This morning I birdwatched with four other good friends in town, walking
from "dune bridge parking lot," out to the the Superior Entry and back. It
was a refreshing and beautiful 4-mile, round-trip walk. We had ~50 SNOW
BUNTINGS follow us most of the way. One of the first highlights was spotting
a distant RED-THROATED LOON out near three HORNED GREBES. One lone COMMON
REDPOLL flew overhead, and while scanning the gulls at the Superior Entry
(from the Minnesota Side), we picked out three THAYER'S GULLS. One Thayer's
Gull was was a juvenile, and the other two were adults. Of the two adults,
one had a pure white head, and likely a hurt leg. My friends had never seen
a Thayer's Gull before (several of them were visiting from Cape May for a
short time). We had views of Herring Gulls next to Thayer's Gulls like in
the image below (from two years ago):
...on this photo, note the Thayer's Gull's more round head, pale tertials
(feathers that overlay the primary tips), and slightly paler primaries.
Thayer's Gulls also have a slightly paler backside and head profile overall.

My ebird list from this morning is below:
Mallard  1
scoter sp.  7
Common Goldeneye  1
Common Merganser  2
Red-throated Loon  1
Pied-billed Grebe  3
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Bald Eagle  2
Bonaparte's Gull  4
Ring-billed Gull  40
Herring Gull  80
Thayer's Gull  3
Rock Pigeon  2
Downy Woodpecker  1
American Crow  2
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
European Starling  2
Snow Bunting  50
American Tree Sparrow  2
White-throated Sparrow  10
Dark-eyed Junco  15
Common Redpoll  1
Pine Siskin  3

Wanted to let all of you know that as of this past week, Hawk Ridge has
surpassed 62,000 raptors for this fall season! Here are some pictures from
the past few weeks at the ridge.

Banded Black-capped Chickadee at Sunrise, photographed yesterday

Northern Goshawk

Rufous morph Red-tailed Hawk

Gorgeous storm clouds on the horizon

American Robin

Good birding,
Erik Bruhnke
Duluth, MN

*NATURALLY AVIAN* - Bird photography and guided birdwatching trips
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