Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grobschmidt Park

Grobschmidt Park's Mud Lake.
Grobschmidt Park's Mud Lake.
Grobschmidt Park in Franklin (map) has become one of my favorites. It's 155 acres of mostly unimproved natural area including a 4 acre "Mud Lake", 2 marshes, two wooded areas, and two prairies. The county parks department has put out a few (3) benches to sit on, a single trash can, and a sign, but other than that, it's pretty much wild.

Grobschmidt Park walking trail.
Walking trail.
 A half mile gravel path goes around the lake and once in a while you will actually see someone walking on it. If you Google the park, you'll find only a few photos, and a little bit of history. It used to be farmland belonging to the former mayor of South Milwaukee, William Grobschmidt, and his grandson Chester was also a South Milwaukee mayor. Looking at old aerial photos, the lake used to be half as big, but development in the area changed the water drainage and enlarged it. I think it's better now than back in 1963 when the only aerial photo was taken. A small plane crashed here back in the '70s and a few children drowned in the lake back in the 50's.

Mud Lake at Grobschmidt Park
Mud Lake.
For me, it's a photographic playground teaming with wildlife. Officially (per eBird), we've identified 112 species of birds (just 45 for me so far), and I've also seen muskrat, turtles, and snakes. I know there's more, just gotta find 'em! Others say they have seen some big deer early in the mornings. I've seen terns, gulls, and herons pull out some nice fish, but few people fish here.

So, today I spent most of my time poking around the larger marsh. My point and shoot was giving me trouble, so no new audio clips today, however I did see this Swamp Sparrow who was making quite the racket. Others could be heard as well, but they were staying well hidden.
Swamp Sparrow at Grobschmidt Park
Swamp Sparrow

Along the walking path, this American Goldfinch 
was happily showing off his colors.

American Goldfinch at Grobschmidt Park
American Goldfinch

... and back by the lake, I just caught this Wood Duck flying away (they spook so easily), but I was so focused on getting a shot of him, I didn't even see this Great Blue Heron perched on this bird house! Another heron was hanging out with the geese out on the island, along with a bunch of turtles and a single sandpiper (not seen here).

Wood Duck and Great Blue Heron

Canada Geese and Great Blue Heron.

Overall , it was a quiet day, but the Swamp Sparrow was a new bird for me, so that made it all worth while. Hopefully, I'll get my point and shoot working again and get some more audio clips and who knows what all. Happy shooting!

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