Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Friday, February 16, 2018

Birding the Beautiful Whitewater Valley in Minnesota.

Invited by our friends Mr. Science (Gary) and his wife Bobbie, we spent the day winter birding in  the beautiful Whitewater Valley.  And a bountiful day it was.  I won't list all the species and numbers. but a few highlights include many eagles (some nesting), lots of red tailed hawks, several  rough legged hawks also a few kestrels, plus a single Coopers Hawk.  There were  large numbers of the usual small and medium sized winter holdovers,  not including our human "snowbirds" who tend to hang out in places like Florida and Arizona. Lastly, the top sighting of the day was  20 Trumpeter swans,  a rescued species nearly extirpated in Minnesota some decades ago.  Two photos from Gary.  Plus a note on winter fly fishing.
The very large and magnificent Trumpeter Swan resident once again in Minnesota.
 
 
Many eagles were seen  today with three females on their  nests already.  Apparently it's  difficult to tell if they have laid eggs or are still redecorating a previously used nest....
The Whitewater River and its' small tributaries are all excellent limestone trout streams.  Some have a open winter season. I've tried a few times but winter and fishing do not go together very well for me. Once camping in mid November at Mammoth Hot Springs Yellowstone National Park and fishing downstream on the Lamar River, with myself about freezing, cured me of the habit forever....:)
 

17 comments:

  1. That would be a fun day. My seeing trumpeters this summer was the highlight for me. Then on Wednesday we crossed our lake and there were three or four trumpeters on an open area. We were looking down at them in a distance. I really don’t remember swans hanging around here before now but the southern Iowa, along the Missouri seems to be a big area for them to stay. I will have to check our Deborah, Iowa eagles to see if they have eggs yet.

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  2. That's a nice photo of the trumpeters and also the eagle on the nest. You had a good day!

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  3. Sounds like a great day. I am ready to get on the streams, I like holdover fish.Been seeing a few hawk couples also around here. The eagle nests I watch have been keeping the pairs close.

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  4. Always a treat to see the majestic swans and powerful eagles.

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  5. What a fun day for you! I love seeing the swans but you can keep those Eagles in your part of the state:)

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  6. That sounds like a wonderful trip. I took a little tour of the Whitewater River and Whitewater State Park on Google maps and it looks like a very pretty area. You're very blessed with that in MN. Too blessed, some might say but I'm not one of them. If one state has all the good scenery and other states hardly any that's just the way nature intended it.

    Wait, sorry. I was having a flashback about my 6th grade teacher, Mr Bernstein. Mr Bernstein was from Minnesota and if I remember one thing from that year it was when I piped up and said "Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes" and Mr Bernstein stopped his lesson and gave me a look and said, "It's actually more than 10,000."

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  7. It's years since I saw a swan of any description, but I remember always going armed with bread when the swans came to the lake.

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  8. Hi TB - lovely to have that day out with your friends ... especially to share knowledgeable information. We've got swans up here ... but no snow I'm pleased to say.

    I can't think about ice fishing except by remembering my post about Clarence Birdseye and how his fish fingers came about ...

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.ca/2015/10/clarence-birdseye-and-that-ubiquitous.html

    such a wonderful story to find out about ... so fishing through the ice will always be Cap'n Birdseye ... and not me!!

    Cheers Hilary

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  9. What a great variety you got to enjoy. Seeing those Trumpeters made me realize I almost missed seeing them this year at Magness lake here in Ar. I have till the end of Feb to catch them. Better hurry.

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  10. Trumpeter Swans and Bald Eagles - could be right here in Ontario!

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  11. Hi Ray, I am curious, was Gary a teacher in the Science Department? It is cool to get together with colleagues. It looks like you all had a good day. Neat photos! Loved hearing about the Lamar River in mid-November ... yikes! Thanks for another neat post! John

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  12. Indeed. Gary taught Science classes in our high school. We also canoed in Minnesota BWCAW and were fierce tennis competitors. When I gave up upland game and waterfowl hunting he was my birding mentor..:)

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  13. The trumpeter swans are MAGNIFICENT ... I'm so glad they are back. Also I loved your last entry. Mrs T was a saint to pick up the 2 years. Just wondered, are you still doing the cooking?

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  14. Dear Troutbirder, your posting so often bring back fond and wonderful memories of my 38 years in Minnesota. I camped a lot at Gooseberry and on up toward Canada. But the latest my friend and I ever camped was the last two weeks of September. And that was chilly enough for me! Peace.

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