(Observations by Gary Fewless unless otherwise noted)
First day for Water
Striders on Mahon Creek, UWGB.
This is the first day I have seen Crocuses
(Crocus sp.) in flower in City GB. These plants were well
away from any buildings so there were probably other plants in flower
a little earlier where located immediately against the south side
First day of flowering
(i.e. pollen is being released) for Silver
Maple (Acer saccharinum) in Green Bay.
cup fungus (Sarcoscypha coccinea)
reported in Manitowoc County (Joel Trick). It typically appears
very early in the spring and the bright red color makes it easy
to spot .
Common Snipe, Fond
du Lac County (Andy Paulios).
Tree Swallows, Eastern
Phoebe, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Common Loon, Portage
County, Stevens Point (wisbirdnet).
11 Pintails, Point
Sauble, Brown County; Several Woodcock on UWGB's Cofrin Arboretum
last night (Rusty Japuntich).
Two Black Crowned Night Herons at Voyager
Park, Green Bay (wisbirdnet). It is not clear to me whether these
birds actually left last winter (GF).
singing, Elton in Langlade County (Steve Janke).
Turkey Vulture, Navarino area, Shawano Co.
3 Eastern Bluebirds, Cooperstown, Manitowoc
County (Joel Trick).
Honey Bee and Killdeer UWGB (Tom Erdman)
Killdeer, Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Heavy, wet snow
from about 9:00-10:30 a.m. on the east side of Green Bay, turning
to cold rain, clearing and mild later.
The East river in Allouez (Brown Co) was
essentially ice-free by the end of the day, yesterday.
Two Common Loons reported back at Geneva
Lake in Walworth County; four Common Loons reported in Washington
County at Pike Lake ); one Common Loon at Patrick Marsh in
Chipping sparrow trilling,
Madison; Bluebird near Cherokee Marsh (wisbirdnet).
First report of an Eastern
Chipmunk in the City of GB (Amy Wolf), although there was a
report on March 16 from Shawano Co. It's not unusual for two early
spring events that might have occurred within a couple of days of
one another to be separated by a week or two if the weather turns
cold at just the right time to delay the second event.
calling, Gibbs Lake, Rock County (Andy Paulios).
A single Turkey Vulture seen near Milwaukee
on the 23rd and another near Madison on the 24th (wisbirdnet).
A single Common Loon on Lake Mendota, the
A Woodcock near Shawano, the 26th (Joel Whitehouse).
Robins returned to Vilas County (Jim Baughman).
||Through yesterday, the average
temperature for the month of March (24.4 F) was colder than
the average for either January (25.9) or February (27.0). The general
trend has been about the same through all three months, while the
long term averages have risen nearly 20 degrees over that time. Here's
of high, low and long term averages for Jan,
Feb and March.
||Green Bay's morning low temp
was 11 F, Rhinelander 5 F. With brisk winds the chill factor was well
below zero during the night. Heavy bird traffic at our feeders this
was treated to 3-6 inches of new snow, blowing and drifting,
and temperatures into the "teens" this morning. Springtime
in Wisconsin--you gotta love it. Snow last night and this morning
brings the total for at least a trace of snow to 15 of 20 days in
The East River in Green Bay was open at the
Baird Street bridge yesterday, but not completely open further upstream.
This blast of cold air (lows in single digits predicted for tonight)
will undoubtedly delay open water at least a few more days.
A little more snow
overnight in City of Green Bay. We have received 12.8 inches of
snow in March and there has been at least a trace of snow on
14 of 19 days. After the very cold period of March 3-5, temperatures
have been close to the averages for this season (average high for
today is 40 F and the low is 23 F). [late note: we received 2.2
inches of snow on this date, counting what fell in the evening,
singing in east Green Bay at the I-43
industrial park (Joel Trick).
Buds of Silver Maples have been swelled and
ready to flower for about 2 weeks, but the weather has not been
favorable. Willows (Salix spp.) and some Populus species
also have swelled buds (Gary Fewless).
Much of the ice on southern Green Bay is very dark
and thin and it wouldn't take much sunny, warm weather and brisk
winds to start the general breakup. However, more snow and a return
to colder temperatures is forecast for the next couple of days.
Wisconsin DNR reports that Maple sap is running,
Snowshoe Hares are turning brown and Great Horned Owl
young are hatching now. They also report that spring migration of
Canada Geese is about at peak in the Horicon Marsh area.
Enough snow overnight
to cover the lawns in City of Green Bay (0.7 inches).
1 Wood Duck, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers,
Sand Hill Cranes, Longtailed Ducks, Redheads
and many Goldeneyes in southern Green Bay. Large sheets of
ice moving with the winds and shifting the areas of open water off
Point Au Sauble (Rusty Japuntich).
Song sparrow, Grackles, Robins, Killdeer,
City of Marinette (Steve Price and Dave Marks).
Sandhill Cranes, tundra swans, northern harrier,
mergansers Oconto Co., shore of Green
Bay (Steve Price and Dave Marks).
in Ashwaubenon, Brown Co (Dave Marks).
East River at Baird St. is about half open
water; still mostly ice-covered upstream at Beaupre St. (Gary Fewless).
Many reports of Sand Hill Cranes, north to
about Brown, Shawano Counties.
Woodcock reported in Monroe County (wisbirdnet).
About 40 Tundra Swans
observed flying over the East River in Allouez, Brown Co. (Gary
Fewless). Tundra Swans also reported in Monroe, Winnebago (240++)
and Outagamie (Shiocton, 1000) Counties (wisbirdnet), and Manitowoc
Co (Joel Trick).
Song Sparrow at feeders in Allouez, Brown
Co (Gary Fewless).
Sandhill Cranes back on territory, Town of
Cooperstown, Manitowoc Co (Joel Trick).
Large flocks of Robins near Neenah, Winnebago
Killdeer in Monroe Co (wisbirdnet).
A blooming Crocus (!) adjacent to house in
Washington County (wisbirdnet).
Small areas of open
water and lots of dark ice on the East River, Allouez
Eastern Chipmunk out and about, Shawano (Joel
Whitehouse), and Manitowoc Co, Cooperstown (Joel Trick).
54 Sandhill Cranes reported in Dane Co and
an unspecified number at Waupun, Fond du Lac Co (wisbirdnet).
25-30 Tundra Swans reported in Dane Co and
about 50 at Rosendale in Fond du Lac Co (wisbirdnet).
Eastern Meadowlarks reported in Jefferson
and Walworth Counties (wisbirdnet).
Killdeer reported in Sheboygan and Dane Counties
3 Woodcock observed in courtship displays
north of Oshkosh, Winnebago Co (wisbirdnet).
apparently enjoying an increase in recent years, have been reported
in surprizingly large numbers and in numerous places in WI in recent
days (the Canada Goose is the species most often seen in WI) (wisbirdnet).
Returning Great Blue Herons reported in Jefferson,
Dane and Adams Counties (wisbirdnet).
Once again the snowcover is nearly gone in the Green
Bay area and once again tonight we are expecting a winter storm
with a difficult-to-predict mix of snow, sleet and rain (Gary Fewless).
We've had a few Red-winged
Blackbirds noted in the winter and a report of a single bird
yesterday, but so far no returning flocks reported for UWGB. The
flocks that have returned to the Green Bay area appear to be frequenting
the larger wetlands along Green Bay and the local rivers (Gary Fewless).
First returning Brown-headed Cowbirds, Manitow
Co; Red-winged Blackbirds common in the I-43 Industrial Park
on the East Side of the City of Green Bay (Joel Trick).
Two Woodcock "displaying" in the
Janesville Area, Rock County (Andy Paulios, via wisbirdnet).
Sugar Maple sap is beginning to run fast
enough to make collection worthwhile, Calumet Co.
in flower, UW-Green Bay. Last year's flowering date for this site
was March 22. The earliest flowering dates for this population were
Feb 23, 1998 and Feb 25, 2000. The population is located in a spring
that does not usually freeze in winter and therefore the plants
get an early start. Plants not growing in springs may not flower
for several weeks yet (Gary Fewless).
Large numbers of Red-winged Blackbirds reported
along the Fox River in Outagamie County (Wisbirdnet).
"Eastern Bluebird (singing male), numerous
White-throated Sparrows calling, and a Song Sparrow
singing", Dane County (wisbirdnet)
Several reports of Sand Hill Cranes in Wisconsin
including a flock of 75 entering Wisconsin in Kenosha County ,a
total of 194 in about 15 flocks passing over an observer in Jefferson
County, and others in Rock and Washington Counties (wisbirdnet).
are officially back and on territory. On
the drive from Madison to Janesville today they were present in almost
every wetland and along the roadsides as single individuals (Andy
There were at least three
observations of Turkey Vultures in Southern Wisconsin over
the weekend (wisbirdnet).
Reports of Killdeer from Dane and Walworth
Western Chorus Frogs calling in Racine County
on 03/09 (wisbirdnet).
A little rain and temperatures
into the mid 40's early (high of 48 F in GB), then very windy and
colder. Baird Creek
is at flood stage. Duck
creek is still only partially open and the East River
is still completely frozen (Gary Fewless).
Relatively large flocks of Red-winged Blackbirds
(RWBB) returned to a marsh along the East River in Allouez, yesterday.
This is about the time they have returned to this marsh in recent
years. It isn't easy to pick a return date this year since so many
birds of many species overwintered in WI this year and clearly some
mixed flocks including returning RWBB were noted in Allouez on Feb
25 (Gary Fewless).
First returning Redwings, Grackles,
Robins, Manitowoc Co (Joel Trick)
Another storm swept
through the Green Bay area last night, including thunder and
lightning and considerable rain (0.62 inches in GB). Areas in
central WI received about 3 inches of snow. Total snow depths of
6-8 inches or more are common across Wisconsin with depths of up
to 27 inches at Hurley.Warm temperatures have moved in and today's
highs are predicted in the upper 30's (Gary Fewless).
Chronic wasting disease has been diagnosed
in 3 deer from Wisconsin. It is a disease affecting the brains of
whitetail deer and Elk and is fatal for deer. It is related to Mad
Cow disease, but is believed not to be dangerous to humans. The
disease may have been introduced to the western U.S. and has only
been confirmed in WI last week.
Some people were concerned
that the very mild winter which kept Lake Michigan from icing over
this winter (even Green Bay apparently never froze completely this
year) would result in even further decline in the Lake Michigan
water levels. Periods of low later are normal for Lake Michigan,
but cause difficulties for Great Lakes shipping and for marina and
shoreline property owners. However, recent data from the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers reports that the water level fell only about
0.1 foot in February and in fact we are actually about 0.55 foot
(6.6 inches) above the level at this time last year. Water levels
normally begin to rise in March, due to the addition of spring melt
water and to greater average precipitation in March.
A report from northern Illinois of two Great
Blue Herons arriving and hanging around together--possibly a
breeding pair. Certainly there were a few GBH around late into the
winter and maybe even through, but this sounds like returning birds.
To put the recent weather
into perspective, here's a graph
of this winter's temperatures, from Nov 1 through March
5. Notice that the recent cold temperatures are by far the lowest
relative to seasonal averages, as well as absolutely the coldest
of the winter. On the positive side notice that we are well past
the annual low point for average temperatures and in fact the daily
averages are about 10 degrees F above the average high and low temperatures
in late January.
There is good reason to hope that spring is not
too far off and soon we will have more phenology items related to
returning/emerging animals and developing plants.
||This morning's low of -13
F was a record for this date, and the coldest temperture so far
||Yesterday's snowfall of 7.5
inches was the largest one day snowfall for the winter and
our total of 8.7 inches of snow for the first 4 days of March is more
than we had in the entire month of February. Our low temperature of
-6 F equals our coldest tempertature of the winter and was only
the 4th time the temperature fell below zero all winter.
|A major winter storm dumps 7.5 inches
of snow on Green Bay with peak winds out of the north at 33 mph
resulting in large drifts.