Duluth RBA

Previous reports: October 1 8 15 22 29 , November 5 10 19 26 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide
*Duluth/North Shore
*December 3, 1998

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Duluth-Superior/ North Shore
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union
Date: December 3, 1998
Compiler: Kim Eckert (kreckert@cp.duluth.mn.us)
Transcriber: Catherine Severin (mahces@means.net)
Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, December 3, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union. For the first time in several weeks we have something more important to report on than a general scarcity of birds in northeastern Minnesota. Although the scarcity has continued this week, there have been recent reports of two ICELAND GULLS, two GREAT GRAY OWLS, the first SNOWY OWL of the season, a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE, good numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, both species of CROSSBILLS, and a long list of later-than- normal birds which are lingering during this warm spell.

On November 28, two ICELAND GULLS, a first-winter immature and an adult, were seen again at Wisconsin Point and on the Minnesota side of the Superior Entry breakwaters at the south tip of Park Point.

Two GREAT GRAY OWLS were reported northeast of Duluth late last week: one of these was in Cook County on November 26, along the Gunflint Trail about five miles north of Hedstrom's Lumber Company; the other was in Lake County on November 28 near the National Forest Lodge on Minnesota Hwy. 1. Earlier in November, GREAT GRAYS had been reported along Aitkin County Rd. 18 and in the Sax-Zim Bog along St.Louis Co. Rd. 7.

There was a second-hand report of a SNOWY OWL being seen last week in the Duluth-Superior harbor area, but at this time I don't know the date or the exact location.

In Cook County on November 27, a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER was seen at Judge Magney State Park which is near Hovland along Hwy. 61.

Yesterday, December 2, a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE was found in Two Harbors in Lake County at the corner of 3rd Street and 4th Avenue.

Large numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were reported in the town of Aitkin last weekend, and several hundred were seen this morning migrating down the North Shore near the Lakewood Pumping Station.

The first WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS reported in Duluth in a few weeks were seen recently in the Fond Du Lac neighborhood of Duluth, while RED CROSSBILLS continue to be seen near UMD at Kent Road and migrating past Hawk Ridge.

Due to mild weather, several late lingering species have been seen, including a BROWN THRASHER still at a feeder in Duluth on November 28, a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER in a yard just north of Tamarack in Aitkin County on the same day, SNOW BUNTING flocks last weekend at Park Point and Hawk Ridge and in Proctor, plus a lot of late water birds seen in recent days by Jeff Newman at various locations along the St.Louis River in Duluth. These include GREAT BLUE HERON and GREEN-WINGED TEAL yesterday, NORTHERN PINTAIL on December 1, and on November 30 he saw about 1300 CANADA GEESE, AMERICAN COOT, BELTED KINGFISHER plus a possible AMERICAN GOLDEN-PLOVER on the mudflats below the ballfield in Morgan Park.

Frank Nicoletti has added up the totals for the month of November from the Hawk Ridge Main Overlook, and they were: 1546 BALD EAGLES, 7 NORTHERN HARRIERS, 16 SHARP-SHINNED HAWKS, 1 COOPER'S HAWK, 37 NORTHERN GOSHAWK, 434 RED-TAILED HAWKS, 456 ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS, 46 GOLDEN EAGLES, 1 MERLIN, and 2 unidentifieds, for an overall total of 2546. Frank reports that fair numbers of ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS plus a few GOLDEN EAGLES are still migrating through this week.

Finally, a reminder that the annual Duluth Christmas Bird Count will take place on Saturday, December 19, and those who have participated in recent years are now being contacted and organized. If you would like to participate for all or part of the day, either by joining one or the birding groups out in the field or by counting birds at your feeder, give me a call at 525-6930. Our standard 15-mile diameter circle is centered at Hawk Ridge and it extends up the North Shore to French River, north to Eagle Lake off the Jean Duluth Rd., west to Wild Rice Lake and the airport, and in the harbor area as far as 27th Avenue West and on Park Point as far as 43rd Street.

Unless something unusual in the meantime is seen, which needs to be reported on immediately, the next scheduled update of this tape will be Thursday, December 10, and as always if you have birds to report -- especially birds which would be of interest on bird count day -- you may leave a message after the tone.

[Send your rare and unusual Minnesota sightings to our electronic hotline, MnRBA. To learn more about it, send a message( the message being these two words: info end) to: mnrba-request@linux.winona.msus.edu]

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