It’s been forever since I posted on my blog–terribly long. I had my camera equipment stolen in early March, which took me a bit out of commission, but I have most of it back now, so I’m back in the swing of things, though I haven’t done any blog posts at all in April.
Anyway, yesterday my father and I decided to visit Lake Mills Park. I’ve only been there a couple times, and I’ve never had any luck there.
However, a friend of mine found a Summer Tanager there a couple days ago, and I need that for my year list, so we gave it one more try.
The most obvious thing to check out there is the walk from the parking area to the lake. This is the only area I’d explored before, and perhaps that’s why I haven’t been too successful there. There were surprisingly few birds there, though there were lots of Northern Parula in the trees. It was fun to see a Bald Eagle, a Great Blue Heron and a Great Egret flying over the lake.
Unless you do some exploring, you might never find the extensive boardwalk area. I finally found it during this past visit and walked through it. It’s swampy, green, and simply gorgeous. Much of it follows a little stream, and I would think it would have been a good place for a Louisiana Waterthrush a few weeks ago. We heard one Ovenbird calling and several Northern Parula, Red-eyed Vireos and even a Blue-headed Vireo singing. I was also surprised to find a Ruby-throated Humminbird and Baltimore Oriole there. Damselflies were all over the place. Most all of them were Ebony Jewelwings.
After wondering through the boardwalk system, we stumbled upon the campground, which was in more of a pine forest type habitat. There were several singing Pine Warblers there, a Black-and-white Warbler, a White-eyed Vireo, and several Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers.
We didn’t find our target bird until we were leaving. We decided to look across the street from the entrance into an open, grassy field. It looked like it might be good for bluebirds. Then we heard the Summer Tanager singing. In all we had about 37 species there in a couple hours, but I suspect there’s much more to be found here.
This may be my first “successful” trip to this park, but hopefully it will not be the last. This park is gorgeous, and it seems to have lots of potential–suburban park, pine forsest, bay swamp, and lake habitats all in one place.
That seems to be a recipe for successful birding.