The 4th Sunday of the month Madison FUN Bird and Nature Adventure at UW Lakeshore Preserve was led by Chuck Henrikson with help from Friends board members Signe Holtz and Paul Noeldner. A diverse group of about 30 people including some families with kids gathered at Pucnic Point, and about 10 more joined later to enjoy looking and listening for Winter Birds. Expert birder by ear Charles Naeseth joined the group along the way to help with the search.
After a fairly slow start quite a few species were seen and heard and pointed out by various members of the group, including a 7 year old boy and his brother who loved chasing down the trail after flashes of feathers with kids binocs in hand to see what kind if bird was flitting in the bushes. Several people in the group spotted a Northern Flicker and a Coopers Hawk that swooped by overhead at treetop height. The tinkling call and partial sighting of a Brown Creeper also grabbed their attention. One person reported seeing an American Robin at the Preserve before joining up with the group. Everyone enjoyed walking back along the ice covered Lake Mendota shoreline and helped scan distant jagged upthrust ice ridges for reported possible Snowy Owls. A couple likely looking large white bird shaped lumps actually took flight but proved to be Herring Gulls. Report Paul Noeldner. Friends host Signe Holtz.
The highlight of the day was a beautiful Barred Owl (Strix varia) perched near a known previous tree hollow nest site where its mate may already be brooding eggs that will hatch in about a month.
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