It seems like every Saturday is a big birding event right now! The BowKan Bird Count is the bird count that I’ve been doing since I was 6 years old. We have two counts per year, one in the spring and one in the winter. While in England, I missed the first count since I started. Back for the Spring count, I car-pooled with 4 other counters for the whole day. We started (as usual) at the Lac Des Arcs campground where we saw the all the regulars exept Belted Kingfisher. It was gloomy and overcast, but that didn’t hold the birds down.
At the Al Lesann Bridge Trail, we were walking along, trying to hear that little peep in the bush when a pair of Rufous Hummingbirds whizzed around us. It was all good fun, until they started trying to kill us. Having a tiny red bullet shooting throught the air at our heads is kind of unnerving, but that was nothing compared to my shock when, after ducking under a low branch, I straightend up and was hit! At first I was worried about the hummer’s health, but when it was obvious that the bird was ok, I started to take photos. I actually got some nice ones of the bird sitting, preening in a tree 30 feet off.
A quarter-hour later, we were stepping out of the van at the Buffalo Bill Pond Trail-head. Chipping Sparrows and Juncos were prominent, with many invisible Least Flycatchers, some Mountain Bluebirds, and a Vesper Sparrow all there.
Farther down, we found one of the two Kingbird species that were there last year.
At the pond itself, there were 5 swallows, many Coot, and a Ruffed Grouse boomed behind us. There were some Spotted Sandpipers and Yellow Warblers down the shoreline. A Pied-billed Grebe in the water.
And lots and lots of Little Blue Butterflies.
We ended the trip back at Lac Des Arcs, but on the other end. Strolling down the path, we came upon some (very) fresh bear scat. It was a place that bears frequented, so this was not surprising. We continued down the path, and found one spot that was rich in birds. Stopping there to watch the Warbling Vireos, Warblers and Redstarts, we followed as the flock moved down the path a little ways. Turning a corner brought us the sight of a large and healthy Black Bear, so we, disappointed, turned back, having completed about 17% of what we wanted to do there.
We decided to end the day then, as it was already 3:45 pm. It was a successful count, on which I found 61 species over two days, in about 11 total hours. I’ll post some photos and the story from the next day soon.