I headed up to the bog today with Amber Burnette and Mark Martell from Minnesota Audubon. The meetings are organized by Pam Perry and it's goal is to find a way to make the bog more accessible and safe for birders and how to keep birders from ticking off the locals. It's opened the doors to some great conversation and great possibilities for the area. The meetings are held at Wilbert's Cafe. At the counter where you pay, they have a notebook where folks can sing names and where they are from. Next to it is an assortment of owl articles and I was excited to discover an article written by my friend Val Cunningham who writes for Outdoor News:
We did some brief birding and I'm sorry to report that we found only one owl but then again we weren't really trying that hard. Male harriers were all over the place. We found one guy eating something on the side of hwy 7. Of course, as soon as we stop he took off for the other side of a field but I was able to digiscope him with my Stokes binoculars. Mark was comparing them to his Zeiss binos and even he was impressed. Here is the harrier with a mouth full of food:
We did see a ton of bald eagle moving through as well as gray jays, northern shrike, kestrels, rough-legged hawk (a dark morph!) and of course one lone northern hawk owl.