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  • Writer's pictureGregg Severson

Outing for an Osprey

On April 19th, in my role as a part time naturalist for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, I lead a bird walk for the Mill City Commons, which is a 55+ group based in downtown Minneapolis. We met at the Lake Harriet bandshell, and started by scoping out the waters of Lake Harriet looking for waterfowl. We got good looks at Red-breasted Mergansers and Horned Grebes, but there wasn't a lot of activity on the lake that day, so after a while we decided to head into T.S. Roberts Bird Sanctuary and take a look there. The songbirds were quite active in the sanctuary, and I got a couple of year birds - a Brown Thrasher and a Swamp Sparrow. It was a beautiful day for birding and being outside. As I was leaving, I snapped this arty photo of a Common Loon out on the lake.

Common Loon sitting low in the water, with a reflection of its head showing on the waters surface

Map of the short bike ride down to Lake Harriet

A couple of days later, Kellie and I met up at the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden to check out the spring ephemerals (and, of course, do some birding). It was another gorgeous day and it was so nice just to be outside. The garter snakes obviously thought so too, since we found a bunch that seemed to be congregating on the little prairie.

Two Garter Snakes wrapped around each other

The hawks were taking advantage of the warm weather and south winds too - we saw a Broad-winged Hawk fly over, which was my second of year but since I saw the other one at work on a day that I had taken the bus, it didn't count for my green half year. As we were biking home, we had an Osprey fly over Cedar Lake.

Route to Eloise Butler

On the 22nd, I heard there were Eared Grebes out at Bde Maka Ska. I had a Minnesota Global Birders presentation on New Zealand to attend but I decided to bike around Maka Ska on my way there to see if I could catch the Eared Grebes. I spent some time looking (enough to make me late to the presentation), but I still couldn't find those Eared Grebes. I did pick up an early Palm Warbler, but left empty-handed on the rare grebe.

My route almost entirely circumnavigating Bde Maka Ska, then going to the Walker Library for the presentation

Miles biked on these trips: 19.3

Miles biked year to date: 421.3

Species count: 95

My bike birding eBird profile: (Please note that you need a free eBird account to see profiles in eBird)

Fundraising links for the two organizations I am supporting with this green big half year. Please donate!

If you were planning to donate 25 cents per bird species, you'd be up to ~$25 right now. I'm hoping to get to 200 species, but that will take a lot of effort. Please donate to give me more reason to put in that effort!

Friends of Sax-Zim Bog:

National MS Society:

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