I think I need to have my readers help me name my two friendly foxes. These two canines (one male and female) have been visiting our yard every evening about 40 minutes after sundown for the past ten days. I feel like I need to get on a first name basis with my friends.
Every night for the past week, the best TV show in town has been our living room window which looks out over my six bird feeders at the edge of the forest. Why is this spot the top ticket? The answer is, starting one hour after sundown, one gets to watch the gray fox couple enjoy a snack of sunflower seeds. This canine pair generally hangs around for 15 to 30 minutes. Last night I increased the food offerings by adding cracked corn and some apple slices under the feeders.
In the last two months, in addition to birds at our feeders, we have had repeat visits from the following animals:
- Gray Squirrels
- Flying Squirrels
- Raccoon Family
- Red Squirrels
Finally, I know that a pair of Great Horned Owls are using our yard to hunt. One may hear their hooting most calm mornings before sunset, or after dark in the early evening. I think the skunks and bears are finally starting their hibernations, thus their visits have now stopped.
Duluth is also known at the Arctic Riviera. Thus, when a snow storm hit two hours before dawn, it was a HUGE invitation for me to get outside with my camera. Today’s wind is out of the northeast which mean big waves as they coming rolling down hundreds of miles of open water of Lake Superior. Thus, rather than being a “stay inside” type of day, I’ve had a great time outdoors. I will admit to having gotten wet due to the sloppy snow, but birding was easy. The snow concentrated birds in prime birding locations. However, taking photographs was a challenge! 🙂
Snow Geese in the Snow Videos
Wave Videos from Canal Park: The first video was taken from the 2nd floor of the Duluth Marine Museum. For the second video I had moved outside, but unlike folks seen in my first video, I am well back of the Lakewalk. The waves were throwing up on shore 20 to 30 pound rocks. The tourists did not realize they were in danger … not from the waves but thrown rocks. I warned a few folks before I went back to my car.
Folks like to see “northern” birds, and for that opportunity they could charter a bush pilot and fly into a remote lake near the Arctic Ocean, or they could visit Duluth in the late fall and winter. In a little over a month the visitor center at Sax-Zim Bog will open for the winter. I look forward to another winter of helping out at the center as a volunteer naturalist.
In the meantime one may enjoy the late fall migration along the north shore of Lake Superior. In the past few days I have enjoyed watching:
- Hundreds & hundreds of Slate Colored Juncos
- Large numbers of
- Horned Larks
- Lapland Longspurs
- Snow Buntings
- American Tree Sparrows
- One Ross’s Goose (Park Point Recreation Fields)
- Many, many Merlins chasing songbirds for breakfast
- One Short Eared Owl (dune grasslands while hiking out to the Superior Entry)
- At my own feeder:
- Woodpeckers … Downy, Hairy, Red-Bellied, and Pilleated
- Finches … Purple and Gold
- Chickadees and Nuthatches (red and white breasted)
- Mourning Doves
- White-Crowned Sparrows
- Fox Sparrows
- A Gray Fox (15 minutes under the feeders eating 50 minutes before sunrise)
Here are a few images from the past two days … a video of the snow buntings is included.