Friday, 14 November 2014

Birding in Minneapolis - day 3!

My final day in Minneapolis was a bit quieter bird-wise. In the morning I decided to visit Lake Hiawatha as I'd seen on eBird that Bufflehead had been reported there in the past - one of my target birds! They migrate through Minnesota at this time of year in small numbers so although there was a chance I might find one, twas a fairly small chance. To get to Lake Hiawatha I took the light rail to 46th Street then walked down Minnehaha Creek, which was a lovely walk.

Minnehaha Creek.
Minnehaha Creek.
Minnehaha Creek.
Along the creek I saw more American Robins, American Goldfinches, Black-capped Chickadees, Mallards and a Hairy Woodpecker. I also got another life tick, Golden-crowned Kinglet, of which I saw a group of four, very nice. I'd left my field guide at the hotel though and could only remember Ruby-crowned Kinglet off the top of my head.....this was obviously 'the other one' but until I got back, my notebook just said 'whatever their Firecrest is called'!

At the lake it was bloody windy! I power-walked along the shore and found a bench in a relatively sheltered spot, from there I found plenty of Ring-billed Gulls, American Coots, a few Greater Scaup and one solitary female American Wigeon - another life tick, hurrah. I also saw three Red-tailed Hawks fly overhead, calling and larking around together - smashing. Alas I did not find a Bufflehead, that remains a bird for another day! Maybe I'll see where and when Chris's next North American conference will take him (and possibly me), hmmmm...

Lake Hiawatha.

Although migration had already peaked before my visit, and Minneapolis was settling into the quieter winter period, I was very happy with my birding experience there. I visited some great places - think I managed to jam quite a lot into 3 days (I also visited several museums and landmarks) - and particularly enjoyed meeting up with Bob and Buddy, top notch Minneapolis birding pals! I'm not big on listing but I saw 18 new species, so was pretty happy about that :o) So that was my birding over for the holiday - except this Common Loon which I spotted in MSP airport.....

It will hypnotise you with its glowing eyes....

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