Since Christmas a warm morning has been -5F, with many days ranging down to -20F. In short, these mornings have demanded I get outside! I will admit my hikes away from the car are short, rarely exceeding 20 minutes, and I pay strict attention to the wind velocity and direction.
Yesterday morning was relatively warm, -8F plus wind for a chill factor of -22F. In short, it was perfect weather to stand on a wind swept Lake Superior beach for 20 minutes in search of the “perfect photo” . My goal was to catch the local USCG Cutter Alder as it entered the harbor through the Sea Smoke at the Superior Entry!
Later in the day I drove over to Two Harbors, Minnesota and took a hike out Lighthouse Point. Upon returning this scene presented itself to me … “ice fishing”!
Two mornings ago I had a blast taking a mom and her eleven year old son over to Sax-Zim Bog. The young man loves birding, owls, and my blog. Great kid, huh?!
When I picked them up at 6:30 I asked the young lad what he wanted to see. Owls is the response! I think … no guarantee, but I am reasonably confident … then the boy continues … a Boreal Owl! Uff dah! No way, politely says I! We succeeded by most accounts … five Great Gray Owls and a Northern Hawk Owl, but no Boreal! Here are two images from that outing. (I had driven over the afternoon before to scout and insure the birding expedition would be a success)
Sometimes … you just have to go birding!
When things went surprisingly well at Target yesterday and I finished up stocking stuffer purchases by 7:45 am, I said to myself: “Self … you are only 35 miles from the Bog. Given the 3+ inches of new snow flocked on the trees and the weather radar shows clearing skies … get thee to a Boggery!”
And I did … Sax-Zim Bog bound was I! It was a fantastic morning. I only spent two hours birding, but what a great two hours it was.
Pine Grosbeak (male)
Great Gray Owl on the Hunt … Voles watch out!
… The 4th image in this series was taken upon returning to a favorite hunting perch!
Back at home … not a Partridge in a Pear Tree, but a …
… Mourning Dove in a Pine Tree!
Over the past week I have started to learn the winter hunting territories of three owls north of Duluth. This morning I decided to see if I could find one of the owls before sunrise and take a photograph in the pre-dawn light. I think I succeeded! This is a Northern Hawk Owl, a winter visitor to northern Minnesota … truly a snow bird. The image was taken 15 minutes before sunrise. I also have posted a photograph of the same exact owl taken 20 minutes after sunrise, or 35 minutes later … same tree but slightly different angle. The temperature was 3F, and I walked back to my car and warmed up between photo sessions!
Due to changes implemented by both Google and Apple for their respective Android and IOS platforms, I had to edit / update the Minnesota Birding News app. As always the app is free, contains no advertisments and works on any mobile device running a recent operating system.
Use the app to stay current on bird sightings in Minnesota, birdings news (local and national), or just keep up on some of your favorite birding blogs. The screenshots provided with this post were taken on my own Android tablet and smartphone.
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