[wisb] Milwaukee Lakefront, 11/23/11 - two new BIGBY species

Hearing from various e-mail lists that Sandhill Cranes were on the move I 
decided to make a day of it. What a difference a day makes, weather-wise! 
Yesterday was foggy, damp, and warm for late November (65 degrees). Today was 
cool crisp and clear, with a wind chill of about 12 degrees when I first set 
out. I had one new combo BIGBY species, bringing that BIGBY count to 219 
species, and two new MilWALKee BIGBY species for a count of 180 species in that 
category.

The big highlights of the day:

* Sandhill Crane. MilwWALKee BIGBY species #179. I'd kinda given up on seeing 
Sandhills this fall. They were spring and fall migration BIGBY regulars when I 
lived in southern Indiana. But twice today I heard their prehistoric bugling! 
In some respects seeing/hearing Sandhill Cranes gives me the same feeling I 
used to get from migrating Canada Geese when I was a kid. It was invigorating 
to see the high flying v-shaped skeins of geese, up so high that their raucous 
honking was barely audible on the ground. The geese would inspire a sense of 
wanderlust...coming from who knows where, heading to who knows where, making 
only a brief appearance in my world. But the presence of year-round resident 
Canada Goose flocks  undermined that earlier sense of wonder. I think my 
earlier fascination with migrating geese has been replaced by the joy I feel 
when I hear the bugling calls of migrating Sandhill Cranes. Like the geese of 
my youth, the cranes pass over
 unexpectedly, spending very little time in my world.

* Tundra Swan. MilWALKee species #180, and 2010 "combo" BIGBY species #219. I 
was standing at the far northernmost part of Milwaukee's North Point, right by 
the water treatment plant, when I heard their "woo-ho, woo-woo, woo-ho" calls. 
Got enough of a glimpse through my binoculars as they flew by to see the black 
bills. This is a new life bird for me...an unexpected cool treat!

Hope everyone has a great holiday weekend!!

Bernie Sloan
Milwaukee


      
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  • » [wisb] Milwaukee Lakefront, 11/23/11 - two new BIGBY species - B.G. Sloan