I did a little birding at Park Point on 10/31 and at Two Harbors and down the North Shore this morning (11/1).
Park Point was relatively quiet yesterday but it did hold some good birds including:
(Note that all waterfowl were seen on the harbor side)
White-winged Scoter- 1- Near the soccer fields and close to shore.
American Black Ducks- Several near 38th Street.
Greater Scaup- 8 Female birds at the southeast end of the airport
Ring-necked Duck- 1
Common Goldeneye- Many at various locations
Thayer's Gull- 1- The only uncommon/ rare gull I could pick out at the Superior entry but there may have been more (no Great Black-backed Gull).
Snow Buntings- Many flying around Park Point.
Common Redpoll- Many flocks flying around.
Golden-crowned Kinglet- Several near the Superior Entry.
The lake side was amazingly void of bird activity. I walked on the shoreline from the airport parking lot to the far end of the airport and not only did I not see a single bird on the water but there wasn't even a gull on the shore. I only saw one distant large flock of flying ducks. In fact, in the two mornings I birded I covered a moderate section (between Two Harbors and Duluth along with parts of Park Point) of shoreline and was periodically scanning Lake Superior and the only non-gull I saw were three mergansers!
Two Harbors and the North Shore south of Two Harbors 11/1:
Despite the dearth of birds on the lake there was bird activity on land, most notably an epic migration of Bald Eagles and Rough-legged Hawks along the Lake Superior shoreline. The winds must have been just right today to funnel raptors down the shore and I estimate observing around 25 or more Bald Eagles and 30 or more Rough-legged Hawks (both light and dark morph birds) from Two Harbors to Duluth. I'm sure if I were at a single location watching the birds pass and counting them the numbers would have been far more impressive.
There was a "kettle" of 6 eagles at the intersection of Park Rd. and 4th Ave. in Two Harbors and I focused in on one bird that didn't look exactly like the others. It was entirely dark below with no hint of white, the head appeared more buteo-like and seemed more broad and less elongated than the Bald Eagle it was right next to, and the wings seemed to narrow a bit more at the base of the wing than the Bald Eagle giving the wings a slightly more buteo-like appearance. The lighting wasn't perfect but I would think I would be able to see at least some of the white on the axillaries and coverts if it were a juvenile Bald Eagle because I could easily see the striking white head and tail of the Bald Eagle adult that was circling right next to it. Its size was the same or just a bit smaller that the Bald Eagle. I believe I was observing an adult Golden Eagle.
Other notable birds:
Snow Geese- 6 at the Two Harbors cemetery including three blue/dark-morph birds and one juvenile.
Common Redpolls/ Snow Buntings/ Pine Siskins- Many flocks flying over in different locations.
Northern Shrike- Just north of Pine City in Pine County.
Peregrine Falcon- At the WLSSD plant off of 27th Ave. West in Duluth.
Ruffed Grouse- I flushed this bird along the lighthouse loop in Two Harbors.
Although I wouldn't call it the most productive two mornings I have had on the North Shore I was able to pick out some nice birds and the eagle/ Rough-legged Hawk migration was certainly fun to see!
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