||Observation (Click on links for photos)
||We had some
record high temperatures in northeastern Wisconsin on April 15 and
16, but we also had measurable snowfall on 5 days for a total of 7.5
inches (and a trace of snow on 4 more days). April showers may in
fact bring May flowers, but I don't think they had snow showers in
mind when that phrase was coined. Here's a graph
of the April 2002 high and low temperatures and the average
highs and lows for each day.
Manitowoc County, Cooperstown area (Joel Trick).
||Winter storm for
northcentral Wisconsin, Elcho had 20 inches(!) and others in the area
in excess of 12 inches. Green Bay received only a trace of snow and
0.47 inches of rain.
The first Big White
Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) I've seen (just one)
with fully opened flower, Baird Creek Parkway (Gary Fewless).
Wild Ginger (Asarum
canadense), Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense)
and Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris)
UWGB (Gary Fewless).
Ovenbird and Wood
Thrush, Rock County (Andy Paulios).
Numerous flocks of double-crested cormorant migrants,
Door County, Rowley's Bay, 25th and 26th (Joel Trick).
Pectoral sandpipers, Brown County (wisbirdnet).
A serious snow flurry
this morning about 9 a.m., City of Green Bay (Gary Fewless).
Solitary sandpiper on our pond in evening,
Manitowoc County (Joel Trick).
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow,
Rusty blackbird, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ruby and Golden-crowned
Kinglets, Spotted Sandpiper, Palm Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Brown
Thrasher, Swamp Sparrow, Bay Beach Wildlife
Sanctuary and Barkhausen Waterfowl Preserve, Brown County (Dave
(Betula papyrifera) and Norway
Maple (Acer platanoides) in flower on UWGB. Both had
been close since last week, but flowers not fully open until today.
The following trees and shrubs have "leafed
out" to the point where they are giving a green cast to forests
and fencerows in the City of Green Bay: American Wild Currant
(Ribes americana), Bell's Honeysuckle (Lonicera
xbella), Crack Willow (Salix fragilis), Sandbar
Willow (Salix exigua, previously S. interior),
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides).
Northern Pike in the
stream at Point Sauble (spawning). Pike have been active along the
west shore of Green Bay since about April 12, with a few noted even
earlier--I haven't been able to monitor that area closely (Gary
White Trout-lilies (Erythronium albidum)
reported in full bloom in the Madison Area; also a Spring Azure
butterfly (Andy Paulios).
A late note: The Whooping Cranes (5 ultimately,
I think) returned to Wisconsin April 18th. A
An overnight low of 28
F produced thick ice on our birdbath. Still one lone Tree
Sparrow at the feeders this morning (Gary Fewless). Here are
the April tempertures to
The first fully opened White Trout-lily (Erythronium
albidum) and Yellow Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum),
UWGB (Gary Fewless). They had been close since last week, but were
delayed by cool weather and snow.
We received 0.3 inches
of snow after midnight last night, bringing the storm's 2 day total
to 4.1 inches. Most of yesterday's snow had melted by the end of
the day today.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Madison (wisbirdnet).
Indigo Bunting, Jefferson County (wisbirdnet).
Hairy Wood Rush
(Luzula acuminata), Brown County Reforestation Camp; False
Rue Anemone (Isopyrum biternatum), UWGB (Gary Fewless).
Baby Cottontail Rabbit!,
Green Bay (Gary Fewless).
Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris),
and Early Buttercup (Ranunculus fascicularis) in flower,
Town of Scott, Brown County (Joel Trick).
Brown Thrasher, Brown County (wisbirdnet).
Green Bay received 3.8 inches
of snow in the afternoon and evening.
Tree Sparrows are nearly gone from our area
for the summer. I hadn't seen one since Wednesday the 17th, but
one appeared at our feeders today before the snowstorm. Joel Trick
in Manitowoc County had not seen one since the 14th.
Swamp Red Currant
(Ribes triste), Bristly Buttercup (Ranunculus hispidus),
Purple Spring-cress (Cardamine douglassii), Dutchman's
Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and Chinese Juniper
(Juniperus chinensis--this is planted)) in flower UWGB.
Small-flowered Crowfoot (Ranunculus abortivus) in
flower High Cliff State Park, Calumet County (Gary Fewless).
Yellow Trout Lily
(Erythronium americanum) in flower, Manitowoc County, Town
of Cooperstown (Joel Trick).
The very warm tempertures earlier in the week, and
the heavy rain yesterday caused severe flooding in Michigan's
upper peninsula. Iron River and other locations have been designated
"disaster" areas by the governor of Michigan.
(Dog Tick) out in Marinette Co, Town of Peshtigo (Dave Marks).
Cottonwood (Populus deltoides) in
flower (anthesis), UWGB (Gary Fewless). A few trees in lawns were
in flower yesterday, but the tree noted here is in a wetland. It
flowered April 25 last year, which is the average for that individual
over the last 16 years. We are averaging about a week earlier than
last year for most phenology items on UWGB--but that can change
quickly if the weather changes.
Meadow Willow (Salix petiolaris) in
flower (anthesis), UWGB; Box Elder (Acer negundo)
in flower, City of Green Bay, (Gary Fewless).
Suckers spawing in Mahon Creek (Gary Fewless)
Green Heron, Barn Swallows, City GB (wisbirdnet).
After the cold March
weather delayed development of the plants, this blast of warm air
has resulted in a very rapid sequence of events. The high temperature
on 4/15 was 84 F which tied the record, and on 4/16 the high was
83. The average high for this time of year is 54.
Here are some new species in flower on the UWGB
campus: Long-stalk sedge (Carex pedunculata), Spring
Beauty (Claytonia virginica), Prairie
Willow (Salix humilis), Slippery Elm (Ulmus
rubra), Common Horsetail
(Equisetum arvense) . Also the leaves of American Wild
Currant (Ribes americana) and Bell's
Honeysuckle (Lonicera xbella) are rapidly expanding,
to give the first faint green tone to our upland forests.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
in flower Manitowoc County (Joel Trick) and Brown County, UWGB (Gary
Broadwing Hawks noted by several people along
Lake Michigan (Andy Paulios), Waukesha County, Dane County (wisbirdnet),
Brown County (Dave Marks).
Yellow-headed Blackbird, Brown County, Sensiba
Wildlife Area (Andy Paulios).
Brewer's Blackbird, Brown County, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary
(Carex pensylvanica) in flower (dispersing pollen), UWGB (Gary
Numerous American Toads calling on Prairie
Pond, UWGB. There were a few yesterday (Gary Fewless).
Chipping Sparrow, Lakewood,
Oconto County (Steve Janke).
Forsythia in flower (cultivated) City of
Green Bay (Gary Fewless).
MyrtleWarbler, Greater Yellowlegs, both
Kinglets, Hermit Thrush, a few Loons, Pied-billed Grebes,Savannah
& Vesper Sparrows, Eastern Meadowlark, Pine Warbler,
Eagle River Area (Jim Baughman).
White-throated Sparrow, City of Green Bay
(Dave Marks) .
New in flower: Shepherd's
Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Ragwort (Senecio
vulgaris), Western Androsacae (Androsace occidentalis),
Large-toothed Aspen (Populus grandidentata), Marsh
Marigolds (Caltha palustris), American Elm (Ulmus
americana) all on UWGB campus (Gary Fewless).
The first female Red-winged Blackbirds returned
to our feeders (the males returned March 9)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
in flower, Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Yellow-rumped Warbler, Elton, Langlade County
Leopard Frogs, Spring Peepers, American Toads
calling, west shore of Green Bay, Oconto and Brown Counties (Steve
Swamp Sparrow, a coastal
wetland near Little Suamico (Steve Price).
American Toads calling!!!
Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Cook Arboretum, Janesville, Rock
County, also Chipping Sparrows. (Andy Paulios).
(Salix discolor), female aments fully open, but male aments
are not yet mature, Bellevue, Brown County (Gary Fewless).
First Chipping Sparrow
of the year, Purple Finches singing, a Common Redpoll,
and the first Turkey heard gobbling. Slate-colored Juncos
seem very abundant, as are Yellow-rumped Warblers. Fox
Sparrow, Hermit thrush, Tree swallow. Also saw
several Garter Snakes today, and a Compton's Tortoiseshell
- the first one I've seen here. Another significant first is the
first flower open on Sharp-lobed Hepatica Hepatica acutiloba.
Cooperstown Area, Manitowoc Co, (Joel Trick).
At least 8,000 Scaup, hundreds of Redheads,
Canvasbacks on Green Bay, observed from Point Sauble. Also
Cormorants, Bufflehead and Common Merganser. Sandhill
Cranes, Blue winged
and Green winged Teal, Northern Shoveler and Mallards
in the lagoon. Other
"notables": Snipe winnowing, Bald Eagle,
Eastern Bluebird, Swamp Sparrow.
Leopard Frogs in full chorus and Cicindela repanda
(a tiger beetle) active
on the beach, Point Au Sauble, Brown County (Joan Berkopec and Ron
Mourning Cloak butterfly, City Green Bay
(Mike Draney), Mourning Cloaks also at Brown County Park,
Town of Hobart, Brown Co (Gary Fewless).
Beaked Hazel(Corylus cornuta) in flower
City GreenBay, planted; American Hazelnut (Corylus americana)
in flower, Brown Co, UWGB (Gary Fewless).
Snow Trillium (Trillium nivale) in
flower, Brown County (Gary Fewless).
Forster's Tern Walworth County (wisbirdnet).
calling and Ruffed Grouse drumming repeatedly, Brown County,
Peters Marsh area near the bay of Green Bay (Gary Fewless). Speckled
alder (Alnus rugosa) is widely in flower in this area.
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
in flower (anthesis). Also Dandelion
(Taraxacum officinale), Chickweed (Stellaria media)
in flower at the base of a south-facing brick wall, all at UW-Green
Bay (Gary Fewless). Plants adjacent to south-facing walls often
flower very early because they get a heat "subsidy" from
sunlight reflected from the wall and possibly also from heat passed
directly from the building. Dandelions in the open, in lawns, etc
will probably not flower for a couple of weeks yet and the peak
of flowering in lawns is usually well into May.
Purple Martin, City
of Green Bay (wisbirdnet).
Green Darners (Odonata),
Brown Thrashers, Janesville (Andy Paulios).
American Wigeon, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged
Teal, Eastern Phoebe, Sora all seen at Point au
Sauble, Brown County (Rusty Japuntich).
Fox Sparrows, Song
Sparrows, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Antigo, WI, Langlade
Barn Swallow, Field
Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, Pectoral Sandpiper,
Madison (Andy Paulios).
Brown Creeper and Wood
frogs calling, Manitowoc County, Town of Cooperstown (Joel Trick).
Eastern Phoebe, Elton,
Langlade County (Steve Janke).
Field Sparrows, City
of Green Bay (Wisbirdnet).
Elton, Langlade County (Steve Janke).
Great Egrets back on Green Bay (Tom Erdman).
Tree Swallows, Great Blue Herons,
Green Herons and American Woodcock, Rhinelander, Oneida
Spring Peepers calling
and a big Snapping Turtle out and about, Happy Hollow
Park, Janesville, WI (Andy Paulios).
Eastern Phoebe, Manitowoc
County, Town of Cooperstown (Joel Trick).
This was the first really
spring-like day of the year. A high temperature of only 51 F
at the Green Bay weather station, but with a little sunshine it
definititely felt Spring-like (have I lowered my standards?) (Gary
Tree Swallow, Yellow-rumped
Warbler, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Point Au Sauble,
Brown County. Also Canada Geese on nest. (Rusty Japuntich).
Northern Flicker, UWGB (Dave Marks).
Garter Snake, Fonferek Glen, Brown County
Mourning Cloak butterfly, Fonferek Glen,
Brown County (Angella Sette).
First Parson spider (Gnaphosidae: Herpyllus
ecclesiasticus, a ground spider), the surest arachnid harbinger
of spring I know, City of Green Bay (Mike Draney). They show up
in houses, but not until spring is underway.
Virginia Rail and Sora
reported for Madison area (wisbirdnet).
Spring Peepers calling on Green Bay in Brown
County (Gary Fewless) and Oconto County (Tom Erdman).
UWGB (Steve Price).
Eastern Meadow Lark and Fox Sparrows,
UWGB (Dave Marks).
Earthworms on the driveway, Manitowoc County
and City Green Bay (Joel Trick).
Great Egret, Manitowoc Co, Town of Cooperstown
Ice is off Prairie
Pond, UWGB (Gary Fewless). Last year the ice was off 04/08,
but it has been as early as 02/27 (1998) and as late as 0417 (1996).
The pond froze last Fall on 12/18 so it was ice-covered for 109
days. The longest ice-covered period was 145 days in 1996/97 and
the shortest was 107 days (1997/1998). I began keeping this information
in 1996 so this is only the 6th winter for which I have data.
Fox sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit thrush,
Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Green Bay (wisbirdnet).
, Manitowoc County, Cooperstown area, (Joel Trick).
The following birds were noted in the City of Green
Bay, near the mouth of the Fox River: Double-crested Cormorants
(in large numbers), American White Pelican, Common Loon,
Tree Swallow, Fox Sparrows, and Flickers (wisbirdnet).
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon
race) at a feeder, Clintonville, Waupaca County (Steve Janke).
Brown Creeper, City of Green Bay (Vicki Medland).
New seedlings of Common
Knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) have begun to grow along
sidewalks, paths, cracks in pavement, etc., City of Green Bay (Gary
Fewless). This is the earliest annual species to become visible
in the Spring, although a few others are close, including Spotted
Touch-me-not (Impatiens biflora) in springy areas.
Belted Kingfisher, Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Painted Turtles and
Snapping Turtles active and basking, Barkhausen Wildfowl
Preserve, Brown County (Steve Price).
First report of a 13-lined ground squirrel,
Barkhausen Wildfowl Preserve, Brown County (Steve Price).
White Pelicans (7) reported at Horicon Marsh
Shawano (Joel Whitehouse).
Canada Goose on eggs,
Janesville, Rock County (Andy Paulios).
Large flock of migrant Double-crested Cormorants,
Lake Koshkonong, Rock County (Andy Paulios).
Wild Leek (Allium
tricoccum) and Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)
have initiated growth -
Claytonia leaves mostly fully developed, Allium emerged
1/2 to 1 inch, Manitowoc County, Cooperstown area (Joel Trick).
These species are in about the same status at UWGB and elsewhere
in the City of Green Bay area; Alliun canadense is also up about
an inch (Gary Fewless).
Alder (Alnus rugosa) in flower, City of Green
Bay (Gary Fewless). This is one of the earliest flowering individuals
of this species of which I am aware. Other Speckled Alder plants
I have seen are not yet in flower. The average first flowering date
for this individual has been about 03/28 over the last 17 years.
As the male catkins of Alder open, they increase in length to at least
double their winter size and they become visibly flexible. Since it
can be difficult to determine exactly when such a process is complete,
I use the dispersal of pollen as the test of flowering. If you can
reach the catkins you can tap them with your finger to see if the
yellow pollen has been released. If you can't reach them, you can
usually jar the trunk a little with your hand and watch the pollen
fly out of the catkins.
Chipmunk out, Lakewood, Oconto County (Steve
In spite of a cool night
and a few more snowflakes this morning, there were fresh earthworm
castings in muddy soil along one of the sidewalks at UWGB. These
sites get an energy subsidy from the sidewalk so this is not an
indication that earthworms are generally "up".
Tree Swallows reported in Wausau , Marathon
There is obvious swelling of the buds of many tree
and shrub species and there is new growth on some of the earlier
herbaceous plants on soil at edges and in cracks of sidewalks and
streets. Today I can see very small new leaves of Pineapple
Weed (Matricaria matricarioides) in a gravelly parking
area on the UWGB campus.
More snow during the
morning hours. March had at least a trace of snow on 20 of 31 days
and so far April is 2 for 2.
Tree Swallows, Janesville, Rock County (Andy
|Part of our April Fools day
experience this year is more snow. Development of new spring growth
will be delayed a bit.