Today Bill Unzen my Dad and I went birding in the above county. It was a great trip and only made possible by Bill Unzen who knows that area so well.  Highlights included:

1. Female Spotted Towhee. This bird was seen in the southern part of the refuge (main bridge/rest stop a mile or so from the headquarters). It was seen in the brush by the river. Dad, however, missed it three times.

2. Great Tailed Grackle seen by my Dad and I. It was seen along Highway 75 a few miles north of Madison. 

3. 23 species of shorebirds seen throughout the county (including American Avocets, Hudsonian Godwits and many other "goodies").

4. Snowy and Cattle Egret.  

5. Interesting Oriole at the above rest stop (see #1).  Color was burnt orange, the orange extended onto the face, strong white wing patches (seen both in flight and while at rest), call of "chek chek".  Illustrations in Sibley and on Cornell's site - as well as a very strong call match on Cornell - lead us to serious consideration of a Bullock's.

Any thoughts would be appreciated on the oriole. Thanks again to Bill who did an excellent job of finding all these spots and locating most these bird's. Great birding to all. 

Nathan Schirmacher


Mille Lacs County

Hope to see some of you at the Sherburne NWR trip. 


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