I walked the southern portion of my BIGBY route today (Veterans Park and Lakeshore State Park). It was very quiet, both literally (the easterly breeze kept the city sounds pretty much at bay) and figuratively (not many birds).
The coots and geese numbered in the dozens, rather than the usual hundreds. The Mallards behind the art museum made themselves pretty scarce. Even the ubiquitous gulls were few and far between. I found myself wondering why.
There were a few highlights:
* Cackling Goose. See my earlier posting.
* Two Hooded Mergansers.
* One Pied-billed Grebe.
* Several Snow Bunting flyovers.
* An interesting mixed flock of American Tree Sparrows, White-throated Sparrows, and Dark-eyed Juncos. The most juncos I've seen this fall.
* Two accomplished European Starling impressionists. One was doing a cardinal, the other was doing a robin.
* A wildflower without access to a calendar. Apparently it doesn't know this is November...and Wisconsin! See: http://bit.ly/dix4gt. Looks like a coreopsis species?
* And, finally, a spruce tree with a bumper crop of cones. See http://bit.ly/dqYx9X and http://bit.ly/auJJJW