Just wanted to add this Rose-breasted Grosbeak to the post. As common as they are to find, they are a wonderful bird to have visit for the summer months in MN.
I had some target birds for this trip, but most of all I thought I was going to be lining up for my favorite warbler, Black-Throated Blue. My first sighting of this species was a wonderful adult Male I found at Afton State Park while hiking. This turned out to be the bird that connected me and Pete Nichols as he needed it for a State life bird and contacted me soon after I reported the bird. Within 40 minutes he was on the bird having hiked down to the river and up to the valley I had found the bird in earlier. He later invited me over to his home to chat and bird watch and we found ourselves to have many similar interests and goals in birding and we've been friends ever since.
This particular bird resonated with me and I was keen on seeing it at Tettegouche SP during this trip sequence, but if you've been following the blog post titles I went from "Following Migration", to "Outrunning Migration" as I got to the north shore. I had not estimated the progression of warbler migration properly, not realizing that the Black-throated Blue might be lagging behind as much as it was. So during my entire Northshore run I found copious amounts of Black-Throated Green, Ovenbird, and Northern Parula, but my target was missing in action.
Fast forward to the end of my trip and May 18th I had felt that Black-Throated Blue just wasn't going to be a thing on this trip and that I would likely need to come back soon for another shot at the bird in Tettegouche SP.
My target trail "Ogantz Trail" is closed on a longer term basis from the massive flood a couple/few years back. I really liked that as a possible hike and was soon just sitting in the parking log staring at my map wondering what I could do that would still allow me to get back home and rest a bit from such an arduous hiking schedule. I then remembered making a note to myself that I wanted to check out the trails near the Hemlock Ravine SNA at some point in the future, and this was indeed the future. I moved to that dirt parking near Forbay Lake and found some trail space for Greeley Creek and soon found myself on the Willard Munger paved space as well. I did a couple loops along this stretch and had some nice thrush species singing in the ravines along the way. As I was nearly wrapping up I walked the Willard Munger trail back towards county road 151. Only about 100 yards short of the road intersection I caught sight of some warbler movement just off the trail.
I've had some nice chances to see migrant and breeding Chestnut-sided Warblers this year and really enjoy them both in breeding and juvenile plumage since they are so different.
As I locked on a Chestnut Sided Warbler I also heard an interesting buzzy "I'm so lazy" call that I knew immediately to be my target bird from much further north. I finally locked on an adult male feeding along the trail edge and was able to snag a few pictures of this amazing bird. I had travelled the entire north shore for 4 days only to come back south and find the bird working his way north still. You truly can outrun migration for some species and timing is everything as I've no doubt demonstrated very well at this point.
What a stunner. I love this bird and finding one is always a treat.
It was super cool to have one in nice light I could enjoy without having to try viewing it in a dark woods while bouncing around the tree canopy.
It was an outstanding way to finish my week long, 20 park circuit.