Yesterday I decided to bird Milwaukee's Lake Park. I've been focusing on the lakefront and kinda neglecting Lake Park. I also thought that, with the relatively fresh snow, it might be a good time to do a turkey survey (i.e., look for turkey tracks) to see if any turkeys might be visiting the park. (I've heard there was one in the park during 2009, and I've had reports of two nearby sightings in the past few years).
Anyway, I walked the ravine trails looking for tracks, and I walked circles around the three bird feeder sites in the park. No turkey tracks anywhere. But the fresh snow had been there only about 24 hours or so, so I may give it a shot again next week.
It was kind of refreshing hanging out with the woodland birds. I was sort of getting tired of ducks. :-) Lots of chickadees and juncos. Three woodpecker species (downy, hairy, red-bellied). One Red-breasted Nuthatch and quite a few White-breasted. American Tree Sparrows. Northern Cardinals. A heard-but-not-seen Eastern Bluebird.
There were three Mourning Doves under a feeder in the park. They flew away as I approached. It's been awhile since I've been near multiple doves, and I'd sort of forgotten how their wings whistle when they take off. For some reason it was like I was hearing it for the first time.
But my big highlight of the day was a male House Finch. A House Finch as a highlight? Well, this one was perched in a tree lustily singing his little heart out. Tonic for a winter-weary soul! Reminded me that, yes, spring will get here one day.
And there was a little excitement during my walk, as well. As I was leaving the park I heard a number of emergency vehicles stopping in the general vicinity of Bradford Beach/North Point. I walked over to the top of the bluff and saw eight eight police cars (a mix of city and county), seven fire department vehicles (including the dive rescue truck), and a coast guard truck...all parked along Lincoln Memorial Drive. There was even a small boat moving along the shore. People were spread out on the shore, looking down into the water.
I was on top of the bluff in Lake Park, and didn't have a good way to get down to the lake, so I couldn't get close enough to find out what's going on. Haven't seen anything in the news.