Saturday, September 24, 2011

Cliff Swallows and more from Spring Green, WI

Barn and farmland from Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home property in Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
Val and I visit Spring Green every summer to see plays from the wonderful outdoor theatre, American Players Theatre ( ). This summer we decided to make a long weekend of our visit when we saw three plays in three consecutive evenings. During the day, we visited many attractions in the area: Tower Hill State Park, House on the Rock, Taliesin ( home of and Architect School founded by Frank Lloyd Wright ), and try to get some birding in to boot. It is a beautiful part of Wisconsin, complete with rolling hills, farmland, stone cliffs, woodland, parks, and quaint towns.

A BIF of a Cliff Swallow, Wisconsin River near Helena Marsh, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
Between birding in Tower Hill State park, Helena marsh, and the grounds of Taliesin and the Spring Valley Hotel (which is a great little hotel in a beautiful rural setting not far from the American Players Theatre), I managed a few decent photos. Among the birds I was able to identify were Chipping Sparrows, Song Sparrows, House Sparrows, Northern Rough-winged Swallows, Mourning Doves, House Wren, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Cliff Swallows (Above), Barn Swallows, Baltimore Orioles, Gray Catbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Wood Peewee, American Robins, Crows, Goldfinches, Chickadees, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, White-breasted Nuthatches, and a Great Blue Heron.
A juvenile Cliff Swallow, Helena Marsh, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
Another Cliff Swallow, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.

A Northern Leopard Frog, Helena Marsh, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.

Beautiful summer colors in Helena Marsh, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
I am not sure what the sign submerged in the water said , but what is visible is " ... --- Carefully In --- Zones..." Wouldn't it be ironic if it said "Drive carefully In Flood Zones." Helena Marsh, WI; 7/1/2011.
As I was searching out birds Helena Marsh near the Wisconsin River shoreline, I noticed a sign lying in some shallow water off the side of the gravel road we were on. I couldn't quite make out what the sign said, but it seemed like a possible interesting story. I looked further for a submerged automobile, but couldn't find one - maybe it was underneath the sign.

A young Mourning Dove on the trail in Tower Hill State Park, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
While hiking in Tower Hill State Park, near Spring Green, we saw a flightless bird (Above) trying to escape to safety when we almost stepped on it on the trail. I wasn't sure immediately what it was, but after some research, concluded it was a young Mourning Dove that either fell out of its nest or made its initial flight out of the nest but wasn't strong enough to go any further. There was a 100 foot cliff next to the trail that was the most likely origin of its nest  I hope it learns to fly quickly otherwise it will surely become a meal for a local fox or badger.

More wildlife from Helena Marsh, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
A Chipping Sparrow, on the grounds of Spring Valley Hotel, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.
A Song Sparrow on the Taliesin grounds, Spring Green, WI; 7/1/2011.

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