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On Wisconsin!

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Old Saturday 9th June 2007, 06:39   #1
bkrownd
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On Wisconsin!

Nobody has ever posted a thread for Wisconsin??? What's wrong with the world?

I go to La Crosse Wisconsin for Thanksgiving every year. It's very nice in the late autumn - quiet, lots of wildlife, and very nice autumn weather. La Crosse is a dead boring town, but it's quaint for the holidays, in a dead boring kind of way. The only problem is that this is smack in the middle of hunting season, and everyone who sees me go into the woods with my camera, even total strangers on the street, predicts that I'll be shot. My grandmother threw a tizzy and stopped speaking to me one day when I wouldn't let the thunder of gunfire keep me inside. Damn the buckshot, I got woodpeckers to chase!

Last year the common winter birds were around, which was OK because it was my first autumn with the camera. Swans and ducks. Hawks and eagles. Jays and juncos. Woodpeckers galore. Kind of a boring assortment, now that I remember it, but they were all new to my camera lens back then. Now I've "been there, done that."

I need to make a watch list of more interesting birds I haven't yet seen for this November's trip, and find some hunter-free places to look for them. Grebes. Snipes. Owls. Sapsuckers. Larks. Titmice. Does anybody know the La Crosse area, or what kinds of interesting birds might hang out where along the Mississippi. (Please don't say tundra swans or bald eagles - yawn)
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Old Saturday 9th June 2007, 19:42   #2
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Memories of a spring morning in Wyalusing, at the corner of Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers come to me. However, for a november day, a lot of things will already have left the state, I am afraid. Even so, if it is not too far, a visit at Wyalusing might be the ticket: it is a state park and just may be free of the hunters. It is worth taking the dangers seriously: people had their plastic deers in their own drive-way shot at, and one year while we lived in Wisconsin, the 10 day long gun hunting season cost 6 deaths (yes humans, not deer).

Another place that as far as I remember could be more safe than most would be devils lake: I am afraid that is also a good distance from La Crosse.

Cheers
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Old Sunday 10th June 2007, 06:13   #3
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I share forests with hunters and poachers here all year long - it would be ironic if I got shot for spending a few days in suburban Wisconsin.
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2007, 19:18   #4
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I didn't get anything new this Thanksgiving in La Crosse aside from cooper's hawk, red tailed hawk, tufted titmice and red breasted nuthatch. I guess I also saw goldfinch and brown creeper this year, but I got those in Minnesota earlier in the year. I was again limited to a small section of the bluffs near my grandmother's house. Seemed to be fewer birds this year than last, and definitely far fewer calls heard. The weather was dandy, though.
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Old Wednesday 12th December 2007, 19:50   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkrownd View Post
I didn't get anything new this Thanksgiving in La Crosse aside from cooper's hawk, red tailed hawk, tufted titmice and red breasted nuthatch. I guess I also saw goldfinch and brown creeper this year, but I got those in Minnesota earlier in the year. I was again limited to a small section of the bluffs near my grandmother's house. Seemed to be fewer birds this year than last, and definitely far fewer calls heard. The weather was dandy, though.
I've got very fond, if brief, memories of Wisconsin. We were staying with friends in Chicago, it was my first time in the US and so all the birds were exciting. We had a week-end in Wisconsin and headed up to Door County. On Door Bluff Headlands I had my first taste of a spring fall and had masses of birds including around 20 species of warbler, absolutely stunning!
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Old Thursday 13th December 2007, 02:03   #6
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Since I started paying attention to the tweeters I've done Thanksgiving in La Crosse twice, and February and May/June in Minneapolis-St. Paul in between. I'd like to get back to Minnesota in mid-May to find all the warblers and sparrows I missed last time, and also a side-trip to Nebraska to visit a prairie restoration project.
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Old Friday 21st March 2008, 21:03   #7
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ChickaD is going to give you an update on Wisconsin. We had a beautiful day yesterday, in 40's, sun. Today, well, a snow storm, think it's safe to say about 12 inches so far and still going strong. I do believe the Easter rabbit will have to use a sled this year.

I can tell you we do have our robins back for about last 10 days I've noticed, along with our Red-winged blackbirds. Sandhill Cranes are coming back more and more...yesterday while doing a hike, heard them off in distance, looked up and very high had spotted 2 flocks with around 75 total.
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Old Friday 4th April 2008, 15:07   #8
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Yes....I have just spotted my first pair of beautiful Eastern Bluebirds in our backyard sitting in the maple tree looking on at a nestbox which has been occupied each spring here for the last four years and counting

Life is good Darlene
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Old Tuesday 8th April 2008, 18:24   #9
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Wink

Anyone in Wisconsin that would care to share maybe sightings of birds in your area or facts of interest?

How about some state parks you may have visited or are planning on seeing
as we swing into spring.
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Old Wednesday 9th April 2008, 01:07   #10
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I lived in Fond du Lac county from 1998 to 2001. I miss birding at Horicon Marsh. Early mornings on that floating boardwalk were wonderful. I guess I should try to get back for the bird festival one of these years.
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Old Wednesday 9th April 2008, 14:28   #11
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I lived in Fond du Lac county from 1998 to 2001. I miss birding at Horicon Marsh. Early mornings on that floating boardwalk were wonderful. I guess I should try to get back for the bird festival one of these years.
Hello Runaround I'm so pleased to see you have taken the time to respond, thank you. I have lived in Wisconsin almost my entire life and have never been to Horicon Marsh (shame on me) but have seen photos taken there and friends who visit who love it.

I'm setting a goal for myself this year to visit as many state parks as I can fit in and also H.M. Great hearing from you
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Old Thursday 10th April 2008, 02:53   #12
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Have any of you been to the NWR wildlife refuges on the Mississippi, just North of La Crosse?
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Old Thursday 10th April 2008, 16:46   #13
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Hi bkrownd nice to hear from you I haven't been to the NWR north of La Crosse, WI along the Mississippi but have been to La Crosse several times.

I love the landscape in that area and it's breathtaking during the fall colors

Do you have any highlights to share regarding the area you speak of, would enjoy it.

I have been to Wyalusing (along the Mississippi River also) and Interstate State Parks and planning on returning hopefully this spring.
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Old Thursday 10th April 2008, 20:29   #14
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I go to La Crosse every year for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately that coincides with hunting season, limiting my outdoor options a lot. I spend a lot of time in the woods near my grandmother's house, but they don't let me drive their cars anywhere more interesting. Frankly, they're a bit upset that I don't spend all week parked in front of the television with the rest of the couch potatoes of the family. Fortunately I do have one cousin who also likes to go outdoors a lot, so we escape the television trance together. I think about seeing a new area every year that I go there, but never get to. I'd love to try a new area and see something different this year. Crossbills, siskins, a new sparrow...something I've never seen before.
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Old Friday 11th April 2008, 14:43   #15
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Hi bkrownd enjoyed your response once again. I'm with you on the tv

watching... to much to do and see for that waste of my time

I do understand about the hunting season also; I like to hike the woods in fall and I never seem to know exactly what season is what except for deer.

I did find a couple web sites you might find interesting regarding Wisconsin and area of LaCrosse.

On this first site I'll list, as you look to the left of page, one can find just
about anything of interest for the entire state. We have trails, state parks, state natural areas all to explore and observe birds and wildlife.

http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/


http://lacrosseriverstatetrail.org


Here's hoping you will be able to find something of interest when you visit during Thanksgiving this coming year and hope you and your cousin can get out there in nature.

Have a great day
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Old Saturday 15th November 2008, 18:20   #16
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hey all here is a good forum for wisconsin birders, good members.

http://www.birdingwisconsin.com
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Old Sunday 16th November 2008, 04:06   #17
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thanks...very timely, since I'll be there soon. (please good weather, please good weather, please good weather....)
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Old Monday 17th November 2008, 21:17   #18
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Siskins , Crossbill , Redpool , Hummingbird and Gray Jay recently reported in Wisconson here :

http://birdingonthe.net/mailinglists/WISC.html
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Old Monday 17th November 2008, 21:26   #19
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Ooooh, thanks! :)
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Old Wednesday 7th October 2009, 20:57   #20
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Time to start thinking about Thanksgiving in St. Paul and La Crosse again! Last year brought a bumper crop of boreal birds in MN/WI, and I caught redpolls, crossbills and siskins during my November trip. I got a good send-off on the last day in La Crosse with a great horned owl, as well as an unexpected varied thrush. I hope 2009 is just as productive, but we've had a string of unusually good thanksgiving weather in recent years that has to break eventually.

I still need purple finch, which has eluded me for years. Snow bunting, lapland longspur or horned lark would also be nice - I'm hitting the wrong habitats for those, I guess. I didn't do my homework well enough last year and missed a Townsend's solitaire I should have easily picked up. (cousin of our 'oma'o) I can't wait to hear the wonderful sound of crows on a crisp November morning again - nothing defines Minnesota for me like bundling up for a walk filled with morning crows, frost underfoot and cloudy breaths in the stillness of the crispy clean morning air. The beep-beeps of the nuthatches are another wonderful autumny sound.
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Old Thursday 8th October 2009, 02:24   #21
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For the buntings/longspur and horned lark you need to look for small birds in mixed flocks on fields; those I remember from way back were flocks where we hit them randomly driving through the landscape and then stopping to see what they were. I remember house finch as much more common then purple.

I lived in WI for 2 years, but back mid 90ties.

Niels
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Old Friday 9th October 2009, 19:30   #22
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I'll probably have a better chance for those three while I'm in MSP with some transportation. Unfortunately while in La Crosse I'm stuck in my grandparents' outer-suburban neighborhood. They're right up against the bluffs so it isn't too bad, but not a lot of habitat variety.
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Old Monday 19th October 2009, 21:57   #23
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I am starting to gear up for my MN/WI visit mentally - checking the MN and WI bird e-mail lists, NWR tour dates, TNC volunteer dates, eBird data, etc. I started reading Helen Hoover's "A Place In The Woods". I read another of her books during last year's trip. Makes me realize how much I miss out on by not being able to live in the places where I do my outings. Just appearing for the day here and there doesn't properly connect you to nature - living out there would give an entirely different perspective. I would love to have a place in the boreal forest and no work to distract me from the experience of being there. :)
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