Duluth RBA

Previous reports: November 5 10 19 26 , December 3 10 20 24 31 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide
*Duluth/North Shore
*January 7, 1999

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: January 7, 1999
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (218) 525-5952
Compiled and written by: Kim Eckert (kreckert@cp.duluth.mn.us)
Transcribed by: Catherine Severin (mahces@means.net) Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Duluth birding report for Thursday, January 7, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union. With the arrival of colder than normal temperatures and more snowfall beginning last weekend, it had been the hope that more northern Minnesota winter specialties would start showing up. While there have been recent sightings of SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, THAYER'S GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, ICELAND GULLS, GREAT GRAY OWL, BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER, and VARIED THRUSH, on the other hand there have been no recents reports of Gyrfalcon, Spruce Grouse, Snowy Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Boreal Owl, Three-toed Woodpecker or, most significantly, any Redpolls.

Warren Nelson of Aitkin reports the SHARP-TAILED GROUSE are being seen west of Gun Lake in Aitkin County along Township Road 380 near the Lind residence. To reach this location, turn west off of Co. Rd. 5, 4-1/2 miles north of Minnesota Hwy. 210 and go 3 miles west and 1/2 mile south.

At the Superior, Wisconsin landfill, THAYER'S, GLAUCOUS, and ICELAND GULLS of various ages were still being seen this week. Also present there was at least one unidentified white-winged gull which appears to be a hybrid of some kind, possibly a GLAUCOUS x HERRING GULL hybrid. There had also been a first winter GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL there last week. To reach the landfill, take Hwy. 2 and 53 south through Superior to the south edge of town and turn east at the sign for Moccasin Mike Road, Wisconsin Point and Lake Superior.

Two GREAT GRAY OWLS were reported last weekend. One of these was in the Sax-Zim Bog area northwest of Duluth along St. Louis Co. Rd. 788, 1-1/4 miles west and 1-1/2 miles south of Zim. The other was in Lake County along the Stoney River Forest Road about 4 miles south of Minn. Hwy.1. The Stoney River road turns south off of Hwy. 1, 3 miles west of Isabella. Be aware, however, that this road is basically only one lane wide and is used by logging trucks. Another GREAT GRAY had been seen a few times in late December in Aitkin County along County Road 18, 4 miles east of U.S. Hwy. 169. And on December 21, another GREAT GRAY was found in the Sax-Zim Bog along Co. Rd. 133, 1.7 miles west of U.S. Hwy. 53.

A BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER was relocated last weekend at Hawk Ridge in Duluth where two were seen in the Duluth Christmas Bird Count -- that is, along the Pinewoods Trail which starts off of Skyline Parkway a half mile west of Seven Bridges Road.

A VARIED THRUSH is still being seen this week in Two Harbors in Lake County where one was seen on that Christmas Bird Count. The location is on the east side of town on First Avenue just west of First Street.

Also being seen in various locations in northeastern Minnesota are BOREAL CHICKADEES, good numbers of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, especially in Duluth and Two Harbors, NORTHERN SHRIKE, SNOW BUNTINGS, especially in the Sax-Zim Bog and along Aitkin Co. Rd. 1 north of Aitkin, PINE GROSBEAK and EVENING GROSBEAKS, RED CROSSBILLS, especially in Lake County near Isabella, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS.

A second-hand report of a NORTHERN HAWK OWL, the only one reported all season, was just received. It was seen by an out of state birder December 27 in the Sax-Zim Bog along County Road 133, apparently 1-1/2 miles west of Hwy. 53, although the directions were somewhat vague.

And the only SNOWY OWL which has been seen with some consistency has been at the Murphy Oil Refinery on Stinson Avenue in Superior, although there have been no sightings of it since last week.

The next scheduled update of this tape will be on Thursday, January 14, and as always if you have birds to report you may leave a message after the tone at the end of this tape or call me directly at 525-6930.

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