[wisb] Recent migrants (Twin Ports area), pictures, and Herring Gull race question

  • From: Erik Bruhnke <birdfedr@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Wisconsin Birding Network <wisbirdn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 23:01:16 -0500

haven't added any entries to my blog in a while. Here is my newest entry,
in case you're interested! It's about the past season at Hawk Ridge, cool
tidbits & facts, and being thankful.

This afternoon I visited Summit Ledges at Hawk Ridge (Summit Ledges is one
of the rocky outcrops along the northern edge of the Hawk Ridge trails). I
hawkwatched there by myself to just soak up the late autumn views and
simply take it easy this afternoon.  If you're ever in Duluth, and need a
walk through the gorgeous woods, that leads to a breathtaking view; Summit
Ledges is the place to be! Below is my eBird list from this afternoon at
the ridge.

Mallard  1
Bald Eagle  11
Red-tailed Hawk  14     One of the fourteen RTs observed was a dark morph.
Rough-legged Hawk  2
Golden Eagle  1
American Crow  2
Common Raven  1
Black-capped Chickadee  3
Red-breasted Nuthatch  1
Snow Bunting  2
American Tree Sparrow  1
Pine Grosbeak  1
White-winged Crossbill  2
Evening Grosbeak  3

Here are some of my shots from this afternoon. Enjoy!

Evening Grosbeaks in flight (distant shots, but identifiable)

Golden Eagle

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk

Late-autumn view from Summit Ledges

Throughout the past few nights, I have been hearing some impressive
movements of songbirds overhead. I am new to nocturnal flight calls, but
two calls that I was hearing regularly was the daytime "krip" of the Red
Crossbill, and the soft, cute-toned "chew" of the Snow Bunting. Again, I'm
not sure if the daytime flight calls are the same as the nocturnal calls,
but both sounded right-on for the two species' daytime flight calls.

Now onto the recent gull happenings up here...

Close up of a Ring-billed Gull at Canal Park

Here is that darker-marked (oddly-molting) Ring-billed Gull. I really like
this one :-)

There is one Herring Gull at Canal Park that has thrown me off recently. I
believe this is an "American" race Herring Gull, however it's rump,
although barred, was notably paler than the other nearby Herring Gulls'
rumps. It has a pale head, but there have been other 1st-cycle Herring
Gulls with slightly pale heads as well. I am without my gull book yet
again, and going by field guides alone for nitty-gritty identification can
be tricky. Comments and thoughts are welcome! Thanks for any feedback you
can offer.

Good birding,
Erik Bruhnke
Duluth, MN

*NATURALLY AVIAN* - Guided Birdwatching Trips and Bird photography

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