[wisb] Shorebird conditions for Dane/Columbia ponds

Since several people have asked me recently if I knew what the ponds 
north of Madison were like, I thought I'd share part of Jesse Ellis's 
scouting report from a weekend BIGBY bike trip:

"Shorebirding is grim. I feel like I perhaps missed one site, but the 
only spots that had water were DM and I, and the V/Schumacher/Patton 
pond. The former had a handful of birds, including one white-rumped 
sandpiper and a few leasts. And a Pintail and a family of GW Teal. The V 
ponds had lots of ducks but not much visible mudflat, and I could see 
about 15 Pecs and a few yellow-legs. At Schoeneberg there were a few 
yellow-legs way way way out to the north. I would never take anyone to 
LOOK at those, though... we're talking heat shimmer through a gap in the 
cattails. I only found them because I was desperately searching for 
YHBB. Wangsness: corn. Harvey and 60: corn/soybeans. Schumacher N of 
Cuba Valley - mostly corn, ditch in the middle with nothing in it. DM 
and Wibu has water in the ditches but is otherwise drained/planted. 
Goose Pond is cracked and growing things (as you know). I checked here 
for Buffies but saw naught."


So, there you have it.  Grim, indeed.  There is a chance of rain later 
this week, but the long-range outlook is for dry conditions to persist 
into October. I neglected to mention in my post last night that the 
water is nearly gone in the Hwy 49 impoundment south of the historical 
marker at Horicon, at least in the part near the road.  There was still 
some water way to the south, which may be visible from the Old Marsh Rd. 
  I haven't heard anything very encouraging about Zeloski Marsh, either.

Peter Fissel
Madison, Dane Co.


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