Fall 2023 DULUTH MBWednesdays Summary

(September  20  -  October 4  -  October 18  -  October 25)

We eventually completed four Duluth-based MBWednesdays this fall, and (to put it kindly) I suppose it’s fair to say we had mixed success. We managed to compile a composite list of 94 species for these MBWs, which was nearly the same as the 97 on the fall 2022 MBWednesdays – although note there were only three MBWs then contributing to this total. Note as well that the individual species totals in 2022 were 55, 63, and 56 (an average of 58), while this year we could only manage totals of 40, 57, 36, and 50 species (for a disappointing average of 46).

Here are the species totals and weather for each of this fall’s MBWednesdays:     

• MBW I on Sept. 20 = 40 species

  weather = high 73, clear, light E winds

• MBW II on Oct. 4 = 57 species (with 19 of these not seen on any of the other MBWs)

  weather = mid 60s, partly cloudy w/some rain, moderate WSW winds

• MBW III on Oct. 18 = 36 species

  weather = low 50s, cloudy w/ some rain, moderate E winds

• MBW IV on Oct. 25 =  50 sp (incl. 17 of these not seen on the other MBWs)

  weather = low 50s, cloudy, light E winds

Unfortunately, these four MBW days were consistent overall with the rest of this fall in Duluth & the North Shore: i.e., generally warm with prevailing east winds (hardly any days with a westerly and more favorable component), and almost no cold fronts to stir up the migration. Indeed, the birding has generally been about as dull as it ever gets here in the fall, with very few rarities discovered (almost no Casuals/Accidentals), and low numbers for most of the more regular migrants.

On the positive side, though, there were several interesting highlights:

• 4 Ross’s Geese in Two Harbors (on MBWednesdays III & IV);

• Surf and Black Scoters (MBW I in Duluth and MBW III at Stony Point, respectively);

• Long-tailed Ducks in both Two Harbors & Duluth (MBW IV);

• Red-throated Loon (MBW IV, though it flew off just after being spotted out from the Lester River);

• a decent raptor flight with 9 species (MBW II; our only MBWednesday with non-east winds);

• Scissor-tailed Flycatcher (!) and a Black-billed Magpie (new for my Lake county list), both on MBW IV;

• and 2 very late Gray-cheeked Thrushes in Two Harbors (MBW III).

Bird List

• I = seen on Sept 20 MBWednesday I

• II = seen on Oct 4 MBWednesday II

• III = seen on Oct 18 MBWednesday III

• IV = seen on Oct 25 MBWednesday IV

Ross’s Goose          III, IV

Cackling Goose          IV

Canada Goose          I, II, III, IV

Northern Shoveler          II

Mallard          I, II, III, IV

American Black Duck          I, IV

Green-winged Teal          IV

Redhead          I, II, IV

Ring-necked Duck          IV

Greater Scaup          II, IV

Lesser Scaup          II, IV

Surf Scoter          I

Black Scoter          III

Long-tailed Duck          IV

Common Goldeneye          IV

Hooded Merganser          I, III, IV

Common Merganser          I, II, III, IV

Red-breasted Merganser          IV

Horned Grebe          IV

Red-necked Grebe          IV

Rock Pigeon          I, II, III, IV

Mourning Dove          I, II, III, IV

Sanderling          I

Wilson’s Snipe          IV

Ring-billed Gull          I, II, III, IV

Herring Gull          I, III, IV

Red-throated Loon          IV

Common Loon          III, IV

Double-crested Cormorant          I, II

Osprey          II

Northern Harrier          II

Sharp-shinned Hawk          II

Bald Eagle          II, III, IV

Broad-winged Hawk          II

Red-tailed Hawk          II

raptor, sp.          III

Belted Kingfisher          I, II, IV

Red-bellied Woodpecker          II

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker          II

Downy Woodpecker          I, II, III, IV

Hairy Woodpecker          II, IV

Northern Flicker          I, II, III

American Kestrel          I, II

Merlin          I, II, IV

Peregrine Falcon          II

Least Flycatcher          I

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher          IV

Blue-headed Vireo          II

Northern Shrike          III, IV

Blue Jay          I, II, III, IV

Black-billed Magpie          IV

American Crow          I, II, III, IV

Common Raven          I, II, III, IV

Black-capped Chickadee          I, II, III, IV

Horned Lark          I, II, III, IV

Barn Swallow          II

Ruby-crowned Kinglet          I, II

Golden-crowned Kinglet          II, III

Cedar Waxwing          I

Red-breasted Nuthatch          I, II, III

White-breasted Nuthatch          I, II, III

Brown Creeper          II

Gray Catbird          II

European Starling          I, II, III, IV

Eastern Bluebird          IV

Gray-cheeked Thrush          III

Swainson’s Thrush          I, II

Hermit Thrush          II

American Robin          I, II, III, IV

House Sparrow          III, IV

American Pipit          II

Purple Finch          II

Common Redpoll          IV

Pine Siskin          IV

American Goldfinch          I, IV

Lapland Longspur          III

Snow Bunting          IV

Chipping Sparrow          I

Fox Sparrow          III

American Tree Sparrow          III, IV

Dark-eyed Junco          II, III, IV

White-crowned Sparrow          I, II, III

White-throated Sparrow          I, II, III

Savannah Sparrow          I

Song Sparrow          II, IV

Swamp Sparrow          III

Red-winged Blackbird          II, IV

Rusty Blackbird          IV

Common Grackle          II

Tennessee Warbler          II

Orange-crowned Warbler          II

Nashville Warbler          I, II

Palm Warbler          I, II

Yellow-rumped Warbler          I, II, IIII

Scarlet Tanager          I