Thursday, October 14, 2010

Milwaukee Lakefront, 10/11-12 - Rusty Blackbirds (new BIGBY bird)

I birded the southern section of my Milwaukee walking BIGBY route: Veterans Park, the harbor behind the art museum, and Lakeshore State Park. Not particularly birdy, although I did manage to pick up my 152nd Milwaukee BIGBY species.

Some highlights:

* Not bird-related, but I did see some things a little out-of-the-ordinary today in Lakeshore State Park. First I saw a Milwaukee police officer on horseback slowly making his way through the park. Then I saw a Milwaukee fire department boat briefly cruise the harbor by Discovery World. Then a Milwaukee police boat cruised all the way into the small inner harbor that's part of Lakeshore State Park. As I was leaving, another fire department boat was near Discovery World. Made me wonder if something had happened in this area recently.

* Late Monday afternoon I heard, and then saw, several Rusty Blackbirds at the south end of the Veterans Park lagoon. Milwaukee walking BIGBY species #152.

* There were also a few American Black Ducks in the same area.

* Lots of Canada Geese and American Coots. The geese were in the Veterans Park lagoon, grazing on the lawns, and in the harbor. Hundreds. The coots are in the harbor behind the art museum. Maybe 200+.

* Two Pied-billed Grebes. One was a loner. The other hung out with the coots as if it thought it was a coot.

* The coots frequently get aggressive towards one another. One coot suddenly takes a serious dislike towards another coot and all hell breaks loose. Happens all the time. Today I watched a coot take umbrage with a much larger Herring Gull. The coot harrassed the gull to the point where the gull took flight.

* Haven't seen the local Common Goldeneye in several days. He's been a regular behind the art museum since August 3.

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