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Subject:Sax-Zim Bog MOU trip - even more unique owls, new sightings, great times and pictures
From:Erik Bruhnke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Erik Bruhnke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 27 Mar 2011 11:43:17 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain

Yesterday I took showed 15 Minnesota birdwatchers around Sax-Zim Bog (on the
M.O.U. trip). The day started out on a high note, and kept on getting better
as the day progressed!

We met at Canal Park here in Duluth, and saw Herring Gulls, Ring-billed
Gulls (yes, I am excited to see these little guys return in numbers), as
well as some distant Common Mergansers. Just before leaving the parking lot
and heading out to the bog, we had two Canada Geese fly by with one other,
slightly smaller goose. One single GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was seen with
the two Canada Geese. It brought back memories of prairies this time of year
:-)

Before showing the trip list (below), I also wanted to mention that we got
to observe one of the Northern Hawk Owls with simply gorgeous lighting; the
sun was getting slightly low in the sky, and everything was illuminated with
a cast of golden orange (the lichens on the rotted-out black spruce trees,
Northern Hawk Owl, and the still-living deep-green black spruce). The
contrast with the rich sky blue background was just great. Throughout the
day, we saw many Rough-legged Hawks, Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers which
are making more regular/common appearances throughout the bog, one male
American Kestrel and a first of the year (for me) TURKEY VULTURE. Our day
ended by taking a walk in the bog in the evening, and special thanks to a
passer-by who told me of a Short-eared Owl that was seen in a field
nearby... we got to not only see distant but confirming views of this
moth-flapping Short-eared Owl, but on the walk back, heard a distant Great
Gray Owl. As a whole, the day was filled with non-stop highlights! Below are
the birds observed yesterday, followed by some pictures for you to enjoy! I
got even got some pictures of a Northern Hawk Owl carrying off a Red-backed
Vole :-) Oh and I almost forgot to mention... we saw 2 Northern Harriers
doing loop-de-loops high up in the sky, and this free-flying behavior is a
courtship display.

Canada Geese
GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE
Common Merganser
Ruffed Grouse
Ring-billed Gull
Herring Gull
SHORT-EARED OWL
Northern Hawk Owl
Great Gray Owl
Pileated Woodpecker
Blue Jay
Gray Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
Boreal Chickadee (brief look at this little guy)
Red-Breasted nuthatch
Northern Shrike
Pine Siskins (only heard)
Common Redpolls


Black-billed Magpie taking off:
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463401

Gray Jay:
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463405

Black-capped Chickadee:
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463404

Northern Hawk Owl (these photos are in the order which they were taken, from
being relaxed, to preening, itch on the face, diving, and coming up with a
catch!)
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463406
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463411
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463415
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463418
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463409
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463407
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463422
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463420 (close up with vole in mouth)

Turkey Vulture:
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463429

Unique Common Raven:
http://www.pbase.com/birdfedr/image/133463427

Good birdwatching,
Erik Bruhnke
Duluth, MN


-- 
*NATURALLY AVIAN* - Bird photography and guided birdwatching tours
www.pbase.com/birdfedr
www.naturallyavian.blogspot.com
birdfedr@gmail.com

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