Recent News

Hastings Earth Day Festival: I'll be guiding at Afton State Park in the morning and presenting on gear in the afternoon at Carpenter Nature Center. Check it out this weekend!!

MPR Radio Segment: My appearance on MPR for a segment on bird watching. Podcast link.

Friends of Sax-Zim Bog: I have committed to donate and raise money for this great organization as part of their big half year for the bog. My big year is of course finding birds in the MN state parks. Follow this link to my page if you wish to donate and help fund their excellent work in preserving bog lands for future generations to enjoy. Big Douglas Bog Link.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Of Swans and Larks

A couple of outings recently had me and Melissa tracking down Mute Swan near the MN/WI border. The open sections of river best viewed from Prescott, WI were at first looking to be devoid of much beyond small groups of Mallard and Goldeneye until I spotted 3 swans way down river just about to round a corner. The recent Mute sightings were of 3 birds so I figured this must be them. Within minutes though 8 Trumpeter Swans flew overhead and knocked that theory on its tail.

We then had the idea to see about another viewing point that might offer a look around the corner in the river. It turns out just a mile or so south is a great overlook in WI that is also a nature center. This bluff line view of the river was perfect for viewing a large section of the river. We soon found another 25+ Trumpeter Swans and the 3 Mute mixed in as well. Understanding you are never fully sure the Mute are actually wild didn’t really matter to me. They are birds in the wild with a juvenile and that was good enough for me. They ended up only being on the WI side, so no MN Mute Swan for us, but still a good bird to get.

We later the next day did a Snow Bunting run, but ended up just getting 50 total Horned Larks in two different main locations. The first large group was located around Randolph’s Great Western Industrial Park and the second was sprinkled along the 180th street area from HWY 52 all the way to Northfield BLVD. This was groups of 1 to 4 all along the road. It was a nice search that also showed us a random group of Trumpeter Swan feeding and sleeping in a farm field just south of Woodbury on Neal Ave.

A fun day of road hunting as we tried for Bunting and Longspur, but just hit the Larks mostly. Oh, and a lone Kestrel working the power lines on 180th Street.

Now we are just waiting on the weather to improve so spring migration can start happening.