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BRRRRdathon 2019 Results

January 4-5

How about “Bird-a-THAWn”? (Andrew Webster’s pun!)

Record number of “WinterGreen” non-motorized teams

Team “Shrikecycles”: L-R: Andrew Webster, Tom Beery, Mikayla Haines along icy Lake Superior.

The 9th Annual BRRRRdathon was certainly not that cold, but all participants will take home warm memories. Thanks to all who signed up and participated and especially to John Ellis who raised more than $400 in pledges!

Fat biking around Duluth-Superior-Two Harbors in 30 to 41 degree temps is not too bad! Last year’s Minus 16 to Minus-26 made this year downright balmy and very “un-BRRRR-ish.” The big story this year was the SIX non-motorized teams in the “WinterGreen” division.

Team “Shrikecycles”: L-R: Andrew Webster, Tom Beery, Mikayla Haines along icy Lake Superior.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • King Eider (French River on Lake Superior & Brighton Beach)
  • Pacific Loon (French River on Lake Superior & Brighton Beach)
  • Tufted Duck (near Pier B Resort in Duluth)
  • Merlin chasing redpolls at Lester River mouth
  • Northern Goshawk (Sax-Zim Bog)
  • Snowy Owl (Sax-Zim)
  • 2 Great Gray Owls (Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk at Warren Nelson Bog, and along Zim Road)
  • Northern Hawk Owl (McDavitt Road in Sax-Zim)
  • Black-backed Woodpecker (Sax-Zim Bog)
  • Boreal Chickadee (Sax-Zim Bog)
  • Belted Kingfisher along Duluth’s Tischer Creek
  • Varied Thrush and Bohemian Waxwings in Two Harbors
  • Snow Buntings on Wisconsin Point (rare this year)
  • both crossbills. 
  • Gulls were hard to come by and so no rare gulls were reported.

The composite number of species was 61 which is above our low of 55 but well below our high or 73 species in 2017.

Team Grousing Twitchers (Dave Benson, Lars Benson, John Ellis) spotted 46 species and tallied 87 points to retain their dominance of winning every BRRRRdathon ever held except one. They birded Sax-Zim Bog, Duluth, Two Harbors and Superior.

Competition was fierce in the WinterGreen non-motorized division as six teams vied for birdathon supremacy. Team “Snowy Howls” (Deeana Erickson, Bryan French, Matti Erpestad) edged out Team “Shrikecycles” (Andrew Webster, Mikayla Haines, Tom Beery) by ONE point.

Two of the “Grousing Twitchers” (Lars Benson, John Ellis) check the Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk. They hit pay dirt here with Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker and Great Gray Owl!

2-day BRRRRdathon

  • 87 pts 46 species Grousing Twitchers Dave Benson, Lars Benson, John Ellis

1-day BRRRRdathon

  • 40 species: Steve Millard in Ottertail County

We had no official count-area 1-day participants this year. But Steve Millard did his traditional 1-day birdathon outside the “playing field” of NE MN and NW WI with an effort in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. Steve tallied 40 species including TWO Black-crowned Night-Herons, Golden Eagle, Brown Thrasher, and Eurasian Collared-Dove.

WinterGreen non-motorized division

  • 40 pts 26 species “Snowy Howls” Deanna Erickson, Bryan French, Matti Erpestad fat/mountain bike
  • 39 pts 28 species “Shrikecycles” Andrew Webster, Tom Beery, Mikayla Haines mountain bike
  • 32 pts 20 species “Minnesota Fat” Sparky Stensaas fat bike
  • 29 pts 23 species “Agate Boys” Tim Bates, Steve Nelson fat/mountain bike
  • 27 pts 20 species “Chilly Chickapees” Steven Gebhardt, Megan Hogfeldt fat/mountain bike
  • 27 Pts 19 species “Busted” Ken Gilbertson, Pat Kohlin DTA bus
Non-motorized birders scan a patch of open water on the St. Louis River estuary. L-R: Tom Beery, Ken Gilbertson, Pat Kohlin
Two of the “Grousing Twitchers” (Lars Benson, John Ellis) check the Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk. They hit pay dirt here with Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker and Great Gray Owl!
Sparky Stensaas scanning the mouth of the Lester River on Lake Superior for King Eider and Pacific Loon
photo by Andrew Webster
Scanning the bay ice outside of Duluth (photo by Andrew Webster)
Common Goldeneyes on the bay (photo by Bryan French)
Mikayla Haynes participated AND shot footage of the event (photo by Bryan French)
Rough-legged Hawk (photo by Bryan French)
“Grousing Twitchers” John Ellis and Lars Benson bird the Warren Woessner Bog Boardwalk in Sax-Zim

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