Had a good morning birding at the corner of Merrill St and Co Rd C2 this morning in Roseville.
The Varied Thrush was in the crabapple trees on the NW corner at 9:00. It returned at 9:40 and presented good views front and back. It returned at 10:05, higher in the tree and with the sun just breaking out--and shining on it beautifully. At 10:20 I noticed it perched on basically a ground-level branch under the huge spruce tree just north of the crabapple trees. It stayed there quite a while.
In the meantime, there was lots of fun birding activity. That neighborhood should get some sort of "birding paradise" award because of its good mix of trees, shrubs and feeders. Very nice.
Robins: There weren't nearly as many robins today as there had been on Tuesday. I had briefly seen the Varied Thrush then (once in the small crabapple tree in front of the first NE corner house and once in the NW corner crabtrees), but wanted to come back to try to catch one of those "ooh-la-la" moments (which I did when the sun was shining on it in all its glory)!
Starlings: Lots; there hadn't been any on Tuesday.
Pine Siskins: 2 very briefly stopped at a crabapple tree, couldn't see what the fuss was all about, and shoved on.
Cedar Waxwings: Lots, although not as many as Tuesday (probably 100). Does anyone like neon orange? One of the waxwings had an orange sherbet tail-tip that looked good enough to eat!
Red-bellied Woodpecker: Male munching on crabapples.
Bluejay: Struggling with its weight as it tried to snag apples off the tiny, twig branches.
Black-capped Chickadees: Finally joined the party in the apple trees after spending a lot of time in the large, deciduous tree on the SW corner.
White-breasted Nuthatches: Two males apparently not fond of each other. After much chasing, they finally ended up near each other. That led to one of them trying to up the ante by impressing the other with his "spread-wing" display. Frankly, I think it just annoyed the other one! Most of their action occurred in the SW deciduous.
Downy: Male at SW tree and to NE amur maple.
Junco: Just a couple in apple trees and below. Didn't stay long.
House Finches: As the sun was out for a bit, a male decided the time was right to start singing. I believe he wanted to take advantage of the sunlight, assuming that it would enhance his lovely winter-red plumage and present the most flattering image possible. A female looked on, but she did not sidle up to tell him he might win American Idol if he just kept going. Kudos on his outfit, though!
Goldfinches: About 5 around the small deciduous tree right by the apple trees. They, too, hung out as the house finch sang. It appeared that the song didn't really connect with them, and they took off.
Common Redpolls: About 7 also in attendance at the house finch concert. They quickly got bored and twitched about the apple trees, small deciduous, and foraged on the ground in between the home's sidewalk and front of house.
House Sparrow: Only 1, but he didn't like the odds with the house finches, goldfinches and redpolls kind of hanging around and hoping to see some action. He didn't even stay long enough to chirp. Yay!
Cardinals: Started with 1 male eating apples; eventually led to 3 males chasing each other; 1 female just trying to get a meal. The males were chasing in/around the home's shrubbery, and that was when I noticed the Varied Thrush sort of watching them from safety below the spruce.
Red-tailed Hawk: Immature-plumaged flying overhead and being badgered, so to speak, by 3 Crows.
Albino Squirrel: On the ground and high wires. It moves between the SW and NW corners via the telephone (?) wires. It sat in the small tree right by the NE home eating what looked to be the meat of a walnut.
Black Squirrel: It mosied up the sidewalk and step at the front of the NW home shortly after the redpolls left.
Several times multiple birds went to the NW home's roof, on the SE edge and did something. I couldn't get a good enough view through the crabapple trees to see exactly what they were up to. There may have been water or tiny snacks at that edge. Something to watch for.
Molly Jo Miller
Inver Grove Hts, Dakota Co.
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