[Mnbird] Christmas Bird Counts

Steve Weston sweston2 at comcast.net
Tue Dec 30 00:26:34 CST 2014

This is a busy time as I am immersed in Christmas Bird Counts.  Just
thought I would drop a short (hopefully) note on some of the counts I have
been enjoying:

12/14  Cedar Creek Bog:  This is one of the oldest Christmas Bird Counts in
Minnesota, running since 1945.  The foggy conditions of this unseasonably
warm day interfered with finding raptors perched in the distant treelines.
  But, we still found flocks of Redpolls and Siskins.  Two Redheaded
Woodpeckers were still around.  The best bird of the day was an unexpected
Tufted Titmouse.

12/20  Bloomington:  Still good weather for a walk in the woods.  Best
birds were four Brown Ceepers.

12/25:  Duluth (not the Christmas Bird Count), but my Christmas morning
bird expedition.  This is usually a trip through Sax/Zim, while the family
sleeps in, but this year it was birding in Duluth, while my wife visited
her step-dad.  With the help of Jason Cady I found the Golden-crowned
Sparrow and later the much easier Common Eider.

12/27 Hastings: This year the best bird of the count was the Eurasian Tree
Sparrow found by Drew Smith, which I have yet to try for.  On this count I
have to stop and see Jean, an 80 year-old grandmother, who doesn't get
around too fast any more.  But, her hearing is still sharp enough to be
able to hear her favorite bird: the Brown Creeper.  I always find them in
her yard and this year they did not disappoint me.  She also added a
Flicker to my list.  A little later, I saw what I thought was a Cooper's
Hawk in a tree around the block from there.  When the bird flew, I realized
it was an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk.  I turned the car around to get a
second look, then parked and grabbed my scope.  I then found a perched hawk
that I was sure was a Cooper's Hawk.  But, when I focused the scope, I
could easily see the bright white eyebrow of an immature Goshawk.  I even
got a digi-scope picture with my phone that would win no prizes, but was
clear enough to ID the bird.

more later.....

Steve Weston
On Quigley Lake in Eagan, MN
sweston2 at comcast.net
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