On Tuesday evening I went down to the 140th Street former marsh and quickly found the group observing the pair of Blue Grosbeaks. I got excellent looks at the male, which became an addition to my Dakota County and Minnesota state list. I have yet to make it down to the southwest corner of the state and it had eluded me otherwise. Susan Fall observed the female collecting nesting material, but I am unclear whether she was building the nest in the cedar tree under the watch of a female Cowbird or in the grass towards the top of the hill.
On Thursday night I headed down to Florence Township in SE Goodhue County to run my frog and toad survey. We heard four different frogs (both treefrogs, green frogs, and surprisingly a spring peeper and a group of chorus frogs, both well later than expected). Again I was able to document the temporal separation of the calling of the two species of treefrogs. The cope's gray treefrog had been more common a couple of weeks ago, whereas the gray treefrogs were much more common now. I found no Whip-poor-wills calling in the valley where I had heard them a couple of weeks ago. I did hear a begging Barred Owl, Swamp Sparrows, and Marsh Wrens. The highlight of the evening was the fireworks almost everywhere we looked, in the trees, over the marsh, in the grass, on the car. Almost everywhere we looked sparkling more like little bolts of silent heat lighting than christmas lights, the lighting bugs were out in the thousands. Both of us agreed that we had never seen anything that approached this spectacle.
Steve Weston on Quigley Lake in Eagan, MN
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