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December 2011


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Erik Bruhnke <[log in to unmask]>
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Erik Bruhnke <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 9 Dec 2011 13:47:48 -0700
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This morning I stopped at a few locations along the shorelines of Duluth
and Superior. No Snowy Owls. Grassy Point in Duluth had zero birds, but
there was a nearby construction vehicle that squeaked dead-on to a Purple
Finch call note!

In Superior, Baker's Island was quiet. At the Superior Entry at Wisconsin
Point, I had dozens of beautiful Common Goldeneyes, a few Herring Gulls, 3
Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Common Mergansers, 1 adult Bald Eagle that flew
overhead, and this little lady below... I was leaning towards female
Barrow's Goldeneye both in the field and with viewing the photos on the
computer. Note the mostly-colored yellowish-orange bill, somewhat stockier,
smaller bill, and a more round head. Any thoughts/feedback are appreciated!
Photos are heavily cropped, but no lighting adjustment has been done. I
scanned Allouez Bay thoroughly too, with no sightings of any Snowies.
Thanks for any feedback you share with the goldeneye!Possible Barrow's

Herring Gull from this morning

Earlier this week, I took a three-day trip to southern Wisconsin. When I
left my house in Duluth Sunday morning, the first bird species of my trip
was a flock of Evening Grosbeaks in the front yard! Along the way home to
Waukesha I had 3 Red-tailed Hawks, 1 Rough-legged Hawk, both Blue & Gray
Jays, ~35 Sandhill Cranes, 1 Northern Shrike and of course both of the fun
n' ruckusy corvids, American Crow and Common Raven.
While in Madison, I visited the east side of Waunakee on Tuesday around
mid-day to scan for the previously-reported Snowy Owls. No luck though. I
also did some birdwatching around Vilas Park (Madison) on Tuesday afternoon
afternoon with Jackie Edmunds, and saw many American Coot, Canada Geese,
two Ring-necked ducks, two Ruddy Ducks, a few Mallards and several Gadwall.
Some Ring-billed Gulls were around too. Earlier in the day I had a single
Ruddy Duck among hundreds of Northern Shovelers and a few Hooded Mergansers
on Lake Monona. Ring-billed Gulls and one Herring Gull was present.

My traveling from Madison-up-to-Duluth trip list includes 1 Northern
Shrike, 6 Red-tailed Hawks (1 adult dark morph), 5 Bald Eagles, Common
Ravens, American Crows, and some European Starlings.
Northern Shovelers

Ruddy Duck

Ring-billed Gull, stretching

Sunset at Vilas Park

One of my favorite shots from this past week... ducks in front of the state

Adult dark morph Red-tailed Hawk

Rock formations while on the road

And to end the pictures, a fun raptor quiz for you. First photo is slightly
cropped (distant raptor). Second shot is of the bird much more cropped.

Sorry for the unusually long post :-) It's covering over half of a week!
Good birding,
Erik Bruhnke
Duluth, MN

*NATURALLY AVIAN* - Guided Birdwatching Trips and Bird photography
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