Towards the end of May, I made a visit to Minnesota. It was a pretty good time to visit: the weather was getting warm but it was still nice and cool compared to Orlando.
I spent some time with my dad while he did some printmaking, and then dragged him out on a birding field trip to the Minnesota River Valley. Which he did seem to enjoy- though he volunteered to carry a spotting scope for an older birder and ended up carrying it around for several miles. (Sorry, Dad.)
We also took an evening stroll to the gardens around Lake Harriett, in Minneapolis. I can’t identify many of the plants, but they were quite pretty.
As the sun was setting, we saw several common nighthawks fly by, making their peent! call. It’s always interesting to see relatively big birds in urban areas. Who knows-maybe they’re nighthawks that winter in Florida, and they’re migrating south now. I’ll often see nighthawks near the UCF campus observatory in the evenings.
The common nighthawk is the American Birding Association bird of the year for 2013. They’re pretty cool birds, though their numbers are declining. I hope the birds we saw in May were having a nice early summer evening catching bugs, and that they did well over the summer and are now ready to head south.