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Subject:Great Day On the North Shore
From:Nathan Schirmacher <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Nathan Schirmacher <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 16 Oct 2009 21:00:39 -0400

    My Dad and I worked out our work schedules so that we could get today off and head to Duluth. We were able to get there by 9:30 this morning. The first good birds of the day were two strikingly beautiful male breeding plumage Long-tailed Ducks. These were seen off the boat house on the point, we then headed to park point. The beach was not very productive so we decided to park at the airport and walk to the end of Minnesota Point. Lets just say we were not thinking it would be that far... one hour later after i convinced my Dad that we should keep on going even if it was a death march we arrived at the end of the point - where within thirty seconds we had the previously reported Immature Lesser Black Backed Gull on the Minnesota Side and the Thayer's Gull on the Wisconsin Side. So we walked an hour to see two Gulls yet we were overjoyed with the fact that they were good ones. After we walked back feeling like we earned those two gulls we ate lunch at Taste of Saigon (favorite stop). Then headed up the shore to Stoney Point, where there was little to nothing until my Dad stepped towards the car. I said "SCOTORS" and pointed as four of them flew past; simultaneously I said Black and he said Surf. I realized he concentrated on the first duck which was a Surf Scotor and i was concentrating on the last three of the flock which were Black Scotors. So we were saying great day lets head up to Two Harbors and see whats up there. We arrived and nothing much was immediately seen. So we started walking on the trail. It was going pretty good until my Dad asked me if i had seen the finches that had flown across. I said Lesser Black Backed Gull as my second of the day flew past and my Dad missed it. It was an immature plumage type bird that was less than fifty yards away flying with a Adult Ring billed Gull. We headed back to the car and got in. Then I noticed a strange gull floating out in the water so i set up the scope and there was are second Thayer's Gull of the day. This bird was also in immature plumage. So altogether a Great Birding day. Question is, were the gulls worth walking two hours for, in light of the later sightings? I say most definitely always nice to find new areas and great sites. 

Great Birding to all,

Nathan Schirmacher


Mille Lacs County 

ps: I hope to see some of you tomorrow on the field trip.

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