Friday, January 16, 2015

Lake Superior

We finally made it to Duluth yesterday and got to see Lake Superior. We met up with the group leader at the hotel (Days Inn - don't ask) and headed out to the harbor on the lake to see some gulls and ducks.  Thayer's Gull is a cute gull that some birders think is just a form of Iceland Gull but it counts as another species. Thayer's Gull is one of the "white winged" gulls. You can see that that the wings don't have any black on them.

Thayer's Gull

Thayer's Gull
Here is another white winged gull - Glaucous Gull. This one reminds you of a Ring-billed Gull, only whiter.

Glaucous Gull
OK. I admit that these are not the most interesting birds but they are interesting to birders. Here is another bird that isn't very sexy to look at - Common Eider.  I love these birds. They winter off of the New Jersey coast so we get to see them floating around in the surf for a few months each year. They nest up in Maine and we got to see that a few years ago when we went to Hog Island. Why do we care about this one ( a drab female)?  Because you are looking at the first Common Eider to show up in Minnesota since 1959!  All of the birders who saw the last one are dead now. This is pretty rare.

Common Eider
These 2 lighthouses mark the channel.

Lighthouse

Lighthouse
We also saw 6 Snowy Owls. This one was perched behind a nursing home near the airport. We had to maneuver past the smoking nurses aids to get this photo. Cough, cough.

Snowy Owl
More to come. We went out for more birds today which will be posted tomorrow.
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