[mou] Crosby Park, St. Paul, today

linda whyte birds at moosewoods.us
Wed Apr 2 21:54:26 CDT 2008

Around 3:15, I did a truncated walking loop in the east end of Crosby Park.
On the north shore of the main lake, in the narrow band of open water, there
were 7 GB herons, along with a flock of ring-billed gulls. Perhaps the 4
that were there last week were joined by a few more (misery loves company),
but they could have been travelers on a break; they were gone within 2

In the backwaters west of the 35 E bridge, tell-tale feeding motions stood
out among the chickadee action: there was no mistaking it, when the
golden-crowned kinglet paused briefly on a low branch. I had two more
sightings, but they could have been the same active bird, since I was
(supposed to be) power-walking, not bird-gawking.

Farther along the river path, there was a pair of E. bluebirds, just perched
in trees above the river. They were vocalizing softly. The female switched
trees a few times, but I didn't notice if she was actively feeding. The male
was stationary, though casting glances in different directions. After
several moments I detoured around them, rather than risk disturbing their

Over the tip of Pike Island, three eagles--two mature, one immature-- were
circling around each other, making short, almost tender sounds. They carried
on that way for several moments, before the young one veered off downriver,
and the adults headed upriver in tandem flight. Perhaps it was courtship
behavior, but it reminded me of parents bidding fond farewell to a child
setting out on his own.

Just before the point of intersection between the dirt path and the paved
path, a pileated woodpecker called from across the river, on Pike Island. It
reminded me to use binoculars to try re-finding a potential pileated's nest
cavity, discovered there last week. In the process of
scanning---unsuccessfully---for that, I came across another treasure: a
loon. It was very close to shore, and paddling in place, for a long time. I
could count its spots, the stripes on its necklace, even the diamond water
droplets on its back. After a few minutes, it dove, presumably to fish. This
area is close to where the Minnesota River enters the Mississippi, and
fishing boats often congregate, but he had it to himself today.

The pregnant pause is definitely over!
Linda Whyte
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