Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fun walk at the College of St. Scholastica

Blackburnian Warbler
Brad's Blackburnian Warbler

This morning I provided color commentary on a little walk around campus at Duluth's College of St. Scholastica. Migration must not be quite over—we didn't hear a single American Redstart!

We started with a cooperative little Chipping Sparrow before my brain was quite in gear, so no pictures of him. Perhaps the least cooperative birds were the Cedar Waxwings that only two or three of us saw or heard before they lit out for the territory.

But a nice little Red-eyed Vireo gave us a bit of a show. His eye didn't look quite so red through my binoculars as they did through the camera.

Red-eyed Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

This adult female flicker flew past and stayed on this branch for a little while. We know she's an adult female because she doesn't have the "mustache" mark. 

Northern Flicker

A Black-throated Green Warbler sang and gave a few people (including me, but not my camera) nice but very brief looks. Same with one of the Ovenbirds that were singing—not a single photo op. 

A Red-breasted Nuthatch was calling quite a distance away so I played one recording and he flew in to inspect us all quite closely. 

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Then Brad brought us down a trail where he'd seen a Blackburnian Warbler yesterday. The little guy was singing up a storm, and let me take a few photos. This bird is officially Brad's Blackburnian Warbler. 

Blackburnian Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

A little Common Yellowthroat sang away, but was singularly uncooperative for photos, so I barely got any.

Common Yellowthroat

But if the yellowthroat was uncooperative, I'm not sure what word would apply to the extreme uncooperativeness of this Wilson's Warbler.

Wilson's Warbler

We ended up as we began with a Song Sparrow singing away. We assume the bird feeding on the ground nearby was his mate.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Our species count was fairly low, but we had quality experiences with a few birds and in an hour and a half saw 26 altogether for a lovely walk with wonderful company.

Brad Snelling took this photo. Notice that I forgot to wear a Cubs shirt,
but fortunately someone else took up the slack. 

26 species

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)  25
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis)  4
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) (Columba livia (Feral Pigeon))  15
Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens)  1
Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus)  2
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus)  1
Alder Flycatcher (Empidonax alnorum)  1
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus)  6
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)  1
American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos)  4
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)  5
Red-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta canadensis)  1
American Robin (Turdus migratorius)  3
European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)  6
Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)  12
Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla)  3
Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)  2
Blackburnian Warbler (Setophaga fusca)  1
Black-throated Green Warbler (Setophaga virens)  1
Wilson's Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)  1
Chipping Sparrow (Spizella passerina)  5
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia)  6
Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)  2
Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)  1
Purple Finch (Haemorhous purpureus)  1
American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis)  2