Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, May 2, 2019

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, May 2, 2019 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also see this report on the Chamber of Commerce website:

Birds are flooding in now that the weather has turned around. Most waterfowl are already present or on the way north to nest. Raptors are nesting, and great horned owls are already feeding young . The blackbird clan is back, and resident sparrows are increasing in numbers every day. We eagerly await the return of most of the warblers, although the early migrants are coming in. The grass is turning green after the recent wet weather.

In Grant County, the N. Ottawa Impoundment does not disappoint. All the usual ducks are present, the NORTHERN HARRIERS and BALD EAGLES are busy harassing the waterfowl, GREAT EGRETS, GREAT BLUE HERONS, and AMERICAN BITTERNS are getting ready to nest. Wayne Perala found 11 AMERICAN AVOCETS there on April 29th.

In Wilkin County, Hebe Shipp found a CATTLE EGRET at the Manston WMA. Other species reported there included LE CONTE’S SPARROW, a variety of ducks, and YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS. Becca Engdahl found SEDGE WRENS and a WHITE-FACED IBIS at the Meadows WPA on April 27th.

Alma Ronningen , reporting from Otter Tail County observed a NORTHERN CARDINAL, FOX SPARROW, SONG SPARROW, CHIPPING SPARROW  and PINE SISKIN  last week. On April 26th, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK came through, and TREE SWALLOWS are back in the area. The OSPREY pair is already on the nest. In Fergus Falls, the heron colony is now very active at Grotto Lake. DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS are also there. At Maplewood SP, Wayne Perala saw a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK on April 30. Jean Perryman found WILLETS at Battle Lake on April 29th. TURKEY VULTURES were seen in the county this week, and Becca Engdahl found MARSH WRENS there on April 27th.

A CASPIAN TERN was discovered by Becca Engdahl along Willow Road in Hubbard County on April 30th. Marshall Howe observed a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE about six miles NE of Park Rapids on April 28.

From Becker County, Vicky Buckwitz reported a large group of AMERICAN WHITE PELICANS at Lake Ida on April 30th. At Tamarac NWR on April 28, Wayne Perala saw a TOWNSEND’S SOLITAIRE on April 28th. Other species seen there included PINE WARBLER, PALM WARBLER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER. Pat Doeden saw a BROAD-WINGED HAWK there on April 29th.

Two MARBLED GODWITS were seen by Nina Hale at Bluestem Prairie SNA this week. On May 2nd Wayne Perala found a BROWN THRASHER at Felton Prairie. A SWAINSON’S THRUSH was seen by Linda Slagter at MB Johnson Park on May 2nd, and a SEDGE WREN was reported at the Moorhead Country Club by Dennis Weisenborn.

A GREAT EGRET was seen by Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann along CR 1 in Norman County at Weller’s Slough on May 1st.

In Mahnomen County, Ron and Herb found two MARBLED GODWITS at Ada, and a PEREGRINE FALCON was also seen in the area. At Waubun State Forest, they saw two BARRED OWLS. A NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL was found in some conifers.

Sandy Aubol saw a PEREGRINE FALCON on the railing of the water tower in north East Grand Forks , Polk County on April 28th. Sparky Stensaas was at Tympanuchus WMA on April 26 where he enjoyed the dancing of GREATER PRAIRIE-CHICKENS. Also seen were MARBLED GODWITS, over 800 SANDHILL CRANES near Glacial Ridge NWR, and some TRUMPETER SWANS. About 150 FRANKLIN’S GULLS were seen to fly over there, and 90 were seen on the lake at Erskine.

Two RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS were found at the old gravel pit in the southwest corner of Red Lake County on May 1st.

I have had a FOX SPARROW and a WHITE – THROATED SPARROW here at the feeders in Pennington County this week. One or two TURKEY VULTURES have also been seen.

At Agassiz NWR in Marshall County, all the other common ducks are back, but I did not see the ruddy ducks yet. Several HORNED GREBES were seen on April 27th on Headquarters Pool.

At the rice paddies on the Clearwater River in Clearwater County, Becca Engdahl found a EURASIAN WIGEON on May 2nd.

It should be noted that the rice paddies in both Pennington County and Polk County are also holding a large number of swans which include some trumpeter swans along with the tundra swans. Almost any species of duck could be found there on any given day.

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 9, 2019.

Jeanie Joppru

Pennington County, MN