Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hastings CBC

The last weekend in December I participated in two more Christmas Bird Counts. On Saturday I did the Hastings bird count and was partnered with Steve Weston. Steve is a great local birder here in the Twin Cities and has been doing the Hastings count for about 10 years or more so he really new our territory well. The weather was typical Minnesota winter weather with overcast skies, cold temps and light snow, perfect for taking bird photos LOL. The first half of our area was mostly in Spring Lake Park Preserve so we did a lot of it on foot. Since the weather was not too cooperative I did not bring my camera with while we hiked, which was prolly a good because it was pretty quiet any way. On our way out of the Schaar's Bluff area of Spring Lake Park we did spot a horned lark on the road. I got a shot but it was pretty far away and I shot it through the windshield so it is not a very good picture.In the afternoon things picked up a bit. Probably the best birding area that we found was at a feeder station in some ones yard on Pine Bend Trail. These feeders seemed to be very attractive to woodpeckers. There were around 10 downies that we counted.
There were 6 hairy woodpeckers.
We also saw at least 4 red-bellied woodpeckers, a lot of juncos, chickadees and white-breasted nuthatch and our 2 most exciting birds of the day. We saw a tufted titmouse, but it was too far away to get any shots with out entering into these people's yard, and one red-breasted nuthatch.

Even though things were a little slow for us other groups that were part of the count did well. Some of the more interesting birds that were spotted were a flock of red-winged blackbird, gray partridges, American kestrel, great horned and barred owl

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