Monday, April 8, 2019

JUNE 22ND, 2018

Now I know that I am getting older. I go to post a new entry to my blog and I find that they have changed things up and I can't quite (not yet anyway) figure out how to convert my old blog to this new one. But I did manage to get this far so here we go. And I will try to import my old blog into this one when I figure it out.

3 new MN birds since my last entry. None of the 3 are Life Birds but all are new to the Minnesota list. After a fun trip to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota I found that the Fridley Northern Mockingbird was still hanging around. With the help of Doug Kieser and Paul Budde I got Minnesota bird #305. Then shortly after that, I made a trip to Woodbury, MN for an easy Ruddy Turnstone (bird #306) and then another easy bird at Afton State Park; the beautiful Yellow-breasted Chat. My Minnesota list now stands at 307. I am in a new attempt and that is to see all the "regular" Minnesota species of which there are 315. I need only 19 more but this may take some time. Stay tuned for another interesting quest. The Quest for 315.

JULY 7, 2018

Today, July 7th, Melinda and I were supposed to go visit my sister Patricia and her husband John at their new condo in Bloomington. My sister wasn't feeling well so Melinda asked if I wanted to go look for a new bird. That's a dumb question, I thought. I always want to go look for new birds. But I balked at first, thinking that it would end up just another long drive to Dundas, Minnesota to try for the Swainson's Hawk and then not see it. I was even more skeptical being that we wouldn't be there until after 11am. Well, we arrived about 11:20 am and drove down a few dirt side roads; the roads in the area where the bird has been spotted as of late. We were just about to drive on out of the area when we spotted a large raptor flying in the eastern sky. As we were looking at it, another raptor came out of no where; flying overhead toward our vehicle. We both got out our binoculars and we were both surprised to see that it was one of my nemesis birds; the Swainson's Hawk. The photo posted is not the best but based on the field markings, it was clearly the bird in question. It was also clearly being chased by a Red-winged Blackbird. The Swainson's Hawk was a Lifer for me, making my North American Life List 459 species. 480th bird if you include my birds from Germany. The hawk was added to my Minnesota list which now stands at 308. I have now seen 297 of the 315 Minnesota Regular Bird Species. 18 to go!!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


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


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




SNOWY OWL (tagged)