This morning I found a Solitary Sandpiper along the banks of some ponds on the Rossini Road Logging Trail. Somehow the name of the sandpiper is appropriate, “solitary”. Although this dirt road is only 30 miles north of Duluth’s Lester River Bridge, it is a true wilderness experience. For the past several days I have birded the excellent habitat (meadows, ponds, wetlands, and forest), but with my particular favorite being some ponds about 1/2 way between the start of the road and Pequaywan Lake Road. In addition to all the birds, I have seen snowshoe hares, porcupines, and even a timberwolf! My ponds have been a bird magnet for a number of reasons:
- Lakes to the north are still iced over
- Lake Superior to the south is cold … less available food
- The ponds have lots of Spring life … singing frogs, budding trees, and bugs! The birds appreciate this oasis of the warmer weather which will soon be present across the Northland
I actually needed some help with ID’ing the Solitary Sandpiper, and with some help from some local birders (Ryan and Mike), it was actually pointed out to me that my sighting was the farthest north of any Solitary Sandpiper this spring migration in all of North America! Cool!
In addition to my shorebird friend I have had fun getting to know some bufflehead and ring-necked ducks. I hope you enjoy some of my images taken over the past few days on Rossini Road.