I spent much of today visiting various spots in southeast Minnesota, in
search of birds and some slightly warmer weather.
I saw two Snowy Owls in southwestern Dodge County this afternoon, in the
same area where they've been reported previously. Both were sitting out
in the fields, and both within about 1/2 mile of the intersection of
690th St and 120th Ave intersection. The heavily marked owl was east of
120th Ave, about 1/2 mile south of 690th St. The very lightly marked owl
was north of 690th St, about 1/2 mile east of 120th Ave. They were
present around 3:00, and still present at 3:30 when I left. Snowy Owl
has been a serious jinx bird for me in Minnesota, so I was thrilled to
see two in the span of 10 minutes!
Earlier, I found 2-3 Tufted Titmice along Hay Creek Trail south of Red
Wing. Near the south end of the road, maybe 1/4 mile from where it meets
Hwy 58, there's a feeding station. It's up the slope, right at the
driveway for house number 31365 (IIRC). It was being frequented by lots
of chickadees and the usual suspects, plus several titmice.
I also heard, but didn't see, a Carolina Wren along 4th Street in
Hastings. This neighborhood was really birdy, with lots of feeders being
visited by a ton of birds. A short ways down the road to the east,
there's a pull-off where a number of deer carcasses have been dumped.
They were also attracting birds, including a flicker.
I was pleased with the diversity of birds for the middle of winter, even
with bad luck on waterbirds. The wind and cold were creating lots of
steam over the water, making it nearly impossible to see birds except at
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