Saturday, July 2, 2011
Minneapolis, MN - June 2011
Our second long-distance Greyhound ride of the trip - equally epic, and equally memorable, for a variety of reasons (more of which another time) - saw us heading further west, from Chicago through Illinois, Wisconsin and into Minnesota, where sunny Minneapolis was our next port of call. A few days in the company of the lovely Leah involved more entertaining urban exploits, and Minneapolis impressed greatly.
female American Redstart on the nest
Great Crested Flycatcher
Great Blue Heron
A ride out to Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge - an expansive urban reserve within the sprawl of Bloomington and Minneapolis, and neighbouring both the city airport and the infamous Mall of America - on our final day there provided plenty of good birding.
Hairy (and Downy) Woodpecker
A mix of deciduous woodland, scrub, pools and extensive marshland beneath the roar of passenger jets held plenty of species, and after a satisfying few hours, it was just a ten minute walk from the reserve to the place where we could refuel and pick up the bus - behold, the Mall of America, where rollercoasters and consumerism ad nauseum reach their respective peaks under the same roof.