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Subject:Boreal Chickadees perching on lens, Great Grays calling, and gull obs.
From:Erik Bruhnke <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Erik Bruhnke <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 4 Mar 2011 13:11:16 -0600

I am just about to leave for the International Owl Festival in Houston, MN.
Over the past week I've been moving from house to house, and finally got
situated to write some emails. There is a combination of WI and MN sightings
in this email...

Last weekend Tim Hahn (great friend and fellow birdwatcher from Wisconsin)
and I did some birdwatching. Throughout northeast MN we saw Sharp-tailed
Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Black-billed Magpies, Pine Grosbeak and Gray Jay,
as well as several handfulls of Common Redpolls with a fewHoary Redpolls and
some Northern Shrikes! The Northern Hawk Owls are doing well in the bog too!
A few minutes before 7pm, Tim and I were listening for any owls calling in
the bog, and heard two Great Gray Owls calling back and forth!!! Wow! I've
never heard a Great Gray Owl vocalize before, and it was sooo cool! Before
Tim's departure, we visited good ol' Wisconsin Point in Superior, and saw
several Glaucous Gulls and at least one Great Black-backed Gull, plus the
many Herring Gulls. Even towards the end of winter/early spring, Wisconsin
Point is a great place to birdwatch!

One of my personal highlights from last weekend took place when I was
photographing birds... I was photographing a small group of chickadees in
Sax-Zim Bog, and a Boreal Chickadee hovered literally within inches of my
camera lens (being held in front of me, ready to take pictures); and the
cute little chickadee then proceeded to perch within inches of my face, gave
a "chicka-deeeeeeeee" call, and flew off the lens after about 2 seconds. It
was bizarre, and ridiculously cute :)

The following day (Monday), I was guiding a birdwatcher around the bog, and
a Boreal Chickadee (possibly the same bird) flew towards me, perched on my
lens, then called, and flew off. Within minutes of that first Boreal
Chickadee on the lens, a curious little Black-capped Chickadee flew towards
me and hovered in front of the lens, then backed away. I think I have a
little boreal buddy up here :) I am intrigued why these chickadees were
behaving this way towards me.

Anywho, time to hit the road. Have a nice weekend everyone. I'm still going
to get pictures up from the past few weekends, and this upcoming weekend
too. It's so nice finally getting all of the ducks in a row after moving to
a new residence.

Good birdwatching,
Erik Bruhnke
Duluth, MN

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