Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Minnesota birding

We arrived early for the Pauser family reunion in Cold Springs Minnesota June 17th. A storm was predicted, so I grabbed my binoculars to check out Uncle Rodney’s backyard before the party started. My target bird was the Red eyed Vireo. Well, why not? Last year I found a Yellow billed Cuckoo, my most sought after bird. Red eyed Vireo was second on my list of must see birds in Minnesota.

I found House Wrens nesting in a small bird house in their beautiful wooded yard. A pair of Rose breasted Grosbeaks and a male Cardinal was also seen. I heard an unfamiliar bird song, which was clearly a vireo. I made a pssst call and two Red eyed Vireos flew in close, looking quizzically at me. Their stark white undersides, dark eye line, red eye, and white eyebrow told me they were indeed Red eyed Vireos. It was almost too easy, a new life bird for me!!! A few minutes later I heard another vireo call. This time I spotted a stunning male Yellow throated Vireo, another life bird. I found Eastern Bluebirds on the roof and Chipping Sparrows on the driveway before it started to rain. After a wonderful reunion we headed home in torrential rain, enduring a classic Minnesota thunderstorm.

Birding every spare moment on our five day vacation yielded seven life birds for me. I found five more Red eyed Vireos, three Indigo Buntings, and clearly heard a Barred Owl's eerie call on our last stop before departure. I also added four nests to my nest list. My only disappointment was the lack of warblers. I think I have a better idea on where to bird, so who knows what I'll find next year!!!



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