Southeastern Twin Cities metro birders treated to a year of rarities


The blue grosbeaks and their three chicks have drawn a number of native birders to their nest, after Peter Nichols and Ben Douglas noticed it for the primary time ever in Washington County final month.

It’s the 324th chook recorded within the county since documentation started over one hundred years in the past. Nichols estimates about 235 of the 324 get recorded within the county annually.

The closest a blue grosbeak has been to Cottage Grove was final yr in Dakota County, although on different uncommon events it has even been noticed in Fargo and up into southern Canada, in accordance with the eBird database curated by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Nichols and Douglas have noticed their justifiable share of unusual or odd birds within the county this yr, together with an orchard oriole, cinnamon teal, Hudsonian godwit, American avocet, western kingbird, summer time tanager and snowy egret.

However the blue grosbeak in their very own yard, Douglas stated, tops all of them.

“We’ve had some of the singular years … we have now seen extra uncommon to semi-uncommon (birds) this yr than can be anticipated,” he stated.

Because the males related on Nichols’ Minnesota Birding Fb web page after Douglas moved to Cottage Grove, Douglas stated Nichols has led him on many literal wild goose chases. The Hamlet Park sighting, although, solely took about 20 minutes after Nichols wrapped up his analysis.

Nichols heard the decision he’d discovered prematurely of the outing and knew they’d struck blue gold.

“This was not the primary species that Pete has pitched to me,” Douglas stated. “I feel loads of birders say that (sort of search) is a waste of time. It goes to Pete’s information … and sheer luck.”

Blue grosbeaks are likely to flock towards shrubby, wooded areas such because the south fringe of Hamlet Park the place the pair was discovered.

Douglas want to see the land stay undeveloped.

“My wishlist would merely be to determine a approach … to preserve that piece of land,” Douglas stated. “The one cause we have been taking a look at this website is we see different uncommon birds present up there.”

The self-taught birding pair have discovered 5 kinds of comparatively unusual sparrows — grasshopper, vesper, clay-coloured, lark and area sparrows — on that land.

The town at present has future plans to increase Hamlet Park south. Parks and Recreation Director Zac Dockter stated funding hasn’t been secured but, however new ballfields will possible be constructed there in about three to 5 years, with website grading starting in two to 3.

Migration stations

Within the final decade, three different new birds have been noticed in Washington…



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