May Birds, part 2 (plus some non-birding content)

The first-of-years are slowing down, but that doesn’t mean migration is. For the most part, I’m having high warbler counts each day I go out. I had 18 species this morning when I spent a few hours at the Pheasant Branch Creek Corridor. It’s been pretty happenin’. Taking a week off to go birding was well worth it.

May 7th- a low-key day
148: Purple Finch
149: Least Flycatcher

May 8th- another low-key day, spent inside to avoid the rain
150: Pine Warbler- pretty sure it was the first one I’ve seen at a feeder

May 9th- a warbler-filled day at the Pheasant Branch Conservancy
151: Tufted titmouse- I’d heard a few earlier in the year, but I don’t count them on my year list until I see them. All titmouse species are cute.
152: Gray-cheeked Thrush
153: Bay-breasted Warbler
154: Golden-winged Warbler- one of many species I found in the Silver Maple forest

Bay-breasted Warbler, photo taken today at Pheasant Branch

May 10th- the first day of a camping trip at Wyalusing State Park
155: Wood Thrush- on the Old Wagon Road Trail
156: Scarlet Tanager- near our site
157: Common Nighthawk- at Point Lookout

Wyalusing is a State Park located at the mouth of the Wisconsin River at the Mississippi. It’s a land of spectacular views, deep ravines, and flowers growing right out of the cliff faces. It’s a good birding spot, but it’s also just a good place to experience the gestalt of Driftless Region nature.

Yellow Violet at Wyalusing

May 11th- a full day at Wyalusing, with a side trip into Iowa to see the Effigy Mounds National Monument
158: Cape May Warbler- at the boat launch
159: Blackburnian Warbler- also at the boat launch
160: Cerulean Warbler- on the Sentinel Ridge Trail, then later at our site where two of them were singing right next to us
161: Orchard Oriole

My camping buddies and I found Pheasant Back mushrooms like these ones all weekend.

May 12- the last day at Wyalusing
162: Yellow-throated Vireo
163: Red-headed Woodpecker- screaming its head off. What a darling.
164: Eurasian Collared-dove- while driving through rural Iowa County
165: Black-throated Blue Warbler- continuing the tradition of finding good warblers with my mom on Mother’s Day
166: Chestnut-sided Warbler

May 13th- I was back to work, but I got a few minutes of birding in at Stricker’s Pond
167: Prothonotary Warbler- a pre-work treat

May 15th- an incredibly birdy day at Pheasant Branch
168: Canada Warbler
169: Wilson’s Warbler
170: Eastern Kingbird- seen while I was out for a run
171: Indigo Bunting- two birds singing from atop a tree just before sunset over the marsh

So those are my Wisconsin FOY birds, but I also have an Iowa list now! It only has 29 species, but that checklist is a record of me having the time of my life. Effigy Mounds National Monument is absolutely gorgeous, both for its ancient sites as well as being located on bluffs and at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yellow Rivers. It’s a place I’d like to spend a whole weekend sometime, not just a few hours.

A few of the conical mounds overlooking the Mississippi
American Redstart in Iowa

2019 Iowa List (also my only recorded entry of birds in Iowa so far):
1: Canada Goose
2: Wood Duck
3: Mourning Dove
4: Great Blue Heron
5: Turkey Vulture
6: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
7: Red-headed Woodpecker
8: Blue Jay
9: American Crow
10: Tree Swallow
11: White-breasted Nuthatch
12: House Wren
13: American Robin
14: American Goldfinch
15: Song Sparrow
16: Baltimore Oriole
17: Red-winged Blackbird
18: Brown-headed Cowbird
19: Common Grackle
20: Northern Waterthrush
21: Prothonotary Warbler
22: Common Yellowthroat
23: American Redstart
24: Yellow Warbler
25: Palm Warbler
26: Yellow-rumped Warbler
27: Wilson’s Warbler
28: Scarlet Tanager
29: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

The best spot for birding at the monument was the boardwalk that winds half a mile into the Yellow River floodplain. That’s where I found most of the warblers and the sapsucker.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

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