Sunday, January 11, 2009
Birding on a Winter Day
After the last few days of talking about genetics and odd birds, I thought I'd take advantage of the break in the clouds this afternoon and go down to the Minnesota River Valley to see what I could turn up. In spite of it being about 20 degrees with an increasing wind, I was able to see some nice birds. The Northern Shrike above was sitting in a tree along the edge of the parking lot looking for a meal. I was surprised at the number of American Robins that were around and how vocal they were. Most of the ones I saw were near open water or in the Buckthorn trees, eating berries.
The Trumpeter Swans were in their usual place and didn't seem to mind several birders watching them from the shoreline. This family group was at the west end of Blackdog Lake. The Belted Kingfisher that was there last week wasn't around today.
The river valley always has a number of wintering Bald Eagles that are easy to find. This adult was in a tree on the north bank of the Minnesota River and there was another individual sitting on top of one of the power line supports that crosses the lake. The best bird of the day, a Rough-legged Hawk, got away before I could get a good photo of it.
The forecast is for some snow tonight and then very cold temperatures for the next several days. Keep those feeders full!