Duluth RBA

Previous reports: September 10 20 24 , October 1 8 15 22 29 , November 5 10 .
Other Hotlines: Minnesota Statewide
*Duluth/North Shore
*November 5, 1998

-Birds mentioned

Hotline: Minnesota Duluth/North Shore
Date: November 5, 1998
Sponsor: Minnesota Ornithologists' Union (MOU)
Reports: (218) 525-5952
Compiled and written by: Kim Eckert Transcriber: Rick Schroeder
Re-transcriber: David Cahlander (dac@skypoint.com)

This is the Duluth Birding Report for Thursday, November 5, sponsored by the Minnesota Ornithologists' Union.

Unfortunately, the generally dull birding situation in Duluth and along the North Shore of Lake Superior reported on last week's tape has continued into this week, as the variety of species and numbers of individual birds in the area are still quite low. However, there were a few isolated reports of rarities recently, including a possible RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, an AUDUBON'S-type YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, 2 PACIFIC LOONS, THAYER'S GULL, GREAT GRAY OWL, and both RED-BELLIED WOODPECKERS and BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS.

Yesterday morning, November 4, an unidentified HUMMINGBIRD appeared in a yard on the 2300 block of East 3rd Street in Duluth. From the description it sounds like it might have been a Rufous Hummingbird, of which there are several previous Minnesota records. However, the bird was apparently not seen yesterday afternoon or today, so its identity will probably not be determined.

Esther Gesick and Bill Marengo of the Twin Cities found an "AUDUBON'S" YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER on October 31 in Grand Marais in Cook County, but it could not be relocated the next day. This western form, which had once been considered a separate species (and may be again), has been sighted several times previously in Minnesota.

Also on October 31 a PACIFIC LOON was seen by many observers on the Burlington Bay side -- or east side -- of Two Harbors in Lake County. This bird was apparently still present on November 2.

On the 2nd another PACIFIC LOON was seen on Mille Lacs Lake at Garrison in Crow Wing County. This bird had previously been found there in mid-October.

On November 1 a first winter THAYER'S GULL was found in the Grand Marais Harbor.

On the same day Warren Nelson of Aitkin saw a GREAT GRAY OWL along Aitkin County Road 18 just east of Pietz's Road, 4 miles east of U.S. Highway 169, which is a traditional site for this species. Warren also reports that SHARP-TAILED GROUSE are being seen consistently in Aitkin County just west of Gun Lake. To reach this location, go north from MN Highway 210 on Co. Rd. 5 for 4.5 miles, turn west on Township Road 380 for 3 miles, then turn south for 0.5 miles and look for the grouse along the driveway on the east side of the road.

At Hawk Ridge a RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER has been seen a few times recently down the hill from the Main Overlook, and BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS were also seen at Hawk Ridge November 1, both migrating past the Main Overlook and in the pine plantation along Skyline Parkway 0.7 miles beyond the Main Overlook.

Other birds of note seen recently in Duluth include a late unidentified SWALLOW on November 2, the first BOREAL CHICKADEE of the season November 4 at Hawk Ridge, a NORTHERN CARDINAL seen yesterday at Stony Point, and BLACK SCOTERS October 30 at the Park Point Recreation Area.

Other birds seen last weekend up the North Shore of Lake Superior include a BLACK SCOTER at Grand Marais, good numbers of migrating RED CROSSBILLS at several locations with just a few WHITE-WINGED SCOTER in Grand Marais, a few NORTHERN SHRIKES, a couple of BOHEMIAN WAXWING flocks, and a lone COMMON REDPOLL -- but, again, the number of birds seen overall was disappointing.

Finally, the hawk totals for the month of October at the Hawk Ridge Main Overlook have been added up, and they include:

569 T. Vultures 5 Ospreys 1391 Bald Eagles (peak of 317 on Oct. 19) 170 N. Harriers 6696 Sharp-shinneds 55 Cooper's 143 N. Goshawks (peak of 23 on Oct. 20) 27 Broad-wingeds 7557 Red-taileds (peak of 1537 on Oct. 20) 39 Rough-leggeds (a lower number than usual) 33 Golden Eagles 169 Am. Kestrels 161 Merlins (peak of at 32 on Oct.18) 6 Peregrines 4 Red-shouldereds;

for a monthly total of 17,027, with a season total since mid-August of 43,196.

The next scheduled update of this tape will be two days earlier than usual, on Tuesday, November 20.

[Send your rare and unusual Minnesota sightings to our electronic hotline: MnRBA. To learn more, send a message (the message being these two words: info end) to mnrba-request@linux.winona.msus.edu

Sightings can be called in directly to the tape, (218) 525-5952, by leaving a message after the tone at the end of the tape.]

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