February 17, 2009

Sax-Zim Bog Birding Festival: Day 1

My dad and I got up early in the morning on Friday to make the trip to Duluth, MN for the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Bird Festival. We were ready and out the door at five in the morning and drove nine hours to the chilly north woods. We passed the twin cities on the way up and I managed to snap a picture of downtown Saint Paul as we drove through.Once we were past the twin cities, trees and lakes became more abundant all the time. About eighty miles north of Saint Paul we encountered our first Common Ravens flying over a rest stop along I-35. Not long after that we were in Duluth and enjoying the birds. The hills just before you get in Duluth are huge providing you with an exellent view of Lake Superior and the city below.
We drove into the city and checked out some areas near Lake Superior for gulls. It didn't take long to find some gulls and pick out a Great Black-backed Gull. This bird was my 296th lifer! I expected to see new birds on this trip but I didn't expect to find one so quickly.
It didn't take long to find some other interesting gulls including adult Glaucous (photo below) and Thayer's Gulls. I got some shots of the lighthouse and a lift bridge in Duluth as well while I was looking for the gulls. Duluth is an interesting city that sits along the shores of one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world and has the largest inland seaport anywhere.After an hour or so we headed forty-five minutes to the northwest to a town called Meadowlands for the festival. We got registered and enjoyed a talk by Larry Weber on animal tracks in the woods.

I will tell you all about the Duluth field trip and my 300th life bird tomorrow so check back in to hear about the rest of my northern Minnesota birding experience!


Lynne said...

It was great to meet you Tucker. I'm looking forward to hearing your take on the rest of the festival weekend.

Tucker L said...

It was great to meet you too. I had a great weekend!