Working my way across the USA to start a bicycle tour, but just published a small book about the Birds of Costa Rica for a very small region on the Pacific Coast. This books is a gift to my younger brother, William. This is NOT a rain forest book. Rather it is a Costa Rica drylands coastal bird book. The Birds of Las Catalinas is provided free for download, BUT is copyrighted. In other words, the book is free for your private use. Should you wish to let others know about the book, do NOT host the pdf on your web site, but link back to my Birds of Costa Rica web page.
Hosting the pdf on your own web site would be breaking the laws of the United States.
Friday morning I took a sunrise bicycle ride in the Suomi Hills region of northern Minnesota. Boy am I glad I convinced myself to get out of bed early (sunrise is 5:15 am). The wildflowers are blooming like crazy, and the birds added a nice touch! If you have the opportunity to drive Mn Hwy #48 in the next week, make certain you slow way down and look deep into the roadside ditches about 8 miles from Mn Hwy #38. You will see thousands on Showy Ladyslippers. These flowers were just starting to bloom on Friday. Every one of these flowers was photographed within a two mile stretch on Hwy #48 (and the ducks).
Suomi Hills Lutheran Church (and my bike)
Ring-Necked Duck and Wood Duck
Ring-Necked Duck and Blue-Winged Teal (a favorite perch, perhaps?!)
Thursday evening, a thunderstorm rocked our cabin on Northstar Lake, which cleared the skies for my sunrise bike ride the next morning.
After driving over 4,000 miles during the past two weeks, and visiting some fantastic locations including Santa Fe, the Grand Canyon, and Durango, Colorado deep in the Rocky Mountains, Molly and I arrived home yesterday afternoon. Although I was tired from all the driving, and looking forward to a night in my own bed, when the Northern Lights numbers popped I had to head to a frozen lake and hope Lady Aurora would dance. It was a fine performance. She did not disappoint. For ten minutes shortly after 10 pm the light show was spectacular. The refrozen melt water out on the lake ice made for cool reflections.
I then move over to NW Wisconsin to the Davidson Windmill, and hoped for a repeat performance. However, when the 2 am hour approached I realized it was to be a one dance night and I contented myself with a starscape “green glow” image at the windmill.
Lady Aurora Dancing Over Boulder Lake … 25 miles north of Duluth
A Few Minutes Later … more rays / spikes but less light
Ten Minutes Before Lady Aurora Came out to Dance … intense light
The Davidson Windmill Starscape Green Glow
The last few days have been cold in the Northland, with temperatures plunging to around -25F or worse. Does this mean one stops birding? No! I just make certain I have extra warm clothes and blankets in the car in case I get stuck somewhere. In addition to the cold weather, the past week has seen about one foot of new snow which came in multiple bursts. This extra snow seems to be making it a bit easier to find birds as they are concentrating on known food sources, as opposed to being deep in the forest and even foraging through the snow on the forest floor. Here are some images I took over the past three days …
Superior Rough-Legged Hawk on Connors Point (Duluth Harbor) … snowies also being seen at dusk on Connors Point, the Superior Middle School and the Richard Bong Airport
Riley Road Pine Grosbeaks … if you bird Riley Road, get out of the car. I found a large flock of pine grosbeaks, but they were 10 to 50 yards off the road.
Sax-Zim Bog Pine Grosbeak “Gritting Up”