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Indiana Day 3: Cowles Bog!

Indiana Dunes, IN

rain 51 °F

Today was my third day touring the Indiana Dunes Birding Festival with Kim Habel and Susie Nies, and it was simply exhilarating!

This morning, we walked through Cowles Bog which is one of the region’s premier birding hotspots for songbird migrants & wetland breeding birds. The day started off with a flyover GREEN HERON, our first of the trip:
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Warblers were DRIPPING off of the trees this morning, and we all agreed there had been a mini-fallout due to the southwest wind last night which were interrupted by a line of thunderstorms and stalled out the migrating passerines. We knew it would be good when the first warbler over the parking lot was a male BLACKBURNIAN:
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And then a female PROTHONOTARY WARBLER?! Crazy!
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Male YELLOW WARBLER:
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Male BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLERS:
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Male BAY-BREASTED WARBLER, an absolute stunner and one of my favorites:
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PHILADELPHIA VIREO, a really nice migrant species!
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Male MAGNOLIA WARBLER. There were probably over three dozen of these this morning:
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Male GOLDEN-WINGED WARBLER — we found three of this uncommon bird today!
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Male CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER, a common one this morning:
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OVENBIRD:
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RED-EYED VIREO:
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Male SCARLET TANAGER, another species with multiple representatives this morning:
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Male BLACKPOLL WARBLER:
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PALM WARBLER:
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We all ran up the side of a shrubby hill when our guide called us over for a CONNECTICUT WARBLER! Unfortunately, I never saw the bird, but I did hear it sing once — counts as positive identification, and for a shy and uncommon bird!

Male NASHVILLE WARBLER, the Connecticut’s tree-top lookalike:
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TENNESSEE WARBLER, another one of the most common species this morning. Almost every other bird fluttering in the treetops was a Tennessee.
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Male NORTHERN PARULA:
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Male CANADA WARBLER, a real crowd pleaser which we saw a couple times throughout the morning:
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YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER:
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Getting-late RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH:
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Horrible look at a male BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER that our guide noticed to be possibly mobbing something in a far-off tree.
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We then followed the guide in case the bird the warbler was mobbing was interesting, and interesting it was — a roosting EASTERN SCREECH-OWL!! Too cool!!!
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It was a great bird walk, and our guide generously offered to take us birding along the road paralleling the marshy part of Cowles Bog. There were many singing SWAMP SPARROWS including this uncooperative individual:
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Two SORAS, including this individual, quickly darted in front of us and out of view into the reeds:
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Then, we heard the grunting of a male VIRGINIA RAIL and were soon afforded an incredible (albeit short) view of this beautiful bird.
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What a great morning of birding! Later in the afternoon, a male RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD graced us with his presence at Kim’s hummingbird feeders:
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Some birding outside the visitor center at the state park yielded common species such as GRAY CATBIRD:
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Male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH:
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Male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT:
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Then, we headed into the State Park to search for the nesting Prothonotary Warblers along Trail 8. A male RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER greeted us:

Our second PHILADELPHIA VIREO of the day was a great find!
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And after a bit of waiting, out patience paid off as the male PROTHONOTARY WARBLER sat up and preened for us — fabulous!
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Bird-of-the-day to the Eastern Screech Owl, runners-up to the Philadelphia Vireo & Golden-winged Warbler for showing nicely multiple times together, and honorable mention to the Connecticut & Prothonotary Warblers as well as the Virginia Rail. Much to choose from today! The full list, 80 species including 22 (!) warblers, from the day is included below. Stay tuned — the “Dunes Big Morning” is tomorrow and should be amazing!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 971 Species

1. Canada Goose
2. Wood Duck
3. Rock Pigeon
4. Mourning Dove
5. Chimney Swift
6. Ruby-throated Hummingbird
7. Virginia Rail
8. Sora
9. Sandhill Crane
10. Ring-billed Gull
11. Great Blue Heron
12. Great Egret
13. Green Heron
14. Cooper’s Hawk
15. Red-tailed Hawk
16. Eastern Screech-Owl
17. Red-bellied Woodpecker
18. Downy Woodpecker
19. Hairy Woodpecker
20. Northern Flicker
21. Great Crested Flycatcher
22. Eastern Wood-Pewee
23. Eastern Kingbird
24. Acadian Flycatcher
25. Willow Flycatcher
26. Least Flycatcher
27. Yellow-throated Vireo
28. Philadelphia Vireo
29. Red-eyed Vireo
30. Blue Jay
31. American Crow
32. Tree Swallow
33. Black-capped Chickadee
34. Red-breasted Nuthatch
35. White-breasted Nuthatch
36. House Wren
37. Marsh Wren
38. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
39. Veery
40. Swainson’s Thrush
41. American Robin
42. Gray Catbird
43. European Starling
44. House Sparrow
45. House Finch
46. American Goldfinch
47. Eastern Towhee
48. Field Sparrow
49. Song Sparrow
50. Swamp Sparrow
51. White-throated Sparrow
52. Red-winged Blackbird
53. Brown-headed Cowbird
54. Common Grackle
55. Ovenbird — 1
56. Northern Waterthrush — 2
57. Golden-winged Warbler — 3
58. Black-and-White Warbler — 4
59. Prothonotary Warbler — 5
60. Tennessee Warbler — 6
61. Nashville Warbler — 7
62. Connecticut Warbler — 8
63. Common Yellowthroat — 9
64. Hooded Warbler — 10
65. American Redstart — 11
66. Northern Parula — 12
67. Magnolia Warbler — 13
68. Bay-breasted Warbler — 14
69. Yellow Warbler — 15
70. Chestnut-sided Warbler — 16
71. Blackpoll Warbler — 17
72. Black-throated Blue Warbler — 18
73. Palm Warbler — 19
74. Yellow Warbler — 20
75. Black-throated Green Warbler — 21
76. Canada Warbler — 22
77. Scarlet Tanager
78. Northern Cardinal
79. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
80. Indigo Bunting

Posted by skwclar 18:43 Archived in USA

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Comments

Amazing! Wow on the Canada warbler and what a treat on the screech owl!
Just finished up our 1st day of the Hagerman Bird Festival. Taught about 30 people to draw field notes and had a great art show where the pieces will be on auction to fundraiser for the school art dept! Tomorrow I’ll lead a boat trip down the Snake River. We are both having to much fun!

by Poo

Hi- Great pictures! Lots of nesting bird action here in SW Wisconsin. Cheers, Liz

by Liz Cifani

Beautiful pictures again! Visitors this morning-male scarlet tanager eating suet crumbs under highbush cranberry, and Eastern wood-pewee hawking. I think the flowers in your male Indigo Bunting picture are Golden Alexanders, which I have in my prairie. This is when they bloom here in the midwest. They are related to carrots, parsley, etc. I hope the tanager agrees to pose among them! Liz

by Liz Cifani

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