A Travellerspoint blog

Day 10: Tramping through Trempealeau & heading home!

Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge, WI

semi-overcast 75 °F

I was up at 5am this morning for the last day of the trip to squeeze in hopefully some eastern birds that I missed on the way out west through Iowa.

It was a quick drive to New Amsterdam Prairie where I found two trip birds: a singing EASTERN MEADOWLARK & a couple of nice CLAY-COLORED SPARROWS on territory:

Then, I met Bruce and we caravanned over to Trempeleau National Wildlife Refuge since I had already gotten my two targets for the prairie. On the way, I picked up another new bird for the trip in the form of a singing VESPER SPARROW!

Bruce and I initially walked into the refuge since the gate was still over the road and we tried (unsuccessfully) to call out a singing SEDGE WREN and instead found a couple other songbirds in the form of this YELLOW WARBLER:



After the gates were opened, we drove on in and parked at the first pull-off a little ways in and I quickly heard to good warbler songs: the high-pitched BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER song and the “sweet sweet sweet sweet!” of a PROTHONOTARY WARBLER — awesome! Bruce didn’t think we could see the bird but I convinced him to walk with me down a weedy path to a point sticking out into the marsh, I briefly played the Prothonotary recording, and in came zipping the lemon-yellow Prothonotary! Always cool to self-find a bird like this.

Next stop was at the river overlook where I hoped to see Trumpeter Swan & Black Tern. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS immediately flew by:

And one of my targets swam into view in the distance: TRUMPETER SWAN!

And in came the other target, BLACK TERNS! Amazing! It was turning out to be quite a productive morning.

Juvenile BALD EAGLE:



I had to say goodbye to Bruce but on the way out I scared up a YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO which luckily posed for me a bit:

Next stop: Winona, MN for two more target birds: PEREGRINE FALCON & PURPLE MARTIN, both of which I immediately found at their appointed places. Awesome! These were birds #162 and #163 for the trip respectively, and were my last new ones unless I happen to see a Great Egret (which is definitely possible) or something on the rest of the drive back to Oak Park.

Birds-of-the-day to the Prothonotary Warbler & Black Tern with runners-up to the Black-and-White Warbler, Trumpeter Swan, Purple Martin, & Peregrine Falcon. The final trip list is attached below! First though, here is a venn diagram I made of all of the songbirds seen on this trip. It was such an interesting trip because, going from Chicago to the Black Hills and back, I saw a kaleidoscope of birds — both western and eastern specialties, as well as everything in between. So, I made this diagram showcasing which birds seen are of western vs eastern orientation, as well as the ones that mainly occur in the Great Plains or all over the country (the middle section). **Note that some species, like Swainson’s Thrush, I put in the western section because they don’t breed, they just migrate through, the majority of eastern North America** Nerd out~

Incredible trip — thanks for following along! Stay tuned: in two days, Isoo and I head to southern Illinois for a two-night camping & birding extravaganza! Target birds include Mississippi Kite, Chuck-will’s-widow, and Greater Prairie-Chicken!
Good birding,
World Life List: 1118 Species

FINAL TRIP LIST, 163 species:
Canada Goose
Trumpeter Swan
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
Black Tern
Double-crested Cormorant
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
Pileated Woodpecker
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
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
Purple Martin
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
Eastern Meadowlark
Western Meadowlark
Bullock’s Oriole
Baltimore Oriole
Orchard Oriole
Red-winged Blackbird
Brown-headed Cowbird
Brewer’s Blackbird
Common Grackle
American Redstart
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-and-White Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
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
Clay-colored Sparrow
Field Sparrow
Brewer’s Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Vesper Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Swamp Sparrow
Spotted Towhee
Eastern Towhee

Posted by skwclar 11:55 Archived in USA

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The Venn Diagram is really interesting. Thanks for posting it! Welcome home!

by Susie


by Tian Qin

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