Saturday, February 16, 2013

Havenwoods Revisited (again) - 2013 GBBC

One can never get enough rejuvenating sunshine on a cold and wintry day in February... 

Yes, the temperature was a frosty 12 degrees and the windchill made it below zero, BUT the sun was brightly shining overhead as Barbara and I stepped outside Havenwoods State Forest to lead our 11:00 Adult Bird Walk.  
As is often the case with events planned far in advance; weather can be a factor.  Thankfully for the Friends of Havenwoods, the vast majority of their fun, interactive family "Winter is for the Birds" NatureFest events were planned for indoors.  

Havenwoods State Forest is located at 6141 N. Hopkins Street in the city of Milwaukee.  That's just one block west of Sherman Blvd (43rd street) on Douglas Ave.Their main parking lot was full with vehicles and folks were using the auxiliary lot a short distance away.  A multitude of "bird-activities" kept the many families busy learning about birds in a creative and educational way.  Wildlife in Need Center's Leslie Kiehl had a smallish, rescued Great horned owl named Dakota as a living example of interesting avian life.  Plus there was even an opportunity to take a horse-drawn wagon ride, or sit by a cozy wood fire outdoors.

 Properly layered in a warm blanket of winter clothing, our boots made cold-weather skrunching noises with each step in the hard-packed snow.  There had been plenty of melting and some steady rain in the past week, so slippery ice lay just beneath the fine layer of newer, fluffier snow.  This made us be extremely careful on the trails as we walked; trying not to slip and fall.  American crows were seen flying overhead and a group of pigeons erupted from a tree as they heard our approach. 

Many animal tracks crisscrossed the trails; each set having a unique tail to tell of survival in the cold.  The two of us walked our "usual" counterclockwise route that starts at the garden and ends back at the lot covering a total distance of just over five miles, in a mostly circuitous path. We were not to be joined by any other intrepid bird watching wannabes this day; more than likely due to the weather.  That was OK with us.  The sun felt great on our faces and the vigorous walk was good for the soul on this 16th of February.  

This in effect was our GBBC 2013.  Want to participate...check the link.
Birdstud Tours

Our (small but satisfying) bird list reads like this:

  1. Red-tailed hawk
  2. American Crow
  3. Rock dove
  4. Mourning dove
  5. Hairy woodpecker
  6. Black-capped chickadee
  7. White-breasted nuthatch
  8. House sparrow
  9. Blue jay
  10. American robin