At approximately 1100 this morning (10/22), while surveying from a
fire tower in Finland (off of Airbase Road), I picked up on a
relatively short-winged, barrel-bodied raptor coming in from the west.
While scoping the bird - awaiting for it to morph into a Northern
Goshawk - I was surprised to eventually see the bold, black vertical
bar on the face of a Northern Hawk Owl. Much to my enjoyment, it
swooped up to the top of a scopable spruce tree, using two additional
conifers as lookouts before taking a long flight to the northeast. I
followed the bird for a good while, but never did see it land again.
The other two counters and I (all positioned within a few miles of
each other in Little Marais / Finland) amassed a total of 20
Rough-legged Hawks and 12 Golden Eagles for the day, despite the
overall lackluster flight. Additionally, some of the less common
finches were evident today. In the vicinity of the fire tower, I
noticed the following:
White-winged Crossbill - 21
Red Crossbill - 5
Pine Siskin - 33
Evening Grosbeak - 31
This was the highest number of Evening Grosbeaks I've encountered all
fall, with a single flock containing 19 birds.
St. Louis County
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