Duluth RBA

Previous reports: November 26 , December 3 10 20 24 31 , January 7 14 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide
*Duluth/North Shore
*January 14, 1999

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota, Duluth/North Shore
Date: January 28, 1999
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (218) 525- 5952
Compiled and written by: Kim Eckert
Transcriber: Barb Adams, MNBird Volunteer badams@css.edu
Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, January 28, 1999, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

Although some northern Minnesota winter specialties continue to be difficult or impossible to find - - especially GYRFALCONS, most of the owls and THREE-TOED WOODPECKER - - there were several sought-after species seen earlier this week, including another SPRUCE GROUSE in Lake County; SHARP-TAILED GROUSE still at a favorite spot in Aitkin County; ICELAND GULL, THAYER'S GULL, GLAUCOUS GULL, and sometimes a first-winter GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL still at the Superior, Wisconsin landfill at the south end of Wisconsin point; at least one SNOWY OWL in Duluth and at least one GREAT GRAY OWL in the Sax-Zim Bog; a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER still at Hawk Ridge in Duluth; BOHEMIAN WAXWING flocks in Duluth and in the town of Aitkin; and most significantly, some recently arrived flocks of COMMON REDPOLLS which in one case even had some HOARY REDPOLL among them.

The SPRUCE GROUSE sightings have been few and far between in Lake County this winter. One was seen on County Road 2, 36 miles north of Two Harbors on January 25, about a half-hour after sunrise.

SHARP-TAILED GROUSE were seen again this week in Aitkin County on county road 5 at the intersection with Township Road 380 which is 4.75 miles north of Minnesota Highway 210. The best time to look for them seems to be between 9 and 9:30 in the morning. And another place to look would be along township 380, 3 miles west and .75 miles south of County Road 5.

SNOWY OWLS are still hard to find in the Duluth-Superior Harbor, but the best place to try recently has been around Interstate Island, which is west of the Interstate 535 bridge.

The only GREAT GRAY OWL reported recently was in the Sax-Zim Bog area northwest of Duluth on January 23 on the Nichols Lake Road, a half-mile west of US Highway 53. This road turns west off of 53 5.5 south of Cotton. Unfortunately, there have been no reports of this owl since the 23rd.

That BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER was seen again last weekend near the Pinewoods Trail at Hawk Ridge in Duluth. This trail is marked with a blue diamond and begins off Skyline Parkway about a half-mile west of Seven Bridges Road. The most recent sighting was about 100 yards from Skyline, just beyond where the Pinewoods Trail turns to the left.

The most recent reports of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in Duluth have been around the 4400 and 6000 blocks of Superior Street and in Morgan Park. WAXWINGS can also stll be found in the town of Aitkin west of Duluth.

And some additional flocks of COMMON REDPOLLS are now showing up in northeastern Minnesota north of Duluth. One of these flocks had three, surprising and well-marked HOARY REDPOLLS among them. This was on January 25, along Minnesota Highway 1, four miles northwest of the Lake County Road 2 intersection.

As before, RUFFED GROUSE, NORTHERN SHRIKES, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES, BOREAL CHICKADEES, SNOW BUNTINGS, PINE GROSBEAK, EVENING GROSBEAK, and WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS continue to be seen at various locations in northeastern Minnesota. I have no reports, since last week, of RED CROSSBILLS being seen anywhere or of that VARIED THRUSH in Two Harbors in Lake County which had been at a feeder along First Avenue just west of First Street.

Also of note recently, were an OLDSQUAW seen in Duluth January 24, at Brighton Beach; some migrating ROUGH-LEGGED HAWKS moving through Duluth also on the 24th; merlins at at least four locations in Duluth and an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW which is still at Don Kienholz's feeder on Martin Road, just west of Rice Lake Road.

The next two scheduled updates of this tape will be on Feb. 4 and Feb. 11 by Dave Benson. If you'd like further birding information or have birds to report in the next couple weeks, you can contact Dave at 728-5812 or call Mike Hendrickson at 626-2268.

As always, if you have birds to report, leave a message after the tone.

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

Sightings can be called in directly to the tape, (218) 525-5952, by leaving a message after the tone at the end of the tape.]

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