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seven snowy owls in an hour, what are you doing with YOUR life?

2015-02-03 - 8:09 p.m.

What a day. It was Minus 10 below zero when we set out on the great adventure. I'll put the bird list first, in case I run out of steam and have to update later. Pics coming too...

New life birds are in bold.

  • Ruffed Grouse in the middle of the road was the first bird of the day, he flew up and perched in a twiggy tree roadside to be inspected in our light -- my first ever Grouse!!!!
  • Sharp-Tailed Grouse -- my second ever Grouse was a lek of nine, yes, a lek in the snow, you learn something new every day...
  • Black-backed Woodpecker went for the cheap laugh, making us hike out into the ice and snow of the woods to find first the female and then the beautiful yellow-crowned male...of course, once we'd seen the birds, the female then appeared by the side of the road!
  • Snow Buntings
  • Pileated Woodpecker -- evidently these birds are more snow tolerant than one might easily believe
  • Mallard (zillions)
  • Pintailed Duck
  • American Black Duck
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Snowy Owl-we crossed into Wisconsin into the grumpy little refinery town which boasted at least seven individual Snowy Owls -- maybe more, but we were sure of seven, thanks to the differences in their markings (age, sex, some bander put black on their head if he caught em, another put black on the tail, and one poor male boasted both of those marks plus a number two wingtag -- this last bird was hanging out on the refinery's private property on the other side of the fence, no doubt thinking no one would be able to get him for further banding there.)

That's the results-oriented short version. We also took quite a tour of the stunning scenery of the Northshore of Lake Superior finding -- among other things -- vast quantities of snow and ice clogging the lake, a rock shop that boasted the most amazing Laker I will ever hope to see, and a whackadoo who did not succeed in his evil plan to hijack the wily tourists and who was not the famous sniper guy of Stickney Road but was a perhaps new and hithertoo undiscovered crazy.

Sniper guy, as the name suggests, apparently prefers gunplay. Although we did pass by Sniper Guy's shack a couple of times but decided it was probably uncool to slow down to photo the "Combat Marine Sniper Trepassers Will Be Perforated" sign....Shit yeah, I'm paraphrasing, I'm in a rush and CBA to get the exact wordage of psycho killer's sign right but give me a few days...

As far as the motiveless attack on us was concerned...The important thing is we kept our heads in an isolated area with no cell service, made the right evasive maneuvers, and lived to bird another day...I was quite impressed by C's driving and felt rather like I'd been in a film.

More pics, more story sometime soon...right now the plan is to turn in early and get up at the crack of 3 AM for the Spruce Grouse hunt or something like it. We won't be passing on the Crazy Thinks-He's-Costarring-In-Duel-Guy's road again so nobody worry about all that.

CBA = Can't Be Arsed

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