My voyage home to Wisconsin focused on family and several target birds. Last year, I discovered Long-tailed Ducks in Maine but wasn't able to obtain decent photo documentation. I scheduled my birding treks during the day while everyone was working and carefully targeted several of Wisconsin's finest harbors along beautiful Lake Michigan.
|The Amish return from their Sunday services|
While I preferred and spent most of my time on the lakes, harbors and rivers, I needed to explore the country. There were several birds that liked this marshy field area. So I went to Collin's Marsh and entered the land of the Amish.
|American Tree Sparrow|
|Rough-legged Hawk pursuing a Red-winged Blackbird|
|What's that angry bird doing here??!!!|
|Red-throated Loon-lighter overall with a speckly back in winter plumage. No barring at all on this bird which eliminates Common Loon.|
|Left to right. Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, several Ring-billed Gulls(smaller) and Herring Gulls|
On this journey, I studied a lot more about gulls. In the photos above and below, there are 4 different gulls. My targets were the Glaucous, Thayer's and Iceland Gulls.
For the Glaucous gull, it was fairly simple to ID. I had to look for a larger gull that was plain gray. These gulls lack any black coloration. Soon I hope to be advanced enough to pick out the much more difficult Thayer's and Iceland Gulls.
Usually towards the end of the trek, I wear myself out. Then it's just fun hanging out with the gang. If you come visit Wisconsin, you have to check out the sausage and cheese factories. BEST sausage and cheese in this country! Unless of course you are a vegetarian:)
I'm going to apologize to my family now for my insane intensity. I can't shut off this crazy addiction. Here is the best way I can put it. I've always been an explorer and will continue to be one until the day I die. I've realized that the days ahead are some of my best. I will never have kids and I do want to leave something behind for the world. I'm hoping I can contribute in some way to the preservation of our world no matter how dark it may seem sometimes. The more I know; the more sucked into this adventure I become.
|My pops or as the grandkids say.....Grandpalf The Gray. "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"|
Never have I become so acutely aware of time as I do now. Time with friends and family and birding seem to all collide. I want to do it all, but I can't. And when I do it all, I'm exhausted from wearing myself out in the field all day. But WOW! I go to bed at night happy. I know that someday my light will dim, but for now, my appetite for knowledge grows leaps and bounds.
|Woodland Dunes-home to the Pileated Woodpeckers and Northern Saw-whet Owls|