Thursday, July 18, 2013

birds and birding at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve this fall

When you receive the fall issue of The Passenger Pigeon (if you're a WSO member), you'll notice in the fall Seasonal Report that an increasing number of reports originate at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, a property of the Ozaukee-Washington Land Trust. If you have not read about, heard about, or visited the preserve yet, I strongly recommend that you do so in the coming season. The Land Trust has done an amazing job on the habitat restoration work, and August through November at  Forest Beach is a special time, with spectacular displays of wildflowers in the restored grasslands and savannah, more than 20 wetlands, and forested sections. The wetlands are due to have drawdowns very soon, making mudflats ready for migrant shorebirds (see more at: http://owlt.org/visit-our-preserves/forest-beach-migratory-preserve/habitat-restoration-plan ). The first of those shorebirds is present now (Solitary Sandpiper), with more to arrive in the coming weeks.

Visit anytime during daylight  hours, walk the trails, and enjoy the diverse habitats and the birds they attract. That's what this preserve is devoted to doing: attracting migratory birds. See: http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/migratory/forestbeach.html

Right now, many summer wildflowers are in bloom (Penstemon, black-eyed susan, coneflower, tick trefoil), with many more due to flower in the peak month of August. That's also a great time to visit to see shorebirds and other waterbirds. September and October are becoming better known here for good raptor flights, and we have the Bill Cowart Memorial hawkwatch platform dedicated for that purpose. As autumn approaches, I'll be asking for volunteers to help monitor and count raptors on good raptor flight days. Especially good numbers of Merlins have been seen in some autumns, with 15 total raptor species seen. Get in touch with me if you're interested (e-mail address below). Many other landbird species are found here as well, with a total of 235 species found here in just the last 4 years.

See also: http://owlt.org/visit-our-preserves/forest-beach-migratory-preserve

When you plan a visit, check in with us (when we're here) on the lower east end of the main building, in the office of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory (WGLBBO; see http://wglbbo.org/about-us). If you want to use or browse in our ornithological library, check with me for times or arrange a time when you'd like to visit. We loan ornithological books or journals, or you can read while you visit. (Contact Bill Mueller, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, wpmueller1947@gmail.com ). Directions to Forest Beach and the Observatory: http://wglbbo.org/map-directions























































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