Date: 5/13/18 6:28 pm From: Peter Fissel <peter.fissel...> Subject: [wisb] Horicon Marsh (Dodge) and Mud Lake W.A. (Columbia Co.) today
I led the two Sunday morning walks from the Education Center as part of the Horicon Bird Festival today. Things were rather slow out on Indermuhl Island, with only about 7 species of warblers and fewer than 60 species overall on each walk. Best bird was probably the Semipalmated Plover in the same spot on a mudflat on both walks. The second one wrapped up at 11:30, so after eating lunch, I birded the marsh on my own for a couple hours. I had taken a look at the "big board" master list for the Festival and noticed that not a lot of notable species had been seen so far, and that was also my experience. I did pick up a few FOYs, such as Dunlin and Black-bellied Plover in a flooded field on W. Point Rd., and Common Gallinule at the "Stilt Spot" on Hwy 49 west of the historical marker. (Counted around two dozen Black-necked Stilts there, by the way.) Only real warbler wave was in the little clump of trees 2/3s of the way out on Ledge Rd. Among all the Yellow-rumps were single Cape May, Bay-breasted, and Tennessee.
On the way home, I took a swing past the Breezy Point and Jersey Rd. flooded fields north of Beaver Dam - zilch. Didn't see any shorebirds at the County A on-ramp to 151, either. I stopped at Mud Lake Wildlife Area in Columbia Co. to see if there was activity along the water-filled ditch along Tollefson Rd., and there was. Not like a few years ago when there was a midge hatch, but there were enough insects to draw some flycatching warblers. Had multiple Magnolias, Redstarts, Yellows and Common Yellowthroats, plus single Wilson's, Chestnut-sided and No. Waterthrush along the ditch, plus Black-throated Green and Blackpoll in the woods on the other side of the road. It was getting late and I was getting hungry, so I called it a day and didn't check any other spots up there or on the way back to Madison.