A Travellerspoint blog

Day 9: Eastward to Wisconsin

Veterans’ Memorial Park, West Salem, WI

semi-overcast 70 °F

Today, my family and I made the six-hour journey from Union Grove State Park in southeastern South Dakota to Veterans’ Memorial Park near La Crosse, WI in order to spend the evening with my Aunt Mary, Uncle Mory, and birding friend Bruce!

It was a rather long and uneventful drive across Minnesota (other than a fiasco with a window that kept infuriatingly coming open on our RV), so I was ready to find some birds upon arriving at the park in Wisconsin. One of the first creatures to greet us there were these cute little Thirteen-lined (I think that’s the right one) Ground-Squirrels burrowing in the camping area! Very similar to the Prairie Dogs out west, but smaller and more patterned.

A new bird species for the trip came in the form of these tiny WOOD DUCKlings who didn’t seem to have mom around — uh oh!


And another new species was a pair of SANDHILL CRANES out in the wetland:

Two unphotographed new species for the trip singing from the wetland came in the form of SWAMP SPARROW & SEDGE WREN. We are definitely back in the land of more eastern-oriented birds.


YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, a nice surprise since this area is the far southern part of their breeding range, and yet another new one for the trip. Cool to see both Red-naped & Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers on the same trip.

And my bird-of-the-day goes to a first heard-only BELL’S VIREO which I quickly tracked down and luckily was eventually able to photograph. An awesome bird which, unlike the sapsucker, is on the farthest northern fringes of its range here. In fact, my report of the Vireo is only the second-ever report of this species from this particular preserve according to eBird — super cool!

It was great celebrating Pearl’s birthday (which is tomorrow) with Aunt Mary, Uncle Mory, and Bruce, and a wonderful evening with them was capped off with a hooting GREAT HORNED OWL I called in after dinner. Stay tuned: for the last day of the trip tomorrow, I am getting up at the break of dawn to cover to western Wisconsin hotspots with Bruce: New Amsterdam Prairie & Trempeleau National Wildlife Refuge. Targets include Clay-colored Sparrow, Black Tern & Trumpeter Swan among others. Hopefully I should get some nice additions to the trip list, which is attached below.

Good birding!
World Life List: 1118 Species

REVISED TRIP LIST, 151 species and counting:
Canada Goose
Wood Duck
Blue-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
American Wigeon
Northern Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Ring-necked Pheasant
Ruffed Grouse
Wild Turkey
Pied-billed Grebe
Rock Pigeon
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Mourning Dove
Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Eastern Whip-poor-will
Chimney Swift
White-throated Swift
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
American Coot
Sandhill Crane
American Avocet
Upland Sandpiper
Long-billed Curlew LIFE BIRD
Marbled Godwit
Greater Yellowlegs
Wilson’s Phalarope
Ring-billed Gull
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
American Bittern
Turkey Vulture
Golden Eagle
Northern Harrier
Bald Eagle
Swainson’s Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Great Horned Owl
Burrowing Owl
Short-eared Owl
Belted Kingfisher
Red-headed Woodpecker
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Red-naped Sapsucker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
Great Crested Flycatcher
Western Kingbird
Eastern Kingbird
Western Wood-Pewee
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Willow Flycatcher
Dusky Flycatcher
Cordilleran Flycatcher
Eastern Phoebe
Say’s Phoebe
Loggerhead Shrike
Yellow-throated Vireo
Bell’s Vireo
Plumbeous Vireo
Warbling Vireo
Red-eyed Vireo
Blue Jay
Clark’s Nutcracker
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Horned Lark
Bank Swallow
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Barn Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Red-breasted Nuthatch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
Rock Wren
Canyon Wren
House Wren
Sedge Wren
Carolina Wren
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Golden-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Eastern Bluebird
Mountain Bluebird
Townsend’s Solitaire
Swainson’s Thrush
Wood Thrush
American Robin
Gray Catbird
Brown Thrasher
Sage Thrasher
European Starling
Cedar Waxwing
House Sparrow
House Finch
Cassin’s Finch
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
Chestnut-collared Longspur LIFE BIRD
Yellow-breasted Chat
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Bullock’s Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Redstart
MacGillivray’s Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Yellow Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Western Tanager
Northern Cardinal
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-headed Grosbeak
Blue Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Grasshopper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Lark Bunting LIFE BIRD
Chipping Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Eastern Towhee

Posted by skwclar 20:43 Archived in USA

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Welcome back! These species are all around here in SW Wisconsin.

Happy birthday, Pearl!

by liz cifani

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