[mou] Sax-Zim and vicinity 1/21-1/23

Jason Guerard jason.guerard at njaudubon.org
Wed Jan 23 22:29:47 CST 2008

First I'd like to thank those Minnesota birders who responded to my request
for information on the Duluth, Sax-Zim area.  We birded the area for two and
a half days and had a relatively productive time.  Not quite what I was
hoping for given that reports had been good from the bog, up until about the
middle of the month.  All three in the group walked away with a life bird
which always signals a successful trip.  Given that it's been about ten
years since I've been up in this area, a number of birds were "new" again to
me at least.

Hugely disappointing dips include Great gray owl and Three-toed
woodpeckers.  I was certain that the woodpecker would be seen by us since
they have been reported with such frequency.  Black-backed woodpecker was
one of the first bird we had even.  The owl, I was not holding my breath
since they seem to have suddenly disappeared since about the 14th.  I'd be
interested to hear any theories on the sudden disappearance.  Food source
running short, weather or early movement returning north?  Not having any
previous experience on a typical winter in the area, is this a  typical
series of events?

Below I have pasted my eBird lists for the two and a half days birding in
the bog.  Not included in the lists below are the nothing seen on CR 2 and
Spruce Road.  We missed Spruce grouse on CR 2 as we arrived a little too
late in the morning.  Spruce Road was seemingly devoid of bird life suffice
for a raven or two.  We did not hike all that much (a few hundred yards or
so along the snow mobile trail) but there was little sign of woodpecker
feeding on the spruce trees.  We did have the Harris's sparrow in Two
Harbors.  Much easier than I expected. The bird was actually feeding on the
ground on the south side of 222 4th Ave and then flew to the spruce on the
north side of 226.

We also tried briefly (time was running short) for the Townsend's solitaire,
today, along Lake Walk area between the 12th and 8th vicinity.  We dipped on
this species but were not able to search exhaustively.  Other no shows for
the trip, waxwings, crossbills and Boreal chickadee.

I have listed relevant locations of sightings in the lists below.

If you are interested in reading a slight bit more on our birding foray and
viewing some mediocre photos visit www.BirdCapeMay.org and go to "View from
the Cape <http://www.birdcapemay.org/blog/>."  I will be posting a follow up
to the post from yesterday with a couple more photos, maybe to night or in
the next few days.

Thanks to Derek Morse for the excellent feeding station.  I hope it
continues to draw excellent bird for birders for the rest of the winter.

Already looking forward to my next trip to this area to catch up with those
species that have eluded us on this trip.

Location:     Sax-Zim Bog
Observation date:     1/21/08
Notes:     Counts include birding all Sax-Zim Bog area
Number of species:     22

Ruffed Grouse     1- seen at dusk along Owl Ave.
Bald Eagle     2- sitting back off Rt 133 between 7 and 53
Rock Pigeon     3
Northern Hawk Owl     1-  the very distant bird previously reported just
north of the Zim Sod building
Downy Woodpecker     4
Hairy Woodpecker     1
Black-backed Woodpecker     1- about .4 mi. on Blue Spruce as previously
Pileated Woodpecker     1- near the feeding station on Blue Spruce
Northern Shrike     3
Gray Jay     2- Two popped up on west side of McDavitt while looking for
Blue Jay     1
American Crow     6
Common Raven     30
Black-capped Chickadee     35
Red-breasted Nuthatch     1
White-breasted Nuthatch     3
Snow Bunting     145- large flock of about 100 birds along the RR tracks
along 7
Pine Grosbeak     12
Common Redpoll     35
Hoary Redpoll     1- (male) Blue Spruce
Evening Grosbeak     3
House Sparrow     15
Location:     222 4th Ave.- Two Harbors
Observation date:     1/22/08
Number of species:     4

Black-capped Chickadee     2
Harris's Sparrow     1
Dark-eyed Junco     2
Northern Cardinal     1

Location:     Sax-Zim Bog
Observation date:     1/22/08
Number of species:     12

Ruffed Grouse     1- seen in late afternoon along east side of Blue Spruce
almost across from the logging area
Barred Owl     1- at dusk about half way down on west side of Stickney Rd.
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Northern Shrike     1
Black-billed Magpie     2-  just east of intersection of McDavitt and Kolu
Rd (along Kolu)
American Crow     1
Common Raven     15
Black-capped Chickadee     8
Red-breasted Nuthatch     2
European Starling     1
Common Redpoll     2

Blue Spruce feeding station completely devoid of birds in the late

Location:     Sax-Zim Bog
Observation date:     1/23/08
Number of species:     16

Rock Pigeon     1
Downy Woodpecker     1
Hairy Woodpecker     2
Pileated Woodpecker     1- Flying across the road north of Lake Nichols Rd.
Gray Jay     3- (maybe four) in the vicinity of the Blue Spruce feeding
station.There was actually a good amount of avian activity at the house just
north of the feeding station. Two of the jays were first observed here.  Two
jays also under the spruce trees near the feeding station and seed donation
Blue Jay     4
Common Raven     25
Black-capped Chickadee     20
Red-breasted Nuthatch     2
White-breasted Nuthatch     1
Snow Bunting     2
Pine Grosbeak     8
Common Redpoll     35
Hoary Redpoll     1- (male) Blue Spruce
Evening Grosbeak     8
House Sparrow     1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

Jason Guerard
Sales Manager
New Jersey Audubon Society
Cape May Bird Observatory
Northwood Center
701 E. Lake Drive, P.O. Box 3
Cape May Point, NJ  USA  08212-003
Ph: 609-884-2736  Fx: 609-884-6052

Take A Kid Birding(R)
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