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West Bend, WI 53095

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Noel's Quad 30 Journal

Sunday, June 20th
Ishpeming, Michigan


With my take-off yesterday on the scarcity of bird life along the Herman route, I forgot to mention my breakfast spot. No expedition would be complete without one meal at a "Do Drop In" or "Dew Drop Inn" or whatever crazy spelling they come up with. Yesterday, as I hit the main road, there it was - complete with 6 pick-ups parked outside. The pancakes and coffee were pretty good, the waitress friendly, with plenty of local conversations about dogs, hunting, moose, logging, cutting hay, police, etc. Today's spot had sort of another classic name - "Peggy Sue's Cafe."

I had run the Ishpeming route about 10 years ago and still remembered the singing Lincoln's Sparrows from young jack pine stands and clearcuts and brushpiles, certainly different habitat from the black spruce bogs, the habitat that one usually associates them with. They were still there singing their beautiful songs. They don't often sing during migration in southern WI, so it is a real treat to hear them on their breeding grounds. I also remember that when I did this route previously, that as it became lighter, some of those many Chipping Sparrow songs and a few of those Pine Warblers were, to my horrors, juncos. I had never considered them a possibility - this time I was ready for them, and they were there to try and trick me once again.

Species total was 64, down about 10 species from the totals obtained during the 3 times the route was surveyed during the 1990s. I added Wild Turkey and Hooded Merganser to the route's cumulative species list. Somehow I missed Red-winged Blackbird, its first absence on a route that I've run during the Campaign. Hearing an Olive-sided Flycatcher give its characteristic song while listening to a Yellow-bellied Flycatcher give its "chebunk" song was a wonderful highlight of the morning. And then there was the snowshoe hare - read about it under the "Strange Happenings" menu item.

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