Thursday, May 28, 2015

River day

Visited the mouth of the Lester River this morning.  The 47 degree breeze off Lake Superior was quite a bit chillier than the 80 degrees we saw yesterday.  I sought refuge in the high-banked river bottom behind the Superior St bridge.  Four mallards were foraging the river and several female American Redstarts were darting from tree to tree across the water.

Female American Redstart

Four drake mallards

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Started this morning by spotting the first fawn of the season.  Tiny with wobbly legs crossing the road behind its mom.  Then the chickadees and a pine squirrel were friendly and let me get within minimum focal distance off my 300mm lens.  A female ruby-throated hummingbird visited but didn't like how close I was.  Several blue jays hopped in the trees above, making an interesting variety of calls.  An unknown flycatcher sang me a song.  Later on the drive to work, I spotted an osprey building a nest.

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

Pine Squirrel nervous about how close I am.

Osprey building a nest despite a nesting deterrent wire.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Passing through

This small, marshy wetland recently modified into a pond had been host to a number of Canadian geese.  As I passed by I saw a number of smaller birds.  I stopped to check them out, assuming they where killdeer.  Well, one was a killdeer, the six others appear to be Short-billed Dowitchers.

short-billed dowitcher

short-billed dowitcher

Friday Findings

Still in Two Harbors and finding more birds.  In addition to all the goldfinches, I saw male and female Common Yellowthroats, a Yellow Warber, Song Sparrow, and some Red-winged blackbirds.  The birds were very fast and tough to shoot in the thick reeds and bushes!

Yellow Warbler

Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler
Yellow Warbler

female Common Yellowthroat
male Common Yellowthroat
male Common Yellowthroat

male Common Yellowthroat
female Common Yellowthroat

Red-winged Blackbird

Song Sparrow

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thicket Thursday

North of Two Harbors for a workshop and the birds were drawing my attention.  Many American Goldfinches chasing each other around.  The warblers were busy as well, but chasing bugs.  Found a pair of American Redstarts, a Wilson's Warbler, and there was Yellow Warbler (but no good pic!).

Female American Goldfinch

Male American Goldfinch

male American Goldfinch

American Redstart

Wilson's Warbler

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Rosy Day

I returned home and as I drove up the driveway, the local blue jays scattered from my bird feeder.  Then another shape flitted across the yard...this one was not blue.  The rose-breased grosbeak is lifer for me!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Civil birds

 Returning from birding at Hartley, I was greeted by another warbler on the UMD campus.  Just outside the Civil Engineering building is an area planted with native prairie species.  A Chestnut-sided warbler and some chipping sparrows were very busy snacking on insects.

Chestnut-sided warbler

 Chipping sparrow

Hartley Warblers

There are lots of warblers in the area so I thought I should take a moment and go see some!  I took a productive stroll through Hartley Park to the pond and back.  The Chestnut-sided warbler let me get within five feet; was about six feet from the Blackburnian warbler.

Chestnut-sided warbler at the shore of Hartley pond.

With a bug in his beak!

Palm Warbler near the dock on Hartley pond

Blackburnian Warbler

 With a grub in his beak!

Sticking out his tongue!

Song Sparrow filling the air with music

Why did the duck cross the road?

Just down the road from my house I had to hit the brakes as there was a hen and drake mallard sitting on the road.

Nearby was a mourning dove picking rocks

Back in my yard, a pair of downy woodpeckers were squabbling over the suet block.  The female would not let the male have his breakfast and kept chasing him off.

Humming my song

Ruby-throated hummingbirds, male and female, visiting the feeder at Belinda's this morning.

The "extra" red coloring on the male is the sun shining through the feeder.

Male Ruby-throated hummingbird

Female Ruby-throated hummingbird

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Pining for you

Pine siskin on my feed was friendly enough to let me get close.  He was busy eating and I caught him with his mouth full.

Pine squirrel was licking the salt off the steps!