Great Wisconsin Birdathon 2020

Raven-us Ravens

  • 2
  • 120%
  • 76

  On May 16th at 2:00 a.m. the team of Daryl Christensen, Ian Christensen, Steve Mullen and Connie Phelps who will forevermore be known as the "Raven-us Ravens" Birdathon Team began their very first Big Day as a new team - representing three generations of birders. With clear skies and temperatures in the upper 40's and diminishing winds, we headed to Germania SWA where we picked up our first species - a singing Sedge Wren. It didn't take long for the nocturnal dam to break as we added 4 owl species, an Eastern Whip-poor-Will, Swamp Sparrow and the usual nocturnal suspects minus a Great-horned Owl. The emergence of a pinkish hue in the eastern sky warned us that it was time to drive to Leola Marsh if we expected to add Short-eared Owl. Fortunately, we got great looks as the owl flew right over our heads at the break of dawn. By 7:30 we had a total of 55 species and decided to forego Buena Vista Grasslands and beat it down to Pheasant Branch in Dane County to tally warblers and other passerines. Arriving just before 9 a.m. (and tallying 10 road species along the way) we were surprised to find the parking lots full and more people than birds. Sauntering along the creek for and hour and a half, we tallied 14 warbler species a few thrushes, flycatchers and the regular, easy spring songbirds. Leaving Pheasant Branch for the many spots on the way back home, we were sitting on 102 species and weak on shorebirds and warblers. While birding all of the various ponds we managed to add a few ducks and other waterbirds as well as a smattering of shorebirds including a beautiful Ruddy Turnstone at Goose Pond and Red-necked Phalarope at Harvey Road. As we left the parking lot at Schoenberg Marsh where we added Red-necked Grebe for the 45 minute drive to Grand River SWA, our hopes were  high to fill up on Shorebirds. But it wasn't to be as most of the mud had dried up and what few shorebirds remained were tiny dots 2 miles to the east. We did manage to record one Semi-Palmated Sandpiper, Forster's and Caspian Terns and a few more warblers, but the four plover species that had been there two days before were long gone. The next stop was Lower Lock Rd by Montello which produced a few more warblers and a Gray-cheeked Thrush. We arrived back at the homefront with 162 species where a 15 minute stop added Indigo Bunting, Red-breasted Nuthatch and Ruby-throated Hummingbird. It was now 6 pm as we drove up to Germania SWA where we had started 16 hours before. An  hour-long walk and a couple of stops added Virginia Rail, Tufted Titmouse and a Willow/Alder Flycatcher that at times sang both songs. We needed only two more species to attain our very lofty goal of 170, hoping to add a White-throated Sparrow and Pileated Woodpecker. The sparrow let us down, but the Pileated did not as one called loudly from a thick tamarack as we called it quits at 8:30 p.m. with 169 species. Thank you to all of those who supported the Raven-us Ravens on our first Birdathon as well as all of you who backed the MuirLand Merlins the week before. Your generousity is greatly appreciated!


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Donations and Comments

  • Anonymous

    about 2 weeks ago

    Great job

Team Information

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