Thursday, November 17, 2011


A welcome visitor from up north showed up this morning at the north end of the lake: the first Common Redpoll I've seen in the Twin Cities area in at least 3 years.

Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll
Common Redpoll

These little northern finches are relatively common in the wintertime in northern Minnesota, but they don't show up this far south every year. They tend to come south in big numbers only in years when there's less food for them to eat up north. I hope this means that we'll see more of these guys throughout the winter.

This solitary female Redpoll was feeding in the shoreline vegetation on the north side of the lake with a mixed flock of House Finches, American Goldfinches, and a couple of late Song Sparrows. She was not bothered by me in the least (as you can probably tell by how close she let me get for the pictures above).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Shoreline Burn

The park board was doing a controlled burn of some of the shoreline vegation around the lake this afternoon.

Controlled Burn

I was pleasantly surprised to see a bufferfly still around, even if it is a common one. I believe this is a Clouded Sulfur, though it could be another type of sulfur.

Clouded Sulfur

The lonely American Coot that's been on the lake for the last 2 weeks or more hasn't left yet.

American Coot

Coots certainly aren't rare around here, but they don't often show up in the park. In fall, we generally get a couple of single birds that seem to have lost their way. In larger lakes nearby, you'll often see large rafts of coots numbering in the hundreds or thousands at this time of year.