Thursday, January 18, 2018

BIRD COUNT UPDATE

As is with many who post, an amazingly long time since my last one. 5 new birds to tally since my 300th but still only at 304 due to the loss of the Thayer's Gull which got lumped in with the Iceland Gull. On December of 2015, I found my first Short-eared Owl. The only owl common to Minnesota that I need to see now is the Boreal Owl. As of this post there is an irruption of them which seems to happen every 5-7 years. I got late info of one being seen at Lake Vadnais County Park. I arrived 3 days too late. The next life bird I saw was a Barrow's Goldeneye at Mississippi River Park by the old K-Mart in Anoka. Speculation that this was a hybrid bird but not conclusive enough for me so I counted it for my list. Next was a beautiful Mountain Bluebird that I took two cracks at. The first time Melinda was with me and we ran into Doug Kieser; one of the good birders from Minneapolis. Here is a photo of the bird from my second attempt.


Just before the 4th of July 2016 - apropos for the time of year - I nailed the Summer Tanager. It was a trip with Melinda, her mother Selma, and our niece Olivia. While they walked through a maze of fun at the Minnesota Arboretum, I patiently stalked the bird and finally - just before needing to leave, I heard and was drawn to this beauty.


And finally as the reason for my posting - it was on January 16 of this year, one day after my father-in-law Ivan's birthday, I tagged my 305th Minnesota Bird, also a lifer; the Northern Goshawk. I was able to get info from eBird, a birding web site that I frequent. A good deal for me because it was another local bird. I only needed to travel to Brooklyn Park's Oak Grove Park for this hard to find winter migrant.


Now currently at 451 North American Birds; 472 total - including my birds seen in Germany.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

11 New Life Birds found in Alaska

The trip to Alaska was outstanding. As my brother-in-law stated, "Alaska is majestic."
I found 11 new life birds. Including my new birds from Germany, my life list is now at 463.
Here's the list of new birds:

1.   Pacific Loon
2.   Mew Gull
3.   Gyrfalcon
4.   Arctic Tern
5.   Northwestern Crow
6.   Pigeon Guillemot
7.   Horned Puffin
8.   Tufted Puffin
9.   Black-legged Kittiwake
10. Common Murre
11. Black Oystercatcher


I got photos of all of these birds but I will only attach a few of the better ones (including some birds I have seen before).


Black Oystercatcher

Arctic Tern

Common Murre

Glaucous-winged Gull

Harlequin Duck (male)

Horned Puffin (in flight)

Mew Gull

Pacific Loon

Pigeon Guillemot

Steller's Jay


300 Club - My 300th Minnesota Bird


I was glad to get this bird (my 300th) because I didn't want this goal to lag on until summer.

God Bless

Thursday, May 14, 2015

299 Means 1 Away from the 300 Club

On April 25th, 2015 I drove (for the 2nd time) to a small town called Brook Park, Minnesota.
It was a friend of Betsy Beneke's that reported a Western Tanager in her yard. I skipped Men's Bible Study to nab my 299th Minnesota Bird Specie. Since that time, I have missed on a Prairie Warbler, a Summer Tanager, and the Ruff that was seen at Bass Ponds for over 8 days. I missed it by 1 day. I also (prior to seeing the Western Tanager) missed a Cinnamon Teal by 2 hours. 300 will come soon. Plans are to head up to Felton Prairie to look for the nesting Chestnut-collared Longspur. That will complete the mission. 

Western Tanager

Sunday, January 4, 2015

NOW 2 AWAY




COMMON EIDER WITH 2 NORTHERN PINTAIL DUCKS
Happy New Year!!!

What a great way to start the new year of 2015 with a new bird. On New Year's Day I bagged the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. Didn't get a photo but got great diagnostic looks with all sorts of other birders mulling around the residence in Hastings, Minnesota. That made 296. 

Today I just got back from an MOU birding trip in the Duluth area. No new birds on Saturday, but after a fine rest with my good friends John and Virginia Tuttle, I was ready to go Sunday morning. Our group spent 30 minutes in the freezing cold daybreak waiting for the skulking Golden-crowned Sparrow. At first only a White-throated Sparrow showed up, but then ... excellent looks at the Golden-crowned. As I viewed the faint gold stripe running down the bird's head, a women from our group also ID'd it. She is from California and has them in her yard all the time. That put my MN life list at 297. We ended the day just before lunch north of Duluth. Tracked down a Ruffed Grouse and got some nice photos - then our guide Kim Eckert found a Hoary Redpoll. That bird had been eluding me for quite a few years. Not today - with photos to prove it. Hoary Redpoll is my 298th Minnesota bird. Now 2 Away from the 300 Club!

God Bless


HOARY REDPOLL
FEMALE EVENING GROSBEAK ON LEFT - PINE SISKIN ON RIGHT


BLACK DUCK IN FLIGHT

NORTHERN HAWK OWL
BOREAL CHICKADEE


SNOWY OWL (tagged)

RUFFED GROUSE

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A QUICK NON BIRD NOTE

A FEW PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN VIEWING MY 2014 CALENDAR AND IT APPEARS THAT THE WEB SITE HAS CLEARED THE WAY FOR 2015 CALENDARS. SO THE ONLY WAY TO NOW VIEW MY 2014 CALENDAR (OTHER THAN LOGGING INTO MY ACCOUNT) IS TO BE DIRECTED BY A LINK. THAT LINK IS BELOW IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN SEEING IT.

THANKS - SKY THE BIRDMAN



Saturday, November 15, 2014

AN UNBELIEVABLE DAY

I didn't think it would happen but I managed to get another new bird today, making it 9 new Minnesota Life Birds for the year. I hope to get 5 more next year; finally reaching the 300 Club. My wife Melinda was with me for my last 3 new birds. 

What a fun and unbelievable day as we took off this morning from Anoka - headed for Duluth - all for a chance to see a rare duck that hasn't been seen in Minnesota since 1966. After a quick phone call and even quicker chat with some fellow birders milling around the Beacon Point Condos, Melinda and I headed down the lake walk toward downtown Duluth for a chilly stroll. The sun was out in Duluth (unlike in Minneapolis/St. Paul), but the wind was cold coming off of the lake. It was less than 30 minutes when another birder on the walk spotted 2 diving ducks with his scope. They were swimming south toward downtown Duluth so we hurried along the path - trying to be careful not to slip on the ice. Melinda and I had great views with our binoculars but I set up my spotting scope anyway to get great views of 2 juvenile Common Eiders. 

Common Eider

The attached photo is a bit dark as I had much back lighting from the sun. However, the photo proves diagnostic as you can see the very distinctively long bill with sloping forehead. The long bill extends almost to the eyes. Thank you Lord for making this quite the adventure. Success in finding a new bird and safe travel to and from Duluth. Thank you. Thank you.