Blackbirds were on the move this morning at Chaska Lake MVNWR. I estimated around 500 of mainly Red-winged in 2 large flocks flying low heading southwest. It looked like the flocks were coming in for the morning, as small numbers landed. 8 Rusty Blackbird landed near me, and I'm pretty sure I saw a few Rusty in the more sparse rear of the blackbird flocks. Otherwise stragglers this morning were 6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 5 Golden-crowned Kinglet, 3 Orange-crowned Warbler, 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a Hermit Thrush. Some more American Tree Sparrow were back around Chaska Lake, another sign of winter. Other sparrows seen were Song, Swamp, Fox, White-throated, White-crowned, and Junco. On the lake were 7 Trumpeter Swans and 11 Cackling Geese(with Canada, no other ducks though)
I think a large chunk of the sparrows left between Tuesday and Thursday. Spring Peeper Meadow and the North Star Trail were swarming with Junco, White-throated, and Fox Sparrow on Tuesday, but Thursday they were hard to come by even Junco. Similarly on Tuesday I counted at least 18 Golden-crowned Kinglets in Spring Peeper Meadow and the forested edges, but on Thursday there were only a couple. There was an adult Nashville Warbler in the meadow on Thursday to my surprise following an Orange-crowned.
Bluebirds have been quite numerous this fall. In many cases these past few weeks I have seen 5-10 wherever I go. Yesterday at Carver Park there was a loose flock of around 32, and this morning there were 5 at Chaska Lake and 8 at Chevalle wetlands. Otherwise there were a few lingering Tree Swallows at Lake Hazeltine and still a couple Great Blue Herons at Chevalle.
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