A seemingly ordinary roadside pull-off along the Sawbill Trail, Tofte,
today (10/17), proved to be a worthy location for a day-long survey.
At 1045, an adult Red-shouldered Hawk (RSHA) was seen joining two
Red-tailed Hawks nearby, providing some nice looks before heading
south. This was my first run-in with this species along the North
Shore for the fall. Not to be outdone, I also had a Northern Shrike
(flyby) and a handful of Bohemian Waxwings that cooperatively landed
in some adjacent vegetation, both personal firsts for the fall. The
day also featured a nice Common Raven passage, with 133 in all.
Overall, the raptor migration today was pretty impressive; the two
other counters and I had a combined total of 24 Golden Eagles. I was
fortunate enough to be positioned in the middle of a nice flight line,
which contained no less than 18 of the Golden Eagles. In fact,
today's and yesterday's (10/16 - Round Mountain, Silvery Bay) raptor
flights have been very nice. My two-day combined totals include ~550
raptors: 113 Bald Eagles, 33 Rough-legged Hawks, and 24 Golden Eagles.
I understand that today was a red-letter day at Hawk Ridge, with 18
Golden Eagles of their own, I believe. But with another batch of
Goldens still on their way - in addition to a RSHA - the very near
future would seem like an optimal time to plan a visit to Hawk Ridge.
Finch flights still have me perplexed. To make matters worse, I've
recently had Purple Finches flying both directions. On the 14th
(Knife River), I had 46 northbound, versus 70 heading south. However,
on the 16th, the situation was reversed: 295 northbound, with only 38
tallied heading south. (!?)
Finally, I noted my first two Tundra Swans of the fall, yesterday, at
St. Louis County
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