[wisb] Pishing Sensation

For me, pishing is something of a hit or miss birding strategy. Probably
90% of the time, I see birds moving in the undergrowth, start pishing, and
get very little response from the birds. Often a chickadee or a House
Sparrow will poke its head up, but I usually leave feeling that the pishing
didn't accomplish much. Once in a while, however, I have an experience
completely contrary to the norm (a "super pish"). Today, for example, I
spotted two birds in the undergrowth at an often-birdy corner of my birding
patch along the southwest bikepath, and decided to pish and see what they
were. Over the next five minutes I continued to pish, and was surrounded by
a whirl of activity, with some birds approaching me to withing four feet!
Having seen only two birds to start (Which turned out to be White-throated
Sparrows) the following birds emerged in a practical swarm one after
another: White-throated Sparrow (8), Tufted Titmouse (1), Black-capped
Chickadee (2), Brown Creeper (1), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (2),
White-breasted Nuthatch (1), House Sparrow (6), American Goldfinch (7),
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (7), Northern Cardinal (3), House Finch (1), Mourning
Dove (1), House Wren (1), and Dark-eyed Junco (1). I have absolutely no
explanation for why the birds responded so well today! Anyone have any
ideas?
Also, this morning at the Arboretum (Monroe Street area) Michael Kamp and I
had 38 species, including surprising waterfowl numbers:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S10499378

Max Witynski
Madison, Dane
P.S. Thanks Peter for the nice comments and publicity!


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