|Pip on the back porch of my friends Kathy and Terry in late afternoon.|
Since Tuesday, Pip has added another 900 miles in the car and three new species to her life list. On Tuesday, we drove to Baraboo to spend time with our friends Kathy and Terry, and their dogs Gus and Lola. Pip has had some wonderful experiences getting socialized with other dogs. While I was in their yard, I got to enjoy a bazillion Chimney Swifts along with lots of typical backyard birds.
|This Warbling Vireo wasn't one of the Madison birds.|
I associate Warbling Vireos with Picnic Point, and there were just as many now as in the 70s when I was going there every week day in spring and almost daily in summer. I love that feeling of being "home" when revisiting a beloved place and seeing and hearing familiar friends.
There were plenty of orioles, too, but I didn't hear any singing—they were pigging out on insects in a few trees, and carrying some off to feed young, so the males are too busy now to think of singing very often.
|One of the orioles Pip and I saw at Picnic Point|
|Red-headed Woodpecker decline in Wisconsin|
|Red-headed Woodpecker decline in Minnesota|
|Red-headed Woodpecker decline across the entire Breeding Bird Survey|
|Red-headed Woodpecker photographed in Georgia in 2010.|
Pip did add one lifer at Picnic point. It flew past so quickly that I didn't get a photo, but I'll post a photo anyway, because it's the ABA Bird of the Year: the Green Heron.
|Green Heron photographed at the Viera Wetlands in Florida|
From there, we headed to Stockton, Illinois, for me to visit my close college friend and roommate, Kathie Levan and her husband Steve. They've both been treasured friends lo these many decades. On the way, we stopped at a Culver's in New Glarus. It seemed especially appropriate to introduce Pip to Culver's on the way to Kathie's, because Kathie is the one who first introduced me to Culver's. Pip LOVED it!
Pip got to play with Kathie and Steve's dog George, who was very patient with her although he's older and a little frail. She also got to play with one of their two cats, Chandler. I've never seen such a ginormous cat before. He and Pip played a lot of chase games—as long as Chandler knew he was totally in charge, he didn't seem to mind Pip at all. His little sister Phoebe, on the other hand, was much more reserved and avoided Pip altogether.
|This cardinal is the only bird in Kathie and Steve's yard that let me take a photo.|
After breakfast, I headed to Eagle Optics in Middleton, Wisconsin, so I could say hi to all my friends there. Pip had a grand time meeting everyone. I got a photo of just three of the great people who work there. (I have absolutely no business associations with Eagle Optics. But I know and trust the employees and have a great deal of respect for the owner, and know how much of their profits go into conservation, so this is the only retailer I endorse, and I endorse them enthusiastically.)
|Pip and friends Tom, Ben, and Mike at Eagle Optics|
Mike thought we should be able to get Acadian Flycatchers and the species I was most hoping for, Yellow-throated Vireo. He thought it was at least possible we might also luck into a Cerulean Warbler, as well. But we got there a bit after noon, and in the heat of the day, not one of those species was singing. Nevertheless, Pip did get two lifers: several Field Sparrows were singing away, and we also spotted a couple of Red-headed Woodpeckers--the species we didn't see at Picnic Point! So now Pip is up to 198 on her life list. I wonder what species will be her #200?
|Pip at Indian Lake County Park|
|Mink running across the road|
|Mink in a culvert|
From there, we went briefly to Goose Pond, just because I always have to check that out when I pass the Arlington exit—Tree and Barn Swallows were feeding babies, and we heard cranes and saw lots of Song Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds.
|Red-winged Blackbird making himself beautiful at Goose Pond|
|Pip visits Necedah National Wildlife Refuge|