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Subject:Sax-Zim highlights; Duluth pintail and WW scoters
From:Christopher Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Christopher Wood <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 4 Feb 2012 22:20:31 -0600

We had a very enjoyable day at Sax-Zim today with lots of birds and a
beautiful day. The biggest highlight was walking in on the northern logging
road/trail that heads west into the bog from McDavitt (same area Sparky
described last Monday -- there is some orange flagging by the road). At the
back of the third clearing, we watched a perched adult female NORTHERN
GOSHAWK (at times being mobbed by White-winged Crossbills). Soon after we
saw a GREAT GRAY OWL, which we watched for almost an hour as it flew 160
degrees around our group perching in several trees and unsuccessfully
hunting. It was particularly stunning in the morning hoarfrost (see photos
below). We saw the goshawk around 9:15 and the owl until about 10:20am.
Also along the trail were a pair of Gray Jays and foraging White-winged

There were twelve Sharp-tailed Grouse (and three in flight) at the lek on
the west side of Poplar (south of Arkola). A couple even displayed a few
times. These are best appreciated with a scope.

One female Hoary Redpoll at the feeders on Blue Spruce.

Lots of White-winged Crossbills, redpolls. Good numbers of Rough-legged
Hawks, shrikes, Gray Jays etc. Also seems like it's easier to find Ruffed
Grouse this year than it often is at this season.

YESTERDAY morning I saw a male and female NORTHERN PINTAIL (!!) during the
morning duck flight around Interstate Island (Duluth). The birds appeared
to be a pair and were in flight together. They were all alone when I first
saw them but they ended up landing with Mallards and American Black Duck
behind Interstate Island and out of view. There was an adult male and
"female/immature" WHITE-WINGED SCOTER on Lake Superior off of roughly North
21st Avenue east (the Water Street side of the lakewalk).


Chris Wood

eBird & Neotropical Birds Project Leader
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York

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