The Boreal Blast! Northern Minnesota delivered in a HUGE way this morning. Leaving long before dawn, I arrived at the Sax-Zim Bog about 30 minutes before sunrise. I wanted to be in the frozen bog in time to watch some owls. Even though the temperature was -20F, I regarded this chilly weather as a benefit because it also insured sunny skies.
The only bird on my “hit list” which I missed seeing was a great grey owl. Apparently if I had been five minutes earlier to McDavitt Road, I would have also captured that memory. However, by the time I started home around 1pm I considered the excursion a great success. Two highlights included:
- Standing directly under a telephone pole for 30 minutes and watching Mr. Snowy make faces at me.
- Visiting a rural home’s feeder and being treated to a flock of over 50 evening grosbeaks. These birds used to be common in Duluth 30 years ago, but are rarely seen near my home (60 miles away by car). Apparently this population drop is well known in official birding circles. I actually recognized the evening grosbeaks first by their song when I arrived to the particular location. Given it had been almost 40 years since I had heard one of these birds, it was a neat memory to have come back in an instant. I originally found the flock in a large grove of pine trees 300 yards from where I had parked. Thankfully, they eventually came down to the feeders.
The day’s excursion finished off perfectly with another sighting of the northern hawk owl, who I have now confirmed lives only two miles from my Duluth home.
I hope the photos give you as much pleasure as I had in taking the pictures.
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