Northwest Birding Report – April 26, 2018

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 26, 2018 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:

Spring has finally come to the northwest, and migration is really heating up. Numbers of early migrants are increasing daily, although the species count does not seem to be increasing with the same speed. All of the expected ducks have been reported and moving north as the ice disappears; the raptors are here in force; and some gulls are showing up. Very few shorebirds have been reported. The blackbird crowd has arrived, and there are innumerable dark-eyed juncos in all the yards which are ringing with the frenzied singing of hundreds of juncos and purple finches. To date, few sparrows have reached the northwest, but in the last two days, many folks are reporting unusual numbers of fox sparrows this spring. We should see more sparrows in the next few days.

In Lake of the Woods County, Gretchen Mehmel reported that there were RED CROSSBILLS at Norris Camp on April 24.

A first county record AMERICAN AVOCET was reported by Doug Johnson and Becca Engdahl on April 23 at the Mississippi River entrance to Lake Bemidji in Beltrami County. A FORSTER’S TERN was also seen there.

Connie Cox , reporting from Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, listed many ducks, TUNDRA SWAN,  all the usual raptors, SANDHILL CRANE, TREE SWALLOW, EASTERN PHOEBE, WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, SWAMP SPARROW, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and many other species arriving this week.

Agassiz NWR in Marshall County reported a WHITE-FACED IBIS at Headquarters Pool on April 26.

From Pennington County, Gary Tischer saw an AMERICAN COOT in Thief River Falls on April 22. Eight TURKEY VULTURES were seen flying over the city on Monday, April 23. In the river, I have seen PIED-BILLED GREBES, WOOD DUCKS, COMMON GOLDENEYE, BUFFLEHEAD and HOODED MERGANSER. Here in the yard I had a visit from both a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK on April 22, and a COOPER’S HAWK on April 23.  Also recorded this week were one YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and a flock of TUNDRA SWANS.

Leon Thoreson reported what may be the last SNOWY OWL in Polk County this spring on April 20. A BROWN THRASHER was seen in his yard near Climax.

Sandy Aubol reported all the expected ducks this week, and lots of TUNDRA SWANS in the fields. On April 20, she observed a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT fly over, and a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK  visited her yard. A BROAD-WINGED HAWK was seen on April 22. At the Brandt-Angus impoundment she saw MARBLED GODWIT, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD and TREE SWALLOWS. On April 23, she found 42 RED-NECKED GREBES, 4 HORNED GREBES and a WESTERN GREBE in the Grand Marais Creek east of East Grand Forks; RING-BILLED GULLS, FRANKLIN’S GULL, and BONAPARTE’S GULL were seen at the East Grand Forks WTP.

A HORNED GREBE was seen in Detroit Lakes in Becker County, and a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET at Dunton Locks. Gary Tischer found many FOX SPARROWS just south of Tamarac NWR, and also reported a BELTED KINGFISHER and COMMON LOON in the county on April 25. An ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was observed by Shawn Goodchild at Fig Lake Farm on April 20.

From Hubbard County, Connie Cox reported a COMMON LOON in the Fishhook River at Park Rapids. Marshall Howe mentioned TUNDRA SWAN, GREATER YELLOWLEGS, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER,  FOX SPARROW, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER and PURPLE FINCH on April 22. By April 24 there were large numbers of FOX SPARROWS and DARK-EYED JUNCOS, and they were joined by SONG SPARROW, AMERICAN TREE SPARROW and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.

In Otter Tail County, Alma Ronningen observed TURKEY VULTURE, OSPREY and TREE SWALLOWS on April 22. Also this week NORTHERN FLICKER and YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER flew in. Gary Otnes found a FRANKLIN’S GULL at the Mistinka River and an EASTERN PHOEBE arrived in his yard.

In Grant County, the North Ottawa Impoundment has not disappointed this spring. A long list of ducks and shorebirds were reported there this week. Of interest was a GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE first reported there on April 21.

Other interesting species included were SNOWY EGRET, AMERICAN AVOCET, EARED GREBE, HORNED GREBE, a fly over of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, TREE SWALLOWS, AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS and YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS. Both MARBLED GODWITS and HUDSONIAN GODWITS were seen there. The species there are changing daily, so one never knows what will be seen on any given day.

A EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE was found in the town of Wendell on April 26.

Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber’s numbers 218-847-5743 or 218- 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Jeanie Joppru
Pennington County, MN