[mou] Nemesis Bird

Pastor Al Schirmacher pastoral at princetonfreechurch.net
Tue Oct 16 10:59:39 EDT 2007

On this rainy, dreary day in central MN (may the sun be shining and birds 
flocking where you're at!), while studying for Sunday's sermon & classes, 
started thinking about "nemesis" birds - both those found after years of 
chasing, and those that remain.

By definition a nemesis bird must be achievable, in other words, it's not 
awaiting the arrival of a trogon or seedeater in Minnesota.

For years my nemesis was the Harlequin Duck - reported with some regularity 
during my years of birding in Wisconsin - but never seen despite numerous 
winter trips to Lake Michigan.  At times the bird was seen only minutes 
earlier; no matter, it was gone upon my arrival.

I accepted a call to pastor a church in Princeton, MN, and relocated 
December 2003.  One of the first reports that captured my attention that 
month was of a Harlequin Duck in Two Harbors, supposedly frequenting a bay. 
Two Harbors was just a Yahoo search and 2.5 hour drive away, so off I went 
on a Saturday morning.  It took me a bit of time for this non-native to find 
the lighthouse bay; as I pulled up, a single duck was floating just off 

Identified without bins or scope, seemingly without effort, the nemesis was 
no more - after eleven years.

Of course, in true nemesis fashion, have seen others since without 

The next nemesis?  Long-tailed Duck - numerous sightings & flocks in 
Wisconsin, still missing from my Minnesota list.

How about you?  Found, or still searching, what's your story?

Al Schirmacher
Princeton, MN
Mille Lacs & Sherburne Counties 

More information about the mou-net mailing list