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Sunday, January 22, 2012

The quest to spot a Snowy Owl continues. Many of the Wisconsin sitings occured along the Lake Michigan shore.  Seems an unlikely place for an owl, but we decided to take a jaunt along the lake shore just the same.  No Snowies spotted yesterday, but I added 4 new birds to my life list:
Common Golden Eye,

Barrow's Golden Eye,

Red Breasted Merganser (a punk rock duck!),

and the coolest of all - the Hooded Merganser. 

Mr. & Mrs. Hooded Merganser were fun to watch.  They spend a fair amount of time diving for food, and they don't pop back up where they went under.  They were unphazed by the icy water.  It made me cold, just watching!

Unlike many other birds, we had the opportunity to look at all of these birds a good long time, thumb through the field guide, locate marks that differentiate one type of bird from other similar birds.  What a luxury!  Song birds so often take flight before you can do all that is needed to make a positive identification.  This being Sweetie's first real birding expedition, it was an ideal way to learn how to make a proper identification.

We also spotted Greater and Lesser Canada Geese.  I suspect there were other species mixed in, but we were losing daylight so it became hard to see markings.  That will be a challenge for another day!  :)

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