Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter Birds Part 1

Exploring the Sax-Zim Bog on Saturday was really a treat. This is an annual excursion with a couple of good friends and even though the temps were low the sun was out and there wasn't much wind. We're lucky here in Minnesota in that we don't have to go very far to see some great birds. All the better if the birds come south and meet us half way. For example, there is word of a big number of Great Gray Owls in Roseau County (almost 60 in one part of the county).
 The most common bird of the day were all the Common Redpolls, especially at the feeder stations. I'm sure that there was the possibility of Hoary Redpolls being present but I just didn't get a good enough look to make the call.
There has been a pretty good movement of redpolls into the southern part of the state and I have had both redpolls and Pine Siskins at my feeders at home most of the winter.
 Along Blue Spruce Road there is a feeder station that is famous with birders. This is the spot to see several northern specialties all in one place. The Pine Grosbeaks were around but were a bit jumpy. In spite of that we had good looks.

We did see a couple of Evening Grosbeaks at this same feeder but their numbers are a bit lower than we've seen in the past. Most of the individuals we saw were either females or juveniles.
This is the best shot of an Evening Grosbeak that I got. Way back in the day, this used to be one of the most common species at feeders during the winter. Now it takes a lot of work to see any.

Tomorrow, more from the bog.

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