Photo: Shari Zirlin
Kim had also been taking us to places to look for Bohemian Waxwings, but couldn't track down a flock until Sunday afternoon on the way back from Two Harbors, where we had lunch. Waxwings move around a lot, finding a food source (buckhorn berries are popular right now), stripping the vegetation of the fruit and then moving on en masse. One of Kim's friends had told him he'd seen large numbers on his property, so we drove along the road his house is on and sure enough, a huge flock of about 300 BOWA (which is probably 30 times more waxwings than I've seen altogether) were rising and falling along the distant tree line at the back of his land. They finally swirled around close enough for us all to get good scope looks at them.
While we were all taking turns looking at the waxwings, there was some action behind us at the bird feeders. A few chickadees. Lots of Common Redpolls. And when Kim put his bins on them, finally, the elusive HOARY REDPOLL showed up. A great life bird to have for the trip. Especially to have the identification confirmed by an expert, because I don't see enough redpolls to have the confidence that one of them is different enough to be a another species. In the field guides the difference is obvious. In the field, not so much.
Only 5 species on this stop but 2 "quality" birds.
Common Raven 1
Black-capped Chickadee 5
Bohemian Waxwing 300
Common Redpoll 10
HOARY REDPOLL 1