Where Did August Go?

I cannot believe that August is basically already on its way out the door – what happened to summer? What happened to school-free days without homework and students all over the place? I’m not ready for school to be back in session whether it’s my own classes or the students returning to my place of work. This month has been rough in terms of workload and stress since we are gearing up for the fall semester. I’ve been heavily preoccupied trying to look for a permanent place of habitation which is positively distracting me from work somewhat. The stress though is still very unpleasant.

I’ve already heard rumblings of fall migration. People have been posting sightings of Rufous Hummingbirds, White-face Ibis, and Red Knots to my birding group’s Facebook page. I never knew Rufous Hummingbirds really came through Wisconsin but apparently they do. I would love to get a chance to see one.

One of the highlights from a recent birding trip was what looked to be the family home of a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers. One of the adults was hanging out at the entrance. I didn’t get to see the family all together so it’s hard to tell for sure how many babies are still around (if any). I did like seeing the nest hole though. Maybe they will be back next year.

DSC_0018

Wish I’d had a better zoom on my camera for the shot to be more detailed but getting a 400mm+ zoom lens is a ways out in the future for me right now. Hopefully someday though. I would love love love to be able to post pictures similar to some of the ones that show up in my birding group where you can basically count the birdy eyelashes.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Apparently Red-bellied woodpeckers are common in the midwest pretty much year-round.  That being said, I feel a bit stupid not having seen one before since they have basically always been around. I have noticed though that as I apply myself to improving my birding skills I am much more aware of what is going on around me as far as birds go. I pay a lot more attention to flittering in the trees, alarm calls, and generally singing to help identify notice and then identify a bird.

Today’s excursion was particularly fruitful because several Red-bellied woodpeckers decided to hang out in an apple tree for about 20 minutes. They also decided that they would sit in such a way as to give me the opportunity to photograph them which was really exciting. I was quite pleased that more than a few of the pictures actually turned out. We saw a total of 15 species that we were able to identify this trip which for me is a new record I think. Birds that made an appearance: Wild Turkey, Northern Cardinal, House Wren, White-breasted Nuthatch, Grey Catbird, Mourning Dove, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, American Robin, Least Flycatcher, American Redstart,Brown Thrasher, Blue Jay.