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|Noel's Quad 30 Journal|
Wednesday, June 23rd
The windshield wipers were on as I left Iron Mountain at 3:45 am, and I could see lightning to the south, but as I hoped, that thundershower slid east by the time I arrived at the starting point at a bridge over the Pike River. I like this route - it's less wild than Amberg but more diverse. The day's species count ended at 76, with 2 new species for the day at stop 50 - Baltimore Oriole and Field Sparrow. A full third of these species were represented by only a single individual, with 5 being sparrows - clay-colored, field, vesper, grasshopper, and swamp.
A hummingbird feeder at one stop hosted a swarm of 4 birds vying for a feeding port. As is usual for this route, the Red-eyed Vireo ruled supreme with 64 individuals. I was unable to pick out a yellow-throated among these vireo songs but 3 blue-headeds were distinguished. A Wood Duck and a Golden-crowned Kinglet were added to the cumulative list for the route.
With 4 of the 5 Wisconsin routes completed, I need 3 new "Wisconsin" species on my last count (Saxeville) to hit the targeted number of 115. Tomorrow's Crystal Falls, MI route comes close to a couple of We Energies' hydroelectric facilities where I've been conducting ecological studies for more than 15 years.
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