Brrrrrrrr! But a Lesser Yellowlegs

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What a frigid morning! But if we were cold, the birds seemed even colder. We had something of a fall-out at Park Point—I’m sure our numbers for most of the songbirds are way lower than the actual numbers.

We had a couple of (the most we saw as a group was one, but I saw two when I was trying to get a few photos after we broke up). Our most impressive shorebird of the day (since there were only two species, this wasn’t a high bar) was the that flew past us, showing its gorgeous cinnamon wing linings, and then sat on the ball field for quite a while.

Soon after, someone started running his dog right there, which of course chased the bird off. I wish people understood how exhausted migrating birds are in conditions like today’s. They should not be wasting essential calories trying to elude dogs.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Marbled Godwith

Hermit Thrushes were everywhere, and flickers. Still lots of juncoes but quite a few White-throated Sparrows and Fox Sparrows were singing. We came upon one lovely flock of 12 American Tree Sparrows at the far end of the ball field. I’m assuming that was the same flock of 12 that we later found by the parking lot.

American

We were lucky enough to run into John Richardson, the wonderful bird guide. We told him about our Marbled and he refound it. After our group disbanded, John chanced upon a dead (imagine that!) by the Beach House.

It ended up getting eaten by a . I can’t help but wonder if that was the weird gull-like bird that flew over fairly high right after a did—if we did see it, I’m not all that surprised that we didn’t guess it was a Northern !

We first saw the bird, being chased by two gulls, at close range–the cinnamon wing linings were very clearly visible. It alighted further away. After we had moved on, when we looked back someone was running a dog there and we couldn’t find it.

A while later, John Richardson relocated it. It disappeared again when a flew past.

 

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Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson, 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Roger Tory Peterson Award, has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane Expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written eight books about birds, including the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Book Award winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; and the National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America. She’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine, and is writing a field guide to the birds of Minnesota for the American Birding Association. Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running “For the Birds” radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with her husband, mother-in-law, licensed education Eastern Screech-Owl Archimedes, two indoor cats, and her little birding dog Pip.

Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson

Laura Erickson, 2014 recipient of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Roger Tory Peterson Award, has been a scientist, teacher, writer, wildlife rehabilitator, professional blogger, public speaker, photographer, American Robin and Whooping Crane Expert for the popular Journey North educational website, and Science Editor at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. She’s written eight books about birds, including the best-selling Into the Nest: Intimate Views of the Courting, Parenting, and Family Lives of Familiar Birds (co-authored by photographer Marie Read); the National Outdoor Book Award winning Sharing the Wonder of Birds with Kids; 101 Ways to Help Birds; The Bird Watching Answer Book for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology; and the National Geographic Pocket Guide to Birds of North America. She’s currently a columnist and contributing editor for BirdWatching magazine, and is writing a field guide to the birds of Minnesota for the American Birding Association. Since 1986 she has been producing the long-running “For the Birds” radio program for many public radio stations; the program is podcast on iTunes. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota, with her husband, mother-in-law, licensed education Eastern Screech-Owl Archimedes, two indoor cats, and her little birding dog Pip.

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Marie-Christine Claverie-Degasches

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