Friday, July 4, 2008


Posted by Kirk
Wednesday, July 2, I went for a canoe trip on the St. Croix River with Paul and our new summer naturalist Jen. While we were there to make sure Jen was familiar with that part of the river, I also had my eye out for a lifer bird. I've been hovering at 199 birds for quite a while now. I thought I might spot a prothonotary warbler or a cerulean warbler or the like. A bank swallow would have even done the trick. We had almost finished with our short paddle and hadn't seen many birds. Just was we came up on the landing for Franconia I spotted a small sandpiper on the shore. It was a spotted sandpiper! Excellent. I didn't have one on my list yet.

I'm pretty sure I had seen one before. I saw what I thought was one while tubing down the Crow river on the fourth of July weekend years ago but at the time I wasn't totally sure about the ID so I let it pass. This one was for sure. It had the spotted breast and was doing the little bobbing up and down thing.

200 birds has been fun and pretty easy without really trying to hard. Seeing 300 is going to actually take some looking! I think I need to go on vacation though so I can rack up some numbers faster. Seeing another 100 birds in Minnesota would be difficult.

Here's some target birds though that I have not seen in Minnesota that shouldn't be too hard. This list would take me about half way to 300.

Grey Jay
Eared Grebe
American Bittern
American Black duck
Green-winged Teal
Snow Goose
Tundra Swan
Northern Goshawk
Ruffed Grouse
Black Tern
Forster's Tern
Herring Gull
Lesser Yellowlegs
Yellow Billed Cukoo
Eastern Screech Owl
Long Eared Owl

Short Eared Owl
Northern Saw-whet Owl
Snowy Owl
Great Grey Owl
Northern Hawk Owl
Black-backed woodpecker
Three-toed woodpecker
Boreal Chickadee
Alder Flycatcher
Willow Flycatcher
Philadelphia Vireo
Purple Martin
Marsh Wren
Sedge Wren
Gray-cheeked Thrush

American Pipit
Brown Thrasher
Bohemian Waxwing
Bay-brested Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Cerulean Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler
Pine Warbler
Brewer's blackbird
Orchard Oriole
Rusty blackbird
Evening Grosbeak
Red Crossbill

Well, time will tell which of those I will see this year. Out of the 200 lifers so far I really liked the tufted puffin I saw from the very edge of the olympic pennisula as well as the American Dipper taking a bath in glacial runoff on Mt. Rainier. I have print photos of both of those and I'll get around to posting them some day. It was only two years ago after all. The birds in Norway were cool too like the Great Spotted Woodpecker on top of the Stavkirke or the Pied Wagtail. My first woodcock was memorable and there were many more. I could spend all night thinking and writing about the adventures with these birds. That's part of what makes it fun!