Duluth RBA

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

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Duluth/North Shore
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union
Date: December 10, 1998
Compiler: Kim Eckert (kreckert@cp.duluth.mn.us)
Transcriber: Dory Spence (dory21@juno.com)
Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, December 10, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union. With warmer than normal weather still in the forecast next week along with the continued lack of snow cover, prospects for the Dec. 19 Duluth Christmas Bird Count are uncertain. On the one hand, most northern winter specialties are either few and far between or non existent; on the other hand, there will probably be more than the usual number of late-lingering migrants.

Among the rarities seen lately were: 2 GREAT GRAY OWLS in Lake County seen Dec. 6 along the Stony River Forest Road, 4 miles south and 14 miles south of Minn. Hwy. 1 (the Stony River road turns south off Hwy. 1, 3 miles west of Isabella); a BLACK- BACKED WOODPECKER the same day seen at the corner of Jean Duluth and West Tischer roads in Duluth; a TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRE seen today in Duluth at the corner of Strand and North Tischer roads; two adult ICELAND GULLS still at Wisconsin Point in Superior, along with GLAUCOUS GULL and THAYER'S GULL, one at the Superior Entry breakwaters and the other Iceland at Allouez Bay; BLACK SCOTER and OLDSQUAW in Lake County at Two Harbors on Dec. 5; a few GOLDEN EAGLES still migrating past Hawk Ridge on Dec. 6, 8 and 9; an unidentified duck seen earlier this week at the mouth of the Lester River in Duluth which sounds like it might have been a female or immature HARLEQUIN DUCK.

Several later than normal migrants have been reported recently, including a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT on the Superior side of the Highway 53 Blatnik Bridge on Dec. 3, a BELTED KINGFISHER seen the same day along the Lester River, an AMERICAN COOT earlier this week at Park Point, RUSTY BLACKBIRDS last weekend which were reportedly coming to the Franciscan Health Center feeders on the 3900 block of Park Point., an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW in Terry Wiens' yard today on Strand Rd., and a BROWN THRASHER which was still at Gary Kuyava's feeder on Wabasha St. in Duluth.

As previously reported, the Duluth Christmas Bird Count will be on Saturday, Dec.19. It is centered at Hawk Ridge, the CBC circle extends up the North Shore to the French River, north to Eagle Lake off Jean Duluth Rd., west to Wild Rice Lake and the airport, and in the harbor area to 27th Ave. West and to 43rd St. on Park Point. Reports from feeder watchers within this circle are encouraged, especially since there are species listed every year which are seen only at feeders. The best time to report what you see on the 19th would be between 5-7 pm by calling 728-0105, where the compilation of the day's birds will be taking place.

Start watching now for those species which we usually have trouble finding on count day. If you see any of the following species between now and Dec. 19 in Duluth, give me a call at 525-6930: any waterfowl except Mallard and Common Goldeneye, any species of hawks or owls, any woodpeckers except Hairy and Downy, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Townsend's Solitaire, Varied Thrush, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Cardinal, any species of sparrows except House Sparrow, Snow Bunting, any blackbirds or grackle, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, any redpolls and crossbills, and of course any other rarities -- of which the possibilities are too numerous to mention.

Finally, also note that there will be Christmas Bird Counts at Two Harbors on Dec. 20 and the Sax- Zim Bog on Dec. 21. For information on the Two Harbors count call Frank Nicoletti at 724-0758, and on the Sax- Zim Bog count call Mark Stensaas at the Duluth Pack Store at 722-1707.

The next scheduled update of this tape will be Thursday, Dec. 17.

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