About 24 people including several students and minorities enjoyed the every 4th Sunday Bird and Nature Outing led by Chuck Hendrikson, who makes this walks fun, educational, and memorable.Additional participants joined in along the way. Avid birder Chuck Henrikson led the outing with a quiz style introduction to common Wisconsin species with an accommodating Red-tailed Hawk perched nearby. Shared Madison FUN adult and kids binoculars were handed out to the group before setting out to look for birds along Picnic Point and around the Biocore Prairie. Birds were plentiful enough to warrant many stops along the way and participants enjoyed helping spot and identify an interesting mix of waterfowl on University Bay. After a return loop around Picnic Point Lagoon and the Biocore Prairie, everyone enjoyed a stop at the end to see a magnificent Barred Owl sitting quietly, almost invisible next to the trunk of a big pine in Bills Woods near the trail exit. Excited participants let out an audible "Oh!" and some even jumped up and down when they first saw the sleepy owl 'up close' in full glory through shared spotting scopes. The outing contInued for an extra half hour while a number of nature recreation passers by also got extended looks at the owl through the scopes and many captured digiscope photos with their cellphones.
Thanks Chuck Henrikson for leading and the bird report, regular participant Chuck Keleny for helping with the scopes and sharing the great Barred Owl sighting, and Friends of the Lakeshore Nature Preserve board members Peter Fisher and Pat Becker for helping facilitate the outing!
And a big Thank You to our resident pair of Barred Owls for being such good Ambassadors for the Preserve!
Below is an eBird checklist based on Chuck's bird list and the group's observations.