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Subject:Carver County
From:John Cyrus <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:John Cyrus <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 2 Nov 2011 02:33:00 +0000

The past few days have had your typical late fall species here in Carver County.   I haven't found many lingering Kinglets or Yellow-rumped Warbler like I normally do this time of year.  Golden-crowned Kinglets are significantly less numerous than the past 2 falls this year.   I also have spent less time walking trails the past week or 2 than I have in past years.  Instead I have been checking the New Germany area for late lingering shorebirds and other rural areas for blackbird flocks.   I never realized the number of Brewer's Blackbird(and other blackbirds for that matter) that passed through the county in the fall until last year and wanted to make a concerted effort to track blackbird.   While there was little to no blackbird movement across the county over the weekend, there was significant movement today.    2  mixed Red-winged/Grackle/at least 1 Rusty flocks were moving north, and 1 mixed flock was moving south over Carver Park this morning.   A small Rusty Blackbird flock was in the New Germany area, and a very large flock of mainly Brewer's Blackbird was in Assumption.   I had a difficult time estimating the flock in Assumption as I was able to count around 400 Brewer's Blackbirds as they cautiously watched me.     The flock took off  and then kept moving from field to field going in a bit of a circle.   My very rough estimate of the flock was in the 1000-1500 range, but there were probably more.   Of the birds I id'd, ~95% were Brewer's Blackbird with some Red-winged mixed in.  Watching the birds in flight, it looked like mainly Brewer's with very few Red-winged picked out.   I did find 1 Lapland Longspur in the bunch while they were on the ground.  Also odd in the group was a male Brewer's Blackbird with white wing-ends(1/4 of each wing end white).   He had the sheen of a male Brewer's, so all I can guess is that he has a genetic abnormality that gives him the white wings.  On Saturday there were 8 Common Loons and 2 Red-necked Grebes on Lake Waconia with another surge of Ring-billed Gulls.   Sunday I only found 3 Common Loons on the lake, and today I didn't find any(also very few gulls today).  I'll  give it more time, but by this time last year, most of the Loons had moved through the area.   The Black-bellied Plover either left Chevalle wetlands sometime late Sunday or has done a good job of hiding himself the last 2 days.  Otherwise there was a male Northern Harrier hunting over a rural meadow on Saturday and a lone Snow Bunting at Lake Waconia today.

New Germany area birds

Sat. Oct. 29

Least Sandpiper 1
Pectoral Sandpiper 6
Wilson's Snipe 3
American Pipit several flying around

Sun. Oct. 30

Great Blue Heron 1
Killdeer 8
Least Sandpiper 2 (I initially thought these were Semipalmated due to dark legs, but head/neck markings weren't right so the legs must have been mud-covered)
Pectoral Sandpiper 2
Long-billed Dowitcher 5
Wilson's Snipe 1
American Pipit still several flying around

Tues. Nov. 1

Great Blue Heron 3
Killdeer 4
Dunlin 1
Wilson's Snipe 14
American Pipit 13 cooperative at last 
Rusty Blackbird 36(also had a mixed Red-winged/other flock that may have had some Brewer's/Rusty mixed in but lighting/distance wasn't great)

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