended Labor Day weekend on Friday, with a trip to Lake Park. Not much activity at the North Point algae mats (couple of Semipalmated Plovers and Sanderlings), but I picked up four new BIGBY species up on the bluff in Lake Park:
* Yellow-billed Cuckoo. Milwaukee walking BIGBY species #114.
* Orange-crowned Warbler. BIGBY #115.
* Scarlet Tanager. BIGBY #116.
* Eastern Towhee. BIGBY #117.
I felt like I'd been ignoring Veterans Park lately, and favoring the Lake Park end of my BIGBY circuit, so I made two abbreviated visits to Veterans Park on Saturday and Sunday. These two visits produced another two BIGBY species. The Veterans Park highlights:
* Willow Flycatcher. BIGBY #118. Hanging out on the southeast side of the lagoon.
* Osprey. BIGBY #119. Heading south over the shore. One of two big highlights of the weekend! I really love Ospreys, but I tend to see them only during migration.
* Two Peregrine Falcons. Not a new BIGBY bird, but I don't think I've ever seen two Peregrines at the same time before. The other big highlight of the weekend! I'm not sure they were actually together, but they were both in the general vicinity of the US Bank building and downtown, looking for pigeons, maybe.
Finally, I made a trip to Lake Park early this morning. The wind was starting to pick up, so it was hard to find birds. But there were a few interesting things, including BIGBY species #120. The highlights:
* The North Point algae mats were in fine shape. Lots of gulls...150+. Lots of shorebirds...40+ birds. But nothing new: Sanderlings, Spotted Sandpipers, and Semipalmated Sandpipers and Semipalmated Plovers.
* I'd seen only a couple of Barn Swallows over the past several days. But this morning there were 12-15 foraging over the grassy area just south of the water filtration plant.
* Maybe 150 Chimney Swifts flying around above the bluff.
* BIGBY species #120 (Veery). I was at the top of the bluff and some brief motion caught my attention in the woods. I waited for a bit. My patience paid off.