[Mnbird] Fish Lake Nature Trail birds, Anoka C; Red-headed Woodpeckers, Common Raven

linda whyte birds at moosewoods.us
Sun Jun 14 19:30:22 CDT 2020

We finally paid a visit to this area, which is part of the Cedar Creek
EcoScience Reserve. We were hoping to see Red-headed Woodpeckers there, and
were certainly not disappointed, with close sightings of at least 4,
possibly 6, of them.
The trail entrance cuts through a small section of prairie, which offered
looks at Meadowlark among the prairie flowers. A Grasshopper Sparrow was
heard there too, despite the high winds, and Eastern Bluebirds as well
Following the trail west around the lakeshore gave access first to oak
savannah where the woodpeckers were, and then to the wet meadows and marsh
on parts of its border. On the lake was a pair of Trumpeter Swans with 5
cygnets. In the meadows a Sandhill Crane reared its head briefly, and we
watched as what we finally decided was a Red-shouldered Hawk perched
astride a low shrub, eating a small rodent.  Common Yellowthroats and
Yellow Warblers occupied the meadow and marsh edges, and in more wooded
sections there were Brown Thrashers and Red-eyed Vireos.
On the west end of the lake, by gate 8, a tanger voice sang briefly. It
sounded smoother than Scarlet, and more complex in pattern, but it gave us
no views to determine if it was a Summer. It seemed to retreat eastward.
The most surprising voice, however, was one very familiar from many days
spent up north, the Common Raven. That raucous croak could be heard all the
way across the water when we reached the lake. It was coming from trees on
the west shore, and soon we saw  a large corvid being hassled by a
Red-winged Blackbird. It happened a couple of times, and left us wondering
if nest-raiding was the provocation.
Due to the presence of bison, some of the other trails to the south were
closed, so this area will need a visit another day--perhaps when migrators
move again.
Linda Whyte
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