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photo copyright � 1987 by Elaine Radford, all rights reserved

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i hadn't laid eyes on a golden-winged warbler in years and at first i couldn't believe what i was seeing until someone else called it - 2016-11-14
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another amazing trip for raptors and owls, tee hee hee

2015-02-07 - 6:01 a.m.

Peachfront's Note: My log-in button was down for a couple of days so now I'm playing catchup. Stay tuned for more pix and even a cute owl video later.

Feb. 5, 2015

A long day running down every known location of the Great Gray Owls but the stubborn birds remained in hiding. Don't think anyone found the one remaining known bird Thursday, and it was seen only briefly by two women (who fortunately snagged a photo) on Wednesday. Did finally get an adult male Pine Grosbeak and a "typical" pale male Hoary Redpoll...beautiful birds.

Amongst other adventures, I hiked across the Mississippi River. It done froze over. Really. I have pictures...

mississippi 

river is frozen over at aitkin county, minnesota

Feb. 6, 2015

An amazing day that began with a close-up and personal encounter with a very steady Grey Grey Owl who perched atop a not-too-tall tree to consider the cruel reality of the falling snow. It was evidently the very bird that had disappeared earlier in the week because the weather was "too good," allowing the young bird to hunt away from the road. A true WOW bird that regarded me with its big yellow eyes whilst wearing a dapper white bow tie. After the owl took its leisurely departure, someone came to the bog moments later and shared some highly sensitive location about a highly magical bird species. To avoid a Google alert from picking up gossip, let's just say that the bird in question is one of the true mythical beings. Oh, and the bird in question also completes my life list of North American falcons, so...erm...that's a pretty big clue that Google should miss by a mile. The bird perched for a long time, allowing long scope views and a bit of phone digiscoping. We also got to see it sally forth a few times in an attempt to dine on the local rock dove. I'm told the bird was first banded on this site in 2003 so and was last seen in 2007 so...hmmm...no telling where it hid out for eight years until the time came to give me one of the luckiest sightings of my life.

Other birds added today: Glaucous Gull, Iceland Gull, Thayer's Gull, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Red-breasted Merganser, and -- oddly -- a female Common Eider out there amongst the Pintails, Goldeneyes, and an (over)abundance of Mallards.

If I've done the math right, I added 17 life birds on this trip including all of the diurnal raptors plus the three owls I was seeking...Wowsers!

great grey owl in the snow

cell phone snap of the undisclosed location

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