Date: 5/3/18 10:12 am From: Kenneth Younger <kyounger...> Subject: [wisb] Yesterday in the UW Arboretum -- YCNH -- 103 species
I awoke yesterday feeling quite ill. I debated going out, especially because of the storms, but told myself it would probably make me feel better. Boy did it. Arriving at Ho Nee Um (part of the Arb north of Lake Wingra) just as the last few raindrops were falling, I immediately noticed how birdy it was, and set out to see what all showed up. I had my FOYs Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Warbling Vireo, and Eastern Kingbird quite quickly. I had what I thought was a Great Blue Heron flyover. I snapped a picture, but thought nothing of it (it was still fairly dimly lit and didn't think the camera LCD would show much detail).
I made my way over to the marshy area where I had seen Sora in previous days. I was elated to find my FOY (and my first of the Arb) Virginia Rail hanging out with the Sora! I got some great pictures of the two.
Continuing east, I was looking for the Northern Waterthrushes plinking from the pools of water between Ho Nee Um and Wingra Boats, and found a Yellow-crowed Night Heron hanging out back there!!! As you can imagine, that kinda blew me away and got the adrenaline pumping. I managed to get a few doc shots, but it flew up (didn't _seem_ like it flew away, but I couldn't tell) and out of sight. Chuck Henrikson arrived a short bit later and we spent time trying to relocate it. Unfortunately, it was either hiding well, or flew away. I know of at least several others that tried to find it without success. It's a dense thicket back there. Also, it turns out that picture of the heron I had snapped earlier was the bird in flight. I had been walking around for an hour with the bird there and didn't know it. Hah. Bird every bird, right?
At 9:30am, I realized I had over 70 species checked. I decided to keep pushing things to see where they would go. Throughout the rest of the day, I managed to find 33 more species in the Arboretum, only venturing outside it to successfully locate the White-eyed Vireo with Shawn Miller at Indian Mound in McFarland (which was a life bird for me). Oh, I also stopped for lunch. :)
My biggest misses of the day were the Red-breasted Nuthatches, the Pileated Woodpeckers (which I suspect have been quiet because of nesting), and twice I missed Prothonotary Warblers by a few minutes. Hmmm, will PROW supplant YBFL as my nemesis? Ask me in July.
Some of the best species outside of the YCNH were the Virginia Rail, Sora, Solitary Sandpiper, Forster's Terns, Blackburnian Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush (looked enough different for me to call it that way, and would be open to confirmations/critiques on that ID), the sheer number of Northern Waterthrushes, Veery, Savannah Sparrow, and Yellow-throated Vireo. #100 for the day was a Killdeer. The last species I identified was a single, young Purple Martin, also a first in the Arb for me.
All in all, an unintentional, but very big day in the Arboretum with 103 species (pending the LOWA). This included 16 warbler species, 10 sparrow species, 9 duck/geese species, 7 thrush species, and 6 raptor species.
If you're interested in seeing the pictures I took of many of these birds, have a look at my checklist here: