[wisb] Crawford Co Nightjar Route, Grant Co Wayalusing and Protonotaries

  • From: Jesse Ellis <calocitta8@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 30 May 2010 18:49:29 -0500

Hey all-
Just wanted to chime in with some week's birding, and about that
Prothonotary at Wayalusing...

Thursday night (5/27) I ran my nightjar survey in western Crawford county,
same as last year. What a difference the weather makes! Last year was cooler
and a little windy, and I had only a few owls and whips - Thursday, with a
full moon, clear sky, and nearly still conditions I did a bit better, with 8
whippoorwills along the route, many Barred Owls, a Screech Owl and a Great
Horned. Also had a Henslow's Sparrow singing at about 11:45, as well as a
fly-over Dickcissel and Black-billed Cuckoo. Also had a Song Sparrow belt
out a full song once.

We then camped at Wayalusing, and had many of the highlights others have
reported - there are multiple Henslow's Sparrows singing near the
observatory. We missed Yellow-throated Warbler, unfortunately... another
highlight was seeing Rough-winged Swallows fighting over a couple chunks of
Coyote scat at the observatory. It actually appeared they were eating it -
it had a bit of green matter, and hairs, but it never really looked like
they were carrying hair away. Rather I'm fairly sure I saw them eat a few
chunks. Up to six birds were squabbling over it at one point. Also noticed a
burying beetling starting to move a chunk across the lot.

Finally, we had the same experience as Peter Fissel's and Chris West's group
with the Prothonotaries at the boat launch. These birds are a kick.
Apparently they don't worry too much about people - I nearly had one land on
my shoulder, and the some individual landed about 6 feet in front of us in
the middle of the parking lot. As Chris West said, they seem to have figured
out that the cars have lots of bugs, and are using them accordingly. Very
cool. I recommend this spot for great looks and photography.

Jesse Ellis

Jesse Ellis
Madison, Dane Co, WI

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  • » [wisb] Crawford Co Nightjar Route, Grant Co Wayalusing and Protonotaries - Jesse Ellis