Saturday, October 7, 2017

Pippy Longspur

Pippy Longspur

For the past 10 days or so, people have been reporting Smith's Longspur here and there in my area. I've only seen this species once, in Arkansas in 2006, and badly wanted to see one for my Minnesota list. So last weekend Russ and I went to Two Harbors in search of one, but without luck. Another turned up this week at the old Stella Jones Pier in west Duluth. I missed it there on Wednesday, but yesterday, Russ and I headed there during his lunch break. Of course, Pip the birding dog came along.

I had a tricky time finding the one little buffy outlier among a few large flocks of Lapland Longspurs. I got two excellent but quick looks before it flew each time. The first time it flew just as I was grabbing my camera; the second time I kept it in view through my binoculars in flight and got a great look at but no photos of the wider amount of white edging the tail compared to the other birds—Smith's Longspur has two white outer tail feathers while the Lapland Longspur has only one.

Lapland Longspur
Lapland Longspur
I'm sure Pip has been with me at least once before when I've seen Lapland Longspurs, but I've somehow neglected to add that fairly common species to her life list until yesterday. So her new total is now up to 270! She seemed happy when I told her that, in the same way that she's happy when I tell her the Cubs won, or say, "Look, Pip! It's stopped raining!" or "Look, Pip! It's raining!"

Monday, May 15, 2017

Unexpected Lifer!


Pip was along to see the first EVER Lewis's Woodpecker reported in Bayfield County, Wisconsin!

Thursday, May 11, 2017


I haven't been doing a good job of posting Pip's new birds, but today she saw her first White-winged Scoters. I don't know about her, but I'm pleased as punch!

White-winged Scoter

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pip the Amazing

Pip is such a good little dog! We had a book signing at the Village Bookstore in Grand Rapids today, which lasted three hours. She sat at the table the entire time, greeting people and giving them high fives. She makes these events so much more fun for me! She's so well-mannered and calm—I've had several wonderful dogs in my life, but never before had one who could last for so long in anything like this without getting the least bit antsy.