Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Sunday Afternoon Drive

We have been on a Yellow-Headed Blackbird quest for the past couple of weekends. I haven't checked one off my Minnesota bird list for several years and Mr. Johnson has never seen one, so last Sunday afternoon and this Sunday afternoon were spent searching for this bird at some local state parks where there's ideal yellow-headed blackbird habitat.

Our search today started at Whitewater State Park in Winona County. Driving into the park, I spotted this deer......can you see it?

OK, how 'bout now? Yeah, you're right....the head always makes a deer so much easier to spot!

But wait, there's more! A few more miles down the road we had to stop to allow this pretty doe and her 2 adorable fawns to cross the road. Fortunately, I had my camera ready and was able to get some good photos.


We left the state park and headed out into the Whitewater Wildlife Management area. Check out this ideal yellow-headed blackbird habitat. Plenty of water and marshy areas all surrounded by cattails. But did we ever spot a yellow-headed blackbird? No, not a single one!!

And even though we never did find that elusive yellow-headed blackbird, we were rewarded with plenty of other beautiful sights along the way.

Lots of colorful wildflowers

Wood ducks hanging out on a nesting platform

Great Blue Heron patiently searching for lunch
And check out all those beautiful water lilies in the background. I believe they're American Lotus and there were thousands of these blooming all over in the ponds.

Another Great Blue Heron (they're such cool birds!)

Bald Eagle fly-by

If any of my southeastern Minnesota readers can give me a tip about where I can head to next weekend on another yellow-headed blackbird quest (within an hour's drive of Rochester), I'd really appreciate it.

Have a great week everybody!


Gaelyn said...

It's really all about the journey and you sure got in a lot on this one. Such a lush green area. Maybe next time on the yellow-headed blackbird, or not.

Dave said...

I agree with Gaelyn, it's all about the journey. Looks like yours was fantastic!

Jayne said...

It's nice the rewards were lovely just the same. :c) I've never seen the Yellow-headed Blackbird either and look forward to your photos when you track one down Ruthie! Hope you are having a great summer.

Anonymous said...

You saw so many nice things, so you didn't see the yellow-headed blackbird, but next weekend gives you a chance to see something else and then a YHB. It looked like a fabulous trip. It was fun to see the fawns still had their spots and they are growing.


Mama Pea said...

Beautiful pictures, Ruthie. I almost felt like I was with you on the ride.

Deb said...

I saw my first YHB's in many years this year. They were on a lake in Isanti County, so you could probably find some closer than that. Good luck!

troutbirder said...

Great pictures Ruthie. The prairie wildflowers, especially butterfly weed) are just stunning right now at Lake Louise. Also I did see YHBB's at a rest stop this summer on I90 near Worthington. More than an hours drive though :(

Taos Sunflower said...

More great photos. I especially love the deer. Just watched the 1946 movie "The Yearling" last hoo hoo...they are such graceful, beautiful creatures.

Mollie said...

Another vicarious road trip with Ruthie & Mr. Johnson! Such beautiful countryside and all the wildlife--just doesn't get much better than that, unless of course you spot an elusive YHBB!

RuthieJ said...

You're right Gaelyn. It was a definitely a good trip.

Thanks Dave. We went on some nice roads with not much traffic so had plenty of time to stop the car and observe too.

Thanks Jayne. Hopefully after this coming Saturday, I'll have a picture to post for you.

We sure did see some great things Mom. And no mosquitos to contend with either -- that was a plus!

Thanks Mama Pea. I'm sure you would have enjoyed coming along with us.

Good for you Deb! I'm hoping for sightings in Steele County this weekend.

Thanks Ray. I saw them a few years ago on a trip to Blue Mounds State Park too. It is farther away, but definitely a good day trip to see some good birds and beautiful prairie.

Thanks Martie. I loved seeing the deer too--esp. the fawns. You know I've never seen The Yearling or even read the book and now I probably won't, esp. if it's a sad one. I'm still traumatized from reading Old Yeller back in grade school!!

Thanks Mollie, glad you enjoyed the trip. Hopefully I'll have some YHBB photos to share with you after this next weekend.