Monday, January 4, 2010

South St Paul Riverfront Trail

When I think of birding locations the Twin Cities suburb of South St Paul, the town which I grew up in, does not usually come to mind. In December of last year, however, I made numerous visits to my old home town. South St Paul, like much of the Twin Cities was built on the banks of the Mississippi River. I never ventured down to the river when I was growing up, I got grounded for going to the local pond so I probably would have been incarcerated for life for going to the river, which is probably why I was not aware of this gem that was right in my own back yard.
Back when I was young most of the area by the river was dominated by the stock yards which besides being the largest in the world were also dirty and smelly. Now most of the area has been redeveloped and it now includes a nice 6.5 mile trail that runs along the river. Since the trail is on the other side of the railroad tracks you have to access it by an overhead walkway.
As winter takes a hold of this area many of the birds that rely on water to live migrate south looking for open water. Up until the end of December the Mississippi River bordering South St Paul was still open providing habitat for many of these birds. Bald eagles could frequently be seen flying low over the river in search of a fish or perched in the trees that line parts of the river bank.
Down in the water there were plenty of waterfowl swimming around looking for food. There were plenty of Canada geese and mallards dabbling in the water looking for vegetation as well as several different types of diving ducks like common mergansers and common goldeneye looking for fish.
The big excitement this year was the presence of a female long-tailed duck. These ducks breed up in the Arctic circle and usually winter on the Atlantic or Pacific coast. Occasionally one or two is found inland, where there is open water, and fortunately this time it was our turn. The river in South St Paul has now frozen up, we have had several days of sub zero temps in a row, and many of the birds have probably moved further down river near Hastings, MN / Prescott, WI where there is still open water.

23 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Great shots as always and it does look cold! It's always good to learn that run down areas have been redeveloped. And I do love your birds! Such marvelous captures! Like being able to see them close up for real! Thanks for sharing them with us!

Hope your new year is off to a great start! Enjoy!

Sylvia

Postcards from Wildwood said...

Lovely shots of the birds. I really like the first one too, with the yellow train set against the winter colours of the cityscape.
Janice.

Carver said...

What a beautiful place and wonderful shots. Happy New Year.

awarewriter said...

Wonderful photos and a great story. I've never seen a duck like that one. Come to think of it, I've never seen a bald eagle up close either.

My wife told me she saw the biggest red tail hawk she's ever seen sitting in the tree behind our house. We do have lots of hawks. I managed to grab a B&W shot (it's what I had loaded in my camera) of a small hawk one grey Sunday afternoon.

Martha Z said...

Sometimes we overlook the gems in our own backyard.

madcobug said...

Great shots. Thanks for sharing them. Helen

Arija said...

Adorable long tail duck and great composition in the first shot.

Perry said...

Great shots! Thanks for sharing!

Teresa said...

Great Pics!

Sistertex said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos! Well done. The train and the area seems all to familiar.

Rinkly Rimes said...

What beautiful birds! And they all look so well-fed. There must be plenty of food despite the snow.

LadyFi said...

Great bird captures, and I love the splash of colour of the train against the snow in that first photo.

Kirk Mona said...

Thanks for the post. I have been meaning to get down to this site for a while. Seems like a good place to spot birds and a lot of people have been seeing that long-tailed duck.

Anonymous said...

Этот пост — одно из редких исключений, когда читаешь с удовольствием и что-то для себя выносишь. Спасибо автору. Добавлю в избранное[url=http://voronezh.recikl.ru/].[/url] :)

Anonymous said...

Для любителей погорячее [url=http://aftertube.net.ua/tags/%E4%F0%EE%F7%F3/]дрочу[/url] Порно онлайн : [url=http://aftertube.net.ua/tags/%EE%ED%EB%E0%E9%ED/]онлайн[/url]
не для детей

Anonymous said...

Leading men's hiking boots makes focus in this aspect of backpacking shoe design. vpn won 039 t connect v

Anonymous said...

This is a decorated box stuffed with different types of dry fruits and sweets., vpn vs. A point that bond to be noted is that very few websites support this technology and the ones that somehow manage, are not at all convincing. These tadalafil effects usually go away after a few hours. free download vpn client for windows xp. With more and more people wanting to try out new things with each passing day, more and more restaurants are now opening up across the world, concentrating only on the availability of those food items that cannot be found anywhere else, which is precisely the need of the hour and which is also sure to put these restaurants apart from the rest. vpn in touch app store

Anonymous said...

Then here is a perfect idea that can help you choose you an incredible gift for her!, phone unlocker. The modern project management period started in the 1950s. The ultimate end product will surely hit the online market expeditiously! vpn safelnk. You may choose from a wide range of rachis at www. dvpnc80v b

Anonymous said...

A screen protector film, although most of the time, considered to be good at keeping your phone from getting scratches serves more than that. remote logger serial. And where exactly is that? lineage link server com

Anonymous said...

It turns dog training into more of a natural, gowiththeflow process rather than a competition between you and your dog. tariffa internet adsl veloce

Anonymous said...

A variety of those, this place are not crammed full by skyscrapers as per the height restraint act passed in 1911., online proxy co. The area has benefitted from high rents due to students competing for good accommodation. He is skillful in college level essay writing on any topic. on privacy .. So keep in touch with your market whenever you can and do your home work in market research. lonati socks

Anonymous said...

Hence, in order to combat the situation, many are now investing on braces manufactured from transparent plastic. For online bingo enthusiasts, this promotion spearheads a week of many which are geared at rewarding regular players taking part, not just those who play the most frequently., server 411. The tooth may be a small part of the body, but it is connected to the rest of the body and what happens to it happens to the rest of the body. alabama process server

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.magicaudiotools.com/convert-flac-to-mp3]flac to mp3 converter[/url]