Monday, April 12, 2010

19 More birds for the year list...

Posted by Kirk Mona
Wow time for a birds year-list update again. I last wrote about my year-list on March 24. Now, 19 days later I've added 16 more birds to my list. Migration anyone?

March 28
With a spare hour in my day I headed out to Reservoir Woods in Roseville. In a quiet pond I discovered my first Wood Duck of the year. There were also mallards and hooded mergansers in the same pond.

March 29
The 29th was a fun day a work. We took a little hike down to the lake and saw the first Golden-crowned Kinglet of the year. I also saw my first of the year Sandhill Crane which was fun as I'd been hearing them for weeks. It looks like they are going to nest on site again this year.

March 30
The next day saw the return of the Eastern Phoebe to Warner Nature Center which is always a sure sign that spring migration is beginning to pick up. The same day while taking our volunteers on a training hike I saw the first of the year Turkey Vulture fly overhead.

March 31
On my way home I saw the first of the year Great Blue Heron dropping into a wetland.

April 1
I'd been keeping my eyes open and finally one morning spotted the first of the year Fox Sparrow scratching around under the birds feeders.
That same evening I happened to drive past the Colonnade Building on hwy 394 and could make out a Peregrine Falcon hanging out on a ledge. My drive happened to take me through the 169 & 62 overpass and I was sure to check out the Osprey nest on top of the highway lights there. Sure enough, there was an Osprey on the nest.

April 4
While at my aunt and uncle's house in Eagan on the weekend I saw a migrating raptor land in a tree in their back yard. When it flew off it was below us and we could clearly see the white where the tail meets the rump that signaled we'd just seen the first of the year Harrier.

April 5
Always a good day when you can add three birds to your year list. I saw Tree Swallows on the way to work and an American Kestrel on the way home. Both were hunting from rural power lines. While on a hike in the middle of the day I found a Winter Wren sulking around under some brush.

April 7
Not exactly my favorite bird but still fascinating in the evolutionary adaptations, Brown-headed Cowbirds showed up on the 7th.

April 10
Surprising but true, I didn't see my first Purple Finch of the year until April 10. I also saw a Common Goldeneye while showing kids how to use a spotting scope on a hike.

April 12
We headed down to the lake today at work to put our solar powered pontoon boat into the water. While we were down there four fighter jets came over the nature center very low. They circled around four or five times and we realized they were getting into formation for the fly-over of the Twins season opener in the new stadium. After the jets left we saw the first of the year Northern Shoveler on the lake. There was a small group of them. They were the first ones we've seen in many years. There were also a couple of Killdeer which is a species I hadn't see yet. On the way back to the building I also saw my first of the year Yellow Bellied Sapsucker.

All told for the year that brings me up to 62 species of birds within the state of Minnesota and a good chunk of migration is still to come.

~Kirk

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