Find mud flats with deeper water near by that recharges the flats and you have found bird candy! This morning I hiked into some of my favorite mud flats adjacent to the Duluth harbor. The mud flats did not disappoint. In addition to taking the photo shown below of a Great Egret (rare for Northeastern Minnesota), the shorebirds migrating through from the Arctic were happily feeding. Just a few yards from the shore thistle and other goodies were keeping the finches happy.
Actually, I would not have even found the shorebirds initially if a Marsh Hawk had not flushed them while hunting. The hawk also found the mud flats provided candy!
Ten yards from the mud flats, thistle was perfect candy for this Goldfinch!
A White Egret preferred minnows!
Shorebirds also found breakfast.
What a way to end a photographic year … the Northern Lights on New Year’s Eve! While snow flurries and clouds made for challenging conditions at best, I decided when God gives you apples, make applesauce! Thus, I tried some light painting with my small flashlight and was able to capture “snowflake trails” against the Aurora. I was out at Boulder Lake which is about 25 miles north of Duluth, Minnesota. At one point some timber wolves started howling while I was on location! Pretty cool. Life of the Northwoods photographer!
I am really hoping the pair of Pileated Woodpeckers which have been hanging around my yard, and occasionally come in to the suet will nest in one of my old trees! Could a New Year’s Eve Wedding be in the offing?!
Has been fun to watch them from our living room window seat. The suet feeder is only five yards away!
What a great Christmas. All of my children and grandchildren traveled to the Northwoods, and once everyone was safely here, a winter storm hit! The snow was a gift to this photographer. While we already had snow on the ground, it is hard to argue with 2/3 of a foot of new white stuff … followed by a crisp clear sunny day for birding. I continue to find these pine grosbeaks just north of Duluth. Crab apples are like Christmas candy to these birds. They are hanging out on Riley Road just off Jean Duluth Road.
All the children were finally asleep last night, and the snow had abated … peace reigned in the Northwoods!
Riley Road Pine Grosbeaks