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November 2009


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Matt Dufort <[log in to unmask]>
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Matt Dufort <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 8 Nov 2009 20:14:48 -0700
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While lots of other folks went chasing the Black Guillemot today, I made 
my way up through Sherburne to Lake Mille Lacs.  The large number of 
hunters made me favor the roadside birding of Mille Lacs over the 
bush-beating of Sherburne.

I found two Townsend's Solitaires, singing, calling, and chasing each 
other aggressively, in the field west of the Ann Lake campground near 
Sherburne NWR (directions posted recently by Al Schirmacher).  A few 
other birds around, but nothing notable.

Along the west side of Lake Mille Lacs, I looked at several hundred each 
of Common Loons, Common Goldeneye, Bonaparte's and Ring-billed Gulls, 
but couldn't find any unusual species among them.

While scanning the lake from the big fish pulloff in Garrison, I ran 
into Tanya Beyer.  After a few minutes an adult male Black Scoter flew 
in, landed, dove once, and apparently didn't like what it found.  It 
then flew out and up, headed south high above the lake.  It looked like 
it was headed for Iowa, but it may have stopped somewhere further south 
along the lakeshore.

Lastly, while driving down Highway 65 in Kanabec County, just south of 
Brunswick, I had a medium-sized gamebird fly across the road in front of 
me.  It looked an awful lot like a Gray Partridge, but it's tough to be 
sure at 60 mph.  The habitat in the area was a mix of fields and 
treelines, and looked decent for partridges.  The MOU website doesn't 
list them as occurring in the county, but I'm curious if anyone's seen 
them there (even if it was released birds).

Thanks, and good birding.

Matt Dufort

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