Wisconsin: Spring Warbler Migration field trips starting, May 11th, 2015

Whooping cranes

Whooping cranes

Birding Wisconsin, with its many wet habitats, is a great experience during spring migration
May 11th to May 15th., 2015
This is a small group field trip limited to four participants for each trip.
YBT uses small, comfortable vans.

YBT – Wisconsin 2013 Sighting list 163 species

If you need to add warblers to your life list this is a good trip to see 20 plus warblers. The 2013 field trips observed 24 species of warblers. This five-day field tour will also provide birders with opportunities to experience a touch of America’s conservation history, with visits to the boyhood home of John Muir and Aldo Leopold’s home in the Baraboo Mountains of central Wisconsin.  Also included in the field trip is a visit to the International Crane Foundation breeding and visitor center.  The Mississippi Flyway, as it cuts through Wisconsin, is an overlooked birding opportunity for California Birders seeking Neotropical spring migrants.  We’ll witness spring migration during its peak period, with many species in full breeding plumage.  Bring your camera to take advantage of the many photo opportunities this field trip will provide.

Day 1, Monday May 11th -7 AM hotel pick-up at the Best Western Milwaukee Airport 

The tour begins with birding in Milwaukee, exploring the city’s walking paths along Lake Michigan, stopping to bird the lakefront beaches for Piping Plover, scoping the Coast Guard breakwater for loafing gull species, and visiting a wonderful string of lakeside parks to seek Eastern Bluebird, Purple Martin and newly arrived Blue-headed and Red-eyed Vireos. We will close the day with a visit to Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center to use their three-story birding tower to watch the evening Chimney Swifts. We will all dine together for both lunch and dinner on Milwaukee east side at one of several organic restaurants.

Day 2, Tuesday May 12th

We’ll bird Harrington Beach State Park, one of Wisconsin’s oldest and most beautiful state parks, in search of Franklin’s Gulls, Bonaparte’s Gulls, and Wood  Warblers. We’ll stop at the Wisconsin Lake Michigan Raptor Observatory, where we’ll view migrating raptors in volumes equal to our GGRO in the Marin Headlands. As we bird our way through the Wisconsin hardwood forests to Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area, we’ll look for the Northern Waterthrush.  A drive brings us to Horicon Marsh, North America’s largest freshwater cattail marsh, found here in central Wisconsin. This is a birder’s paradise; we’ll search for Black Tern, White-rumped Sandpiper, and Pectoral Sandpiper, as well as more neotropical migrants including Baltimore Oriole, Flycatchers, Palm Warbler, and Indigo Bunting and possible Rusty Blackbird..

Day 3, Wednesday May 13th

We’ll visit the International Crane Foundation in the morning, where we’ll see Whooping Cranes.  We’ll not only enjoy its many birding trails—seeking Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Rusty Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow, and Louisiana Waterthrush—but we’ll also explore the comprehensive offerings in their superb bookstore.  In the afternoon, we’ll visit Aldo Leopold’s Home and Conference Center and search the hardwood forest and grasslands for Veery, Wood Thrush, Mourning Warbler, Hooded Warbler, and Canada Warbler.

Day 4, Thursday May 14th

We will drive to the very productive Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, located in north central Wisconsin. The refuge has over 250 species on record.  We’ll spend the day seeking Trumpeter Swan, Broad-winged Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Acadian Flycatcher, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak, then dine and spend the night nearby. 

Day 5,  Friday May 15th

On our way back to Milwaukee, we will stop to bird John Muir’s boyhood home, now a National Monument where we may see Red-headed Woodpecker, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Pine Warbler.  We’ll stop at Grand River Marsh seeking the Ovenbird and Wood Thrush. We’ll check our total sightings over dinner and enjoy a night’s rest before leaving for our scheduled May 10th flight home.

Trip begins Monday, May 5th with 7AM  Milwaukee Airport Best Western hotel pickup; it concludes at the same hotel on Friday, May 9th.  with dinner and drop at your hotel across from the Milwalkee Airport.  Plan to have a closing dinner together Friday evening if you can.  Week Two (May11–15th) has the same schedule. Yellowbilled Tours will forward a Final Itinerary and Participant List to everyone about 3 weeks prior to the tour. It will include information and instructions for meeting the YBT Birding group at the Milwaukee Airport, as well as hotel addresses, emergency contact info, travel advisories, etc.

$1,550.00 cost includes all lodging, ground transportation, fuel and park entry fees. Airfare or meals not included.
Registration is open and confirmed with registration form and  $775.00 deposit.
Balance of $775.00 is due March 20th for both trips. If a participant cancels after balance is paid every effort will be made to find a suitable replacement.  During any search for a replacement person, $100 per search week will be charged against your deposit up to $775.00. If you cancel, I will encourage you to help me find your replacement. If a replacement cannot be found, all payments will be forfeited to Yellowbilled Tours.

Last-minute trip cancellation by your tour leader would occur only in the event of unforeseen weather emergency or a family tragedy.  In this case a 100% refund will be issued.

For questions, please contact: Rich Cimino 925-353-0266, or by e-mail at Yellowbilledtours@gmail.com



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