[mou] birding around the metro

Steve Weston sweston2 at comcast.net
Fri Oct 5 03:57:18 EDT 2007

the bird of day (Thursday) that propelled me to the keyboard was a grebe 
seen at 70mph from I-94 on one of the ponds north of the freeway just west 
of the Albertville exit.  This was a large dark grebe with a long slender 
neck that was white on the front and dark on the sides.  It appeared to be a 
Western Grebe, although I could not elliminate a winter plumage Red-necked 
Grebe.  I regret that I was not able to go back and view the bird at 0 mph.

I also saw two groups of three swans on ponds in the area.  One was in 
Dayton along Brockton Lane near 147th Avenue.  The other was in Maple Grove 
in a pond on the south side of I-94.  I assume both groups were Trumpeters.

Recently I observed a common grey squirrel in downtown Minneapolis right 
outside the IDS building.  There are no trees for blocks.  Three weeks ago, 
by the Pillsbury building a couple of blocks away I found two window killed 
birds in the street: a Black and White Warbler and an Ovenbird.  Neither 
would I expect to find downtown.

My best recent yard bird was a couple of female Purple Finches (9/22 & 
9/23).  Last night (10/3) I had a small bat cruising the cul d sac.  I wish 
I was better at ID'ing them in flight.  I figured it to be one of the small 
browns.  Its erratic flight did not seem as jerky as the littlest bats.  I 
have also found a Nashville Warbler.  More interesting was the four 
Nashville Warblers I found in a large weedy field in Maple Grove.  While I 
have found them in the golden rod in this field in a previous fall 
migration, this is not a bird that I think of as a grassland bird.

In Scott County on 9/27 I found several Franklin Gulls flying over the 
fields NW of New Prague.  The sewerage ponds north of New Prague are hosting 
a large flock of Canada Geese.  As in previous years, there were a few 
Cackling Geese, although not as many as last year.

I have not been seeing many migrating thrushes or sparrows.  I am observing 
lots of Cooper's Hawks.

Steve Weston on Quiggley Lake in Eagan, MN
sweston2 at comcast.net 

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