A Travellerspoint blog

Sax-Zim Bog: Day 2

St. Louis County, MN

overcast 18 °F


Today was our one full day for Bog birding. So, we were out bright and early again and headed straight to McDavitt Rd as that was where we photographed the Great Gray yesterday. We couldn’t find any Great Grays there, but did happen upon Kim and Susie’s lifer EVENING GROSBEAKS littering the trees above some random bird feeders!

We also tried Admiral Rd fruitlessly for Great Grays, but then decided to head down to Overton Rd as another had just been reported there. On the way, we found Susie and Kim’s lifer PINE GROSBEAKS on the road. Cool!!

And sure enough, along Overton there was another GREAT GRAY OWL — though very distant hence the mediocre photos.

Then, it took off when some AMERICAN CROWS began harassing it.

We had an extremely cooperative NORTHERN SHRIKE there:

Balancing in the wind, it appeared to wave at us!

And along the way to the Warren Nelson Bog, we found a BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE that flushed from picking at a deer carcass alongside the road:

Warren Nelson was quiet, so we headed back up to the Visitor’s Center where we had a ball photographing an impressive group of about 100 EVENING GROSBEAKS — the most I have ever seen at once!

The visitor center always has some sort of carcass up for the songbirds to feast on through the winter:


We walked down Gray Jay Way to the feeders a half-mile down the path and found our target BOREAL CHICKADEE, an uncommon species that can be quiet hard-to-come-by. Absolutely awesome! This was a lifer for Susie.

The Grosbeaks entertained back at the Visitor’s Center again, enjoying the platform feeders.

Another lifer for Susie and Kim was this CANADA JAY at the Arkola Rd feeders:

PINE GROSBEAK at the Winterberry Bog:

Our one waterbird in the Bog was this TRUMPETER SWAN enjoying a single patch of open water by Stone Lake, though I was quickly scared off by an obnoxious neighbor who got out his megaphone and shouted from across the lake, “You can’t park there! Don’t you see the no parking signs? Can’t you ****s read?”

When I say the people who live here come to get away from other people, I mean it!

Regardless, we continued our afternoon and despite missing a Great Gray by five minutes, we enjoyed a beautiful boreal sunset:

Bird-of-the-day to the Boreal Chickadee with runner-up to the Great Gray Owl. Has to be a fantastic day in order to give the Great Gray runner-up status!

Happy birding,
World Life List: 1142 Species

Posted by skwclar 16:01 Archived in USA

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boreal chickadees , sure would likee to hear their vocalizations.

by stephen fluett

Thank you!! The grosbeak pics are delightful and we rarely EVER see that one down here. Ditto on boreal chickadees (probably never)although heard a mountain chickadee yesterday, and saw 4 Bald Eagles (2 immature) Bird ON!

by Mary McCutchan

So many highlights! It's hard to pick the 'winner'. The Boreal was fantastic. It was so exciting to see all the Evenings.

by Susie Nies

More shrieking for shrike! What great birds you’re seeing!😁

by Poo

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