Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day Seven:
I am going south from Shannon Road on Ice Age Trail.  I just had a good look at a red shouldered hawk. Species #78 was a house wren, with a few neotropical migrants so far.
(Note: this was texted to me so any errors are on my part - R. Squier)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Update via Text

Hello, this is Robin Squier acting as secretary for Bill as AT&T has decided to desert him on the trail.  Bill will be texting me short accounts and I will post them here.  Stay tuned!

day 6 - a day off the trail

Today will be a rest day. 48 miles in 5 days - and I need to re-organize my pack. It is too heavy, so  I will eliminate some items. I am a bit dehydrated, so I realize that I need to carry and drink slightly more water.

Rain is forecast for several days this week. That may be a challenge - I'll see how it turns out. My rain gear is good, but the real test is a "all-day" rain.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Day 5 - onto the Ice Age Trail

On the IAT (Ice Age Trail) today, new species for the walk include Pileated Woodpecker, Horned Grebe, Red-shouldered Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, and Northern Waterthrush. Species total is now 77 for the first 5 days.

Spectacular displays of Round-lobed Hepatica were found on some woodland hillside slopes along the IAT in Washington County today, five to six miles south of Pike Lake State Park.
Wikim. Commons

Saturday, April 27, 2013

day 4 of the Long Walk

Another day of walking the narrow shoulder of highways. I now have a total of 72 species for the walk; added only a few again today. Migrants seemed scarce in Washington County today with the exception of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, which were everywhere. Many birds, however - mostly  comprised of species that have been here for weeks. Very few Yellow-rumped Warblers today - a contrast with 2 and 3 days ago. Thanks to Brian Russart and his wife Ann for their help today.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Day 3 on the road

Day 3 brought more high winds, but a few new species, including Purple Martin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Barred Owl. It will be good to get off of highways; one more day of dodging trucks, and Sunday onto the Ice. Age Trail. Thanks to all who have provided assistance in one way or other. Species total for the walk, so far, is a rather low 66.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Long walk - day 2

started the day at Waubedonia Park, on the west side of Fredonia - very windy all day - new species for the walk included Field Sparrow, R usty Blackbird, Lesser Yellowlegs, Solitary Sandpiper, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Eastern Towhee, Brown Thrasher, Belted Kingfisher - today's cold wind kept bird numbers down. Another ten miles!

day 1 of the "Long Walk for Birds"

Early on Wednesday, I met Noel Cutright, Paul Smith, and Chuck Quirmbach at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve. I tallied 39 species at FBMP, including a few I may not see again as I travel away from Lake Michigan (Caspian Tern, Red-br. Merganser, a few other common lakeshore species). The day turned sunny by mid-morning, and surprising numbers of Yellow-rumped Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets were often within 2-3 meters of me, foraging in roadside ditches. Some tiny insects that I could not detect must have been their targets. All day, there were small cumulus clouds, and a cold WNW wind. Total species count for the day was approximately 50. This area, after leaving FBMP, had a few small woodlots, but is primarily ag fields. I had a flock of Lapland Longspurs plus a few additional individuals along Co Hwy A. Waubedonia Park, on the west end of Fredonia is mostly upland woods, at the edge of the Milwaukee River, and was my last stop.  Two points were marked with GPS during the route; the time duration at FBMP was 2 hours, and the varied habitats and Lake Michigan waters there provided almost 80% of the day's species.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Great WI Birdathon, preparations, teams and individuals

I'll be walking across Wisconsin this spring, to raise funds for NRF and The Bird Protection Fund. My walk has been delayed by unseasonably cold and exceptionally  wet weather here in eastern Wisconsin. I now expect to leave on approximately April 23rd. Some folks will still join me for part of a day, along my route from near Port Washington, west to Prairie du Chien.

The Great Wisconsin Birdathon has many other individuals and birding teams involved, including quite a few new ones this year. See this link  to a list of other individuals you may want to support, and this link to a list of teams you may want to support. Some great folks are involved, and some have used considerable creativity in naming their team. I still really like "Hawkeye and the Ancient Murrelets" (they did very well last year!), but the newly named "Lower Chippewa River Titmouseketeers!" is a great name! If you're partial to desperados, check out  the Finch Gang - they have a webpage that hints at their "shady past".

The protracted cold and wet weather has slightly slowed the migration for some species, and some birds we sometimes see here in good numbers in early April are just now arriving in those numbers. Northern WI still has extensive deep snow, and lakes with thick ice cover. This too will slow the advance of many birds across the landscape.

In recent years, climate change has caused many plants to flower earlier - but that may not occur in many WI counties this spring. We'll soon see how the emerging leaves, insects, and arriving birds are linked this spring!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

long walk, part 4

I'll be walking across Wisconsin, starting on approximately April 19th, to raise funds for NRF and The Bird Protection Fund. Some folks will join me here and there for a few hours along the way. I expect to experience the "green wave" of leaves opening for many plants, and the arrival of many bird species throughout the last weeks of April and the first weeks of May. Follow this blog for new posts of my progress, what birds I'm seeing, and the long-awaited (especially this year) unfolding of spring.