Saturday, May 21, 2011

SUNDAY probable trip, need your email though

I don't have the email address of all you readers of this blog. There could be a Sunday morning trip near the U.W., but the exact meeting place (for this $10 bike-birding trip) is a bit I will need to send out a confirming (re weather) email an hour let me know that you're interested by emailing me. Thanks, Dave Fallow

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hey You

Inviting all readers to suggest a time and place for a birding-by-BIKE trip this Sunday, that's May 22nd, in Madison. Very very interesting today was the apparent lack of warblers after a single night of calm...that is, no wind after days on end of north or north-east blows. I'm guessing that there will be another "slug" of migrating warblers in the next week; south winds could bring in a new bunch, as well as "clear the decks" of the old hangers-on. Today: a Cuckoo, an unsettled Alder Flycatcher, a few warblers (Bay-breasteds dominating the non-breeders) and the first fledgling GRACKLE that I've seen thus far. Saturday: supposedly rainy, so no planned trips.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Well, this is the Peak!

Lots of birds are in Madison these days. Certainly it's the peak of the Spring migration. Warblers, vireos, waterbirds, flycatchers, orioles, tanagers, goatsuckers, sparrows and many others are here NOW but will mostly be gone (north) in less than two weeks. On the Tuesday bike-birding trips this week, we found more warblers than I've seen in one location in...a long time. In addition to a couple of semi-rarities, we saw Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Pine, Magnolia, Golden-winged, Mourning, Cape May and other warblers, some eating Psyllids in almost-bare Hackberry trees and hence fairly easily seen. Vireos included a Blue-headed and a Philadelphia, woodpeckers a Red-headed, orioles an adult male Orchard, flycatchers a Yellow-bellied, mouses a Tit, nuthatches a Red-breasted, mergansers a Red-breasted, tremoloing a Common Loon in breeding plumage, owls a pair of Great Horneds, Sandhill Crane families a colt...all this at PICNIC POINT!
In subsequent guided bike-birding trips at other locations, we noticed a molting male Summer Tanager, Hooded and Prothonotary Warblers, Eastern Kingbirds, Philadelphia Vireo, Green Heron and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks.
All my trips are by bike (or bike-bus) and mostly cost a mere ten dollars. If you're reading this blog but have not yet signed up, you might want to send me an email so as to get important details and not miss out on the May migration.
Next trips: Friday May 13th at 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Meet by the bikerack.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Many many birds today (Tuesday) -- Wednesday too?

Tonight I'll send out an email to those on my Bike-Birding email list detailing what was encountered on this morning's trips. If you're a reader of this blog who wants to become an active bike-birder, let me know.

WEDNESDAY trips, if weather is decent: 6:30 a.m. at one end of Lake Monona, and 4:oo p.m. at the other. Days of intermittent rain at the peak of migration (now!) can be very good...and I'm not just saying that. More trips on Friday and this weekend -- to influence times and locations, email me:


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More migration, more bike

For readers of this blog who do not regularly receive emails from me: let me know that you're interested in the bike-birding tours that are happening almost daily, and I can give you details and useful information. Next trips: Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Where: in Madison. Cost:
$10. How: by bike/bus. Questions? Email me:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Greener birdwatching

Birds fly. Madisonians can stay put and still see most of Wisconsin's bird species over the course of a year. "Staycation," you'll hear it called. Next time you tell me about a bird or butterfly you saw, please add how you got there. Madison is blessed with a variety of habitats and lots of water, hence many different birds appear here. While I don't like seeing an approaching Metro bus with a full bike-rack, I'd love to hear that every birdwatcher in town had gone bike-bus birding! It's easy to do -- scroll down to the bottom of the Metro homepage and watch the amusing video:

May in particular is a great time for ultra-local birdwatching. On every city block, there are dozens of warblers, flycatchers, vireos, nuthatches, kinglets, woodpeckers, lightbulb birds, thrushes, swallows, sparrows and hawks in sight or hearing during the month. (I guess the Yard List is the ultimate in a no-carbon avian staycation.) How many birds have you noticed within one mile of your home?