Monday, January 25, 2010

Duluth Area Birding Jan 21-24

January 21, Sax-Zim Bog

                2 NORTHERN HAWK OWLS located along County Rd 7, one at the Sax Rd. intersection on the east side of the road and the other also on the east side but a few tenths of a mile north near the power lines
                2 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS: one seen along the trail to the McDavitt Rd. feeder and the other just past the feeder in the woods
                NORTHERN SHRIKE: County Rd. 29
                3 BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE: One on Sax Rd, south side in some shrubby type stuff close to the intersection with County Rd. 7, the other two were seen on the north end of Owl Ave near the intersection of Arkola Rd. These latter two birds were seen in the same location on January 22 as well.
                BOREAL CHICKADEE: Admiral Rd. feeder
                PINE GROSBEAK: numerous locations, Arkola Rd and Owl Ave feeders come to mind
                WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS: Numerous locations, Stoney  Lake Rd., County Road 133 in Meadowlands across from the cemetery etc.
                PINE SISKINS: Most numerous as Abramson’s feeders, also many at Morse’s feeders
                PURPLE FINCH: Most numerous at Abramson’s feeders

January 22, Sax –Zim Bog

SHARP TAILED GROUSE (5) seen foraging in tops of tamaracks southside of Arkola Rd., west of Stickney Rd. in the area marked on Mike Hendrickson map “sharp-tailed grouse lek.” We confirmed via our spotting scope as they were seen at some distance and at first we’re dismissed as Ruffed Grouse.
1 GREAT HORNED OWL: Identified by the large size and ear tufts silhouetted against the night sky at 5:30 pm on the corner of Hwy. 83 and McDavitt Rd. ( I was hoping for a Great Gray)
   1 NORTHERN HAWK OWL : east side of McDavitt Rd. less than 1/10 th of a mile south of the trail to the feeding station on that road
                1 BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER: working the east and west sides of McDavitt Rd. north of the entrance to the path leading the feeding station
                2 NORTHERN SHRIKE: I don’t have exact locations recorded for this day
                2 BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE: north end of Owl Ave near the intersection of Arkola Rd.
                2 BOREAL CHICKADEE: McDavitt Rd and Blue Spruce Rd.
                PINE GROSBEAK: numerous locations, Arkola Rd and Owl Ave. and Lake Nichols Road
                WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS:Lake Nichols Rd., Poplar Rd., also seen on Prairie Lake Rd. when we drove further south to try for the Varied Thrush which did not see (we tried for an hour around 12:30-1330)
                COMMON REDPOLLS: ~ 15 on Lake Nichols Rd. (seen in a mixed flock w/ Pine Siskins) another ~50 on Poplar Rd. just north of the Kelsey intersection
PINE SISKINS: Abramson’s feeders,  Morse’s feeders and Lake Nichols Rd.
                PURPLE FINCH: Abramson’s feeders and at the Prairie Lake Rd home of the Varied thrush

January 23: Lake County

                1 Male SPRUCE GROUSE: 11:05 a.m., on Hwy 1, 10.2 miles NW of Hwy 2 intersection, gritting in the road. Good looks and lots of photos. The weather was crappy so few cars on the highway affording us the ability to stop on this road with no shoulder.
                1 NORTHERN HAWL OWL: Stoney River Forest Rd., 5.2 miles south of Hwy 1 seen at 3:50 p.m.
1 BLACK BACKED WOODPECKER: HWY 1 between the forks of the Kawishiwi River
3 BOREAL CHICKADEE: 1 on Stoney River Forest Rd; the other 2 I don’t have the exact locations recorded
                13 PINE GROSBEAK: 9440 Hwy 1, at a home north of Isabella on east of the road w/ a good feeding station (seed, suet and deer carcasses)
                12 COMMON REDPOLL: 5 on HWY 1  about .1-.2 miles south of the home with the feeding station; the additional 6 I don’t have exact location recorded
MOOSE:  WE drove Hwy 2 south in the dark and snow fall after searching for Great Gray Owls unsuccessfully. The Hwy was covered with a pure blanket of snow as we were the only car on the road making virgin tracks. My headlights picked up animal tracks of two large beasts which appeared to be running ahead the vehicle and as I slowed in curiosity, two moose, one identified as a bull crossed in front of the vehicle just north of Dempsey Creek. Not a bird sighting but definitely very cool.

January 24: Lake County

1 GREAT GRAY OWL: Yeah! Stoney River Forest Rd. perched atop 3 different black spruce trees, 5.3 to 5.5 miles south of the Hwy 1 intersection. Bird was first observed at a great distance at 8:05 a.m. via scope as we were fearful of flushing.  We approached cautiously and observed bird within 25 feet of the vehicle until 8:48 when he flew into the forest.  We had worked for this bird both on this road(2 dawns and 1 dusk) and in the Sax Zim bog (2 dawns and 2 dusks) every day of our trip, so we were delighted to find him on our last morning in MinnesotaJ Lots of pictures and video were taken.
1 NORTHERN HAWK OWL: Hwy 2,  18.2 miles north of intersection w/ Hwy 61
1 BOREAL CHICKADEE: Stoney River Forest Rd.
~40 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS: Mixed in with Robins and predominantly Cedar Waxwings near the Ore Docks in Two Harbors.
~100 COMMON REDPOLLS: Hwy 2 all over the road in the snowfall, 12.3 miles north of the Hwy 61 intersection in Two Harbors
8 PINE GROSBEAKS: Hwy 2 a few tenths of a mile south of the Redpolls

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Winter Sowing

Follow this link to the Our Little Acre blog for a nice tutorial on winter sowing of seeds requiring stratification . Very informative and easy method to start seeds. A good thing to get going on this time of year.

On another note, with 2009 behind me, I'm trying very hard to organize my thoughts and photos and actually post something of substance to my blog. Maybe by the end of today I will come up with something if I'm not too distracted by the snow or other computer distractions:)