When the winter season started, Steve and I started tossing around a couple of names of “must-have” winter birds. Two regular winter vagrant species were at the top of the list of birds we were determined to chase. One of those, the Varied Thrush, was delivered to us on a silver platter when it showed up in the backyard of another fellow birder in Willmar at the beginning of November. The other bird, the Townsend’s Solitaire, is a much more frequent visitor to the state but wasn’t being nearly as accommodating as the Varied Thrush. With patience and some hard searching, I suppose we could have even turned one up in Kandiyohi County. But Steve and I were anxious to put this bird to rest on the life list, so we went after one that had already been found. The Long Prairie CBC turned one up in southern Todd County a few days ago. So on Sunday Steve and I made the one-hour drive. After a little bit of searching we found the Solitaire.
This Solitaire chase was the last planned birding adventure for the winter, and now it’s already on the books. Posting this is kind of bittersweet. So now what? Snowy Owl searches and other owl searches may keep the birding and blogging alive for the next couple months until migration and some out-of-state trips can be bring some renewed excitement again. And of course, we could always shuffle the deck and play another game of Solitaire in the hopes of turning up a Kandiyohi TOSO.