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Subject:birding about the metro
From:Steve Weston <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Steve Weston <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 20 Apr 2010 10:20:10 -0500

I have gotten out a few times and have been birding regularly at 60mph, which occasionally leaves me with the dilemma of whether to exit the freeway and turn around for another look.  I saw a Cooper's Hawk perched on a lamp post on H-169 the other day.  It was so unexpected that it took me several miles to figure out.

I was working on the house banging around a wood duck house.  I figured that after I accidentally bumped the house with ladder that it was unoccupied.  I was wrong and a frightened wood duck came flying out when I peeked in.  She was ontop of at least 20 eggs.  I didn't check out the other boxes.  I hate to disturb them and I am too clumsy to approach them without sending them running.  I watched as one woody tried to get into a box and was rebuffed by a red squirrel that has taken up residence.  I have to try and fix its access point.  The woody then chose a different house and a gray squirrel exitted.  all the houses were empty, cleaned, and repaired a couple of weeks ago.

Hiked in Spring Lake Park on Saturday and saw a Merlin, Hermit Thrushes, lots of Ruby-crowned Kinglets. lots of Yellow-rumps.  The Chipping Sparrows and Field Sparrows were on territory in numbers.  Bloodroot, Ductchman's Britches, Violets, and Bellwort all in bloom.

On Sunday I visited Lake Byllesby and found 9 species of waterfowl, Pelicans, both Yellowlegs, 29 Pectoral Sandpipers, a Dunlin, Killdeer, a Black-bellied Plover (I think), Bonnapart Gulls, and a Red-shouldered Hawk. Habitat is great for shorebirds.   At nearby Randolph Industrial Park (H-56 & 284th St.) both Meadowlarks were singing.  The Easterns were on the eastern side of the park and the Westerns were on the other side.  Not much else there besides Cowbirds and Kestrels.

Sunday night we joined birds and beer and found a Woodcock at Lebanon Hills.  Chorus frogs and Toads (early this year) were singing.

Steve Weston on Quiggley Lake in Eagan, MN

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