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Morning Birding Species List | October 7, 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 7AM - 10AM
Weather: mostly sunny
Location: Hallam Lake, North Star Nature Preserve

Species Identified  
Wood Duck (pictured above)
Mallard
Dusky Grouse
Cooper's Hawk
Downy Woodpecker
Steller's Jay
Black-billed Magpie
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
American Dipper 
      American Dipper
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
Chipping Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Song sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Pine Siskin 
Evening Grosbeak 
 
Comments: This was an especially rewarding outing, that underscores the importance of getting out to bird often to increase your odds of having those 'right place, right time' moments.  
Aside from excellent views of a dipper diving in the clear, still water of Hallam Lake, we caught a glimpse of a pine marten stealing through the shrubs as we watched waxwings and evening grosbeaks feeding on fruits. The marten, whose presence was made known by mobs of magpies here and there, worked its way along our route where we watched it at length around the ACES garden and pole barn. It then proceeded to catch a Dusky Grouse near the electrical utility building adjacent to ACES' entrance gate.  We observed the marten working to drag its grouse elsewhere while being harassed by magpies, and later saw that it had finally taken its meal away to finish eating. This incredible sighting was followed by multiple sparrow species at North Star, and capped off with the Wood Duck back at Hallam Lake.
A great birding lesson this morning: pay attention to noisy mobs of corvids, because there's likely an interesting wildlife drama taking place! Also, we normally only record live, wild birds on our Morning Birding lists, but today we decided to include the Dusky Grouse because it was so fresh!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Naturalist