This morning I was a twitcher. A friend joined me as we used information reported on email list servers, Facebook, and a network of friends to decide to drive to Lacrosse in search of a Piping Plover. A great thanks to those that found and shared the location of this bird and those that informed everyone if it remained in the same location, as we were able to easily find the bird late this morning. This endangered species was a lifer for us both and a joy to watch. We spent the next hour scoping gulls and waterfowl at the spillway and fisherman's dike, finding good a variety of waterfowl and the reported eared grebes. Before returning to Winona we drove south 10 minutes to see a white-face ibis, another life for my birding partner today.
A photo of the Piping Plover from today is above. Seeing this bird was a highlight, but as I edited photos from the week and wrote this blog tonight I wondered.whether it was actually the biggest highlight. Other awesome highlights from today include: enjoyment from sharing bird observations with a friend, pride felt after convincing your youngest to jump in the deep end at swim lessons, and the happiness of an accidental encounter and meal with best friends at Taco Bell. I guess I'm more likely a birder than twitcher or lister, but enjoyed being one today.
This past week has been wonderful. Recent warmth, sun, and traditional spring days have me itching to get outside to golf, to bird, and to enjoy the weather in general. I haven't touched a golf club yet this year, but we have been enjoying the numerous birds that are currently in the Upper Mississippi River Valley. Michaela has asked a couple of times to visit the flooded field where Bonaparte's Gulls, Yellowlegs, and Teal were earlier this week. Below are some of the numerous pictures from this past week, as many of each of these species are currently on Lake Winona or the Mississippi.