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Subject:Fwd: Swainson's Hawk, Goodhue Cty
From:Laura Coble <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Laura Coble <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 12 Sep 2010 19:00:15 -0500

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Laura Coble <>
> Date: September 12, 2010 6:58:10 PM CDT
> To:
> Subject: Swainson's Hawk, Goodhue Cty
> Today I went to Dakota Cty Spring Lake Park, visiting both the lower park and Schaar's Bluff for migrants.  It was an exceptionally beautiful day for a bird hike, though I saw very few new warblers or other migrants.  I met up briefly with Jim Mattson, who spotted a Common Nighthawk as we were talking.  I enjoyed seeing other nighthawks off and on, flying among the gulls high overhead, throughout the early afternoon.  I also saw large flocks of American White Pelicans, always fun and lovely to watch, flying in the thermal updrafts.    
> About 3 pm, I returned to Cannon Falls on Dakota Cty 85.  After turning east on Dakota Hwy 86, I entered  Goodhue Cty as the highway turns southeast, and  I spotted a raptor on the SE side of the road, flying in a slight "V".  It was light underneath, with dark flight feathers.  I turned around, and went back to watch an adult Swainson's Hawk for about 10 minutes, hunting in a relatively small field, even though the field was being mowed. There is a "Land For Sale" sign posted, and this area is part of the Cannon Falls industrial park.  
> At first I was amazed that the large field mower didn't bother the bird a bit, but when I got home, I found a video on YouTube that showed a Swainson's Hawk doing exactly the same thing, probably to take advantage of whatever prey is found in the newly-mown grass.  The hawk flew and floated in the wind, back and forth, occasionally hovering above the field, and I had great looks at it.  It finally flew south, and out of sight.  
> This is the second Swainson's Hawk I've seen in MN.  The other one was originally spotted by Jim Otto in early June on Wild Turkey Rd., which is also in Goodhue Cty on one of my breeding bird blocks.  The hawk was seen again a month later by me (a life bird at that time), and several days later by Diana Doyle and Susan Plankis.  I recently returned from Colorado and western NE, where I had seen many Swainson's Hawks, but I didn't expect to see another one so soon--especially in my "back yard"!
> Laura Coble

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