Monday, October 4, 2010

Milwaukee lakefront, 10/2-10/4 - Three new BIGBY species, plus gulls in a hackberry tree

I added three new species to my Milwaukee walking BIGBY list this weekend, bringing my 2010 Milwaukee BIGBY count to 147 species.

This weekend was kinda frustrating in one respect. I'd been looking forward to looking for new waterfowl species behind Milwaukee's art museum...I was curious to see what the recent cold front might have brought in. But the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department had sealed off my favorite vantage point for viewing waterfowl behind the museum on both Saturday and Sunday. A helpful deputy informed me that the "American Idol" TV show was holding auditions in the newer part of the museum, and that the show's producers did not want people wandering around behind the museum. I never ever thought my birding plans would be thwarted by "American Idol". :-)

Here are a few highlights from the weekend:

* Bobolink. Milwaukee walking BIGBY species #145. Several birds in the prairie of Lakeshore State Park on Saturday. The weather was pretty nasty. Strong winds. Chilly temps. The adult nonbreeding-plumaged birds kept popping up out of the prairie plants and diving back in.

* Pied-billed Grebe. BIGBY #146. Hanging out with the coots behind the art museum this AM.

* Field Sparrow. BIGBY #147. In Lake Park today, near the North Point lighthouse.

* Gulls in a hackberry tree, eating hackberries. Today. South end of Bradford Beach. I've never seen a gull perched in a tree before. But three of them were awkwardly balancing themselves in a smallish hackberry tree and dining on the berries.

* Golden-crowned Kinglets. Everywhere, from Veterans Park to Lake Park.

* Palm Warblers. All over the place at North Point (north of Bradford Beach). In fact, they were the only species near the North Point algae mats. No gulls. No shorebirds. No Harlequin Duck. Heck, not even any algae mats.

* Dark-eyed Juncos. Many in Lake Park. One flock had 50+ birds.

* Ran into Jim Edlhuber in Lakeshore State Park this AM. He was trying to find a Gray Fox to photograph. He had to settle for a Red Fox. :-)

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