Door County, Wisconsin: Day One


I’d driven through Wisconsin once, long ago, on the way to points far west, but Monday marked the first time I’d ever set foot on Badger soil outside of an airport. I like it.

The drive north from Green Bay on that funny pointed peninsula was encouragingly rural, with small farms and fields and orchards lining the roads. Eastern kingbirds and meadowlarks ornamented the fences, and high above it all American white pelicans soared, alternating blinding white with near invisibility as they turned in the sky.

I’m staying in Bailey’s Harbor, at the Blacksmith Inn, a quiet and comfortable place right on the water. My little porch looks out at a bit of marsh, noisy with red-winged blackbirds and yellow warblers, and then on to the harbor itself, happy hunting ground for ring-billed and herring gulls and prehistoric-looking Caspian terns. The little yard attracts chipping sparrows and American robins, and a busy American redstart has her nest and her still tiny nestlings in a tree just at the corner.

American redstart nest

Dinner that first evening was in Fish Creek, an appropriate place, I thought, to have my first Great Lakes perch. The birds had the same inspiration: an adult bald eagle flew over carrying something scaled and struggling, and two black-crowned night-herons flapped past the restaurant windows hoping to catch their own in the dusk.

Here’s the complete list from the first day, if you’re interested:

June 23, 2014

Door County, Wisconsin

Canada Goose, Mallard

American White Pelican

Great Egret

Black-crowned Night-Heron

Turkey Vulture

Bald Eagle

Red-tailed Hawk


Herring Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Caspian Tern

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Downy Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Kingbird

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Barn Swallow

Tree Swallow

American Robin

Eastern Bluebird

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Yellow Warbler

American Redstart

Chipping Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Red-winged Blackbird

Eastern Meadowlark

Brown-headed Cowbird

Common Grackle

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow