Thursday, August 11, 2011

Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge

Juvenile Franklin's Gull.

It finally happened.

The news you have been waiting for. I, Seagull Steve, your humble nerd-servant, have advanced from #8 birder in the nation to...#7 birder in the nation.

World leaders, movie stars and famous birders alike have already been showering me with enthusiastic congratulations, assorted accolades and all sorts of gifts (well, mainly bourbon). Each day here at BB&B headquarters is a crescendo of compliments, a cavalcade of courtesies. Yes, it feels good to be that much closer to The Top...eventually I could be considered peers with The Great Ornithologist Felonious Jive...which is frustrating, since I know him well and he is a complete dirtbag. But his skills are not to be scoffed at...once in a while even I, the #7 birder in the nation, am left in a glassy-eyed daze after spending a few hours birding with him.

Juvenile Black Tern.

In accordance to The Code, I am not at liberty to divulge how the national birder ranking system works...but I should point out that the former occupant of the vaunted #7 position should not be down on themselves for slipping down the scale. This is, after all, my destiny.

In other BB&B news, the critically-acclaimed Human Birdwatcher Project is cooking up yet another interview...those things seems to be pretty popular yeah? I did a little bit of updating in the other pages here (the HBP and Seagull and Felonious tabs, located under the banner), to get things up to speed and a little bit more cohesive. Two weeks from now I'll be pulling in to Las Vegas, after visiting Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, which I have a few target birds for....things are really looking Up. In a mere eight (8) days the Perpetual Weekend begins again!

Today's photos are all from Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, a North Dakota refuge that is not particularly well-known or visited by birders, but it is legit...definitely not just a duck factory. If you're ever in the area, bird it, you will be happy you did.

Molting Black Tern.

Forster's Tern.

Double-crested Cormorant.
Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge. Serenity now!
Anyone know what these are?

Uhhh.....some kind of leopard frog? This is not my area of expertise.
A recently fledged Swainson's Hawk.

Yellow Warbler.


  1. Looks pretty leopard-froggy to me (non-expert). looks like a solid entry, but which type of l.f., yeesh, who knows! =)

    Good pics & description of the northern l.f. are here The latter link is worth a look just for the center portrait of row 3. SO FUNNY.

    So, congrats on being #7, & thanks for the stop-freakin-asking-but-more-gently-stated re: how these rankings are generated. Duly noted.

    Great shot of the butterflies! Unhelpful hint = family, I'd guess (but you could probably guess that as well).

    However, did learn from above link:
    "The pigments that give the distinct colouring to these butterflies are derived from waste products in the body and are a characteristic of this family."

    Now, that is something you can trot out at your next cocktail party, eh? =) You're welcome.

  2. I didnt know Kermit was real!

    Mmmmmm....colorful waste products.

    #7. The air up here is clean, and gives a great view of the rabble down did I get here? I'm not at liberty to explain...but the answer is truly disturbing.

  3. I never thought a Swainson's Hawk was adorable until just now. Thanks. And don't be hyping any upcoming interviews! I crack under pressure.

  4. Looks like a leopard frog for sure. The Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens) looks correct and is in the correct range.

  5. Love the reflected image of the juvenile Franklin's Gull. Your pix and musings do much to brighten lunch breaks here on fog-shrouded Parnassus.

    Congratulations on being 007. Does that make you a Special Agent among Birders?

  6. Thats guys, you are too good to me! @Sarah I haven't thought about that, still busy reveling in the glory. I did get a couple lifers last week though, so Im already reaping the benefits of the upgrade.