I had the afternoon off and went down to Randolph Industrial Park in
Southern Dakota County.
While I did not relocate the reported *Dickcissel,* I did find several
small to medium groups of *Snow Buntings*, totaling about 40 birds, that
again split off into smaller groups. Later, on Lewiston Rd, I found another
larger flock of
at least 50 more *Snow Buntings*. Is this and all the other Northern
species spotted lately portend a rough winter? Time will tell.
Also in what little water there was at the North end of the park along with
about 70 *Mallards* were two *Black Ducks*.
Taking the long way home, I found about a dozen *Hooded Mergansers* in the
Gravel Pit ponds west of Randolph on Alta Ave. and a *Northern Shrike* near
the Cannon River along with a *Northern Flicker*.
Near the US Hwy 52 and MN 50/56 exit, *many hundreds* of blackbirds (est.
500-1000) were gathering in a cornfield that was South of Hwy 50 and
Lewiston Rd. It was very unsafe for close viewing. My only option was
watching the small flocks string along relatively close to the ground to
amass with the others in the cornfield. As they flew over, I spotted
several *Yellow-headed blackbirds*, *Cowbirds* and many *Red-winged
Blackbirds*. I presume at least a few *Brewers Blackbirds* may have been in
this large, mixed flock as well.
Saint Paul's Westside
One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between Man and
Nature shall not be broken. -* Leo Tolstoy*
A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty. - *Lucius Annaeus
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