This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, April 2, 2015 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.
With warmer weather, many returning migrants have been reported this week. Included are enormous flocks of AMERICAN ROBINS and DARK-EYED JUNCOS, COMMON GRACKLES, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and a greater variety of waterfowl. Some COMMON REDPOLLS have been reported but the numbers are greatly diminished. That said, the warm weather of April 1st appears to have been a cruel April Fool’s trick, as the 30-40 mph winds today have brought the temperatures down to freezing again.
In Roseau County, Gary Tischer saw a SNOWY OWL 3 miles south of Roseau on MN 89 and a half mile west on CR 114 on March 31.
In Marshall County, Gary found 6 WESTERN MEADOWLARKS on CR 28 west of Strandquist, and some SANDHILL CRANES along US 59 on March 31.
Here in Pennington County, the Red Lake River is mostly ice free, except through the town of Thief River Falls, and with the ice out came some WOOD DUCKS, and HOODED MERGANSERS on April 1. On March 31, I heard SANDHILL CRANES migrating in the night. During the day on March 31, I saw a pair of calling TRUMPETER SWANS in the river; other species returning that day included KILLDEER, COMMON GRACKLES, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, and hundreds of AMERICAN ROBINS. On April 2, there were PURPLE FINCHES in the yard, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE scared hundreds of robins out of our yard.
On March 31, Zeann Linder observed a male SNOWY OWL along Polk County road 21 near Sherack, standing out like a beacon on the bare brown fields. In East Grand Forks, Sandy Aubol reported MOURNING DOVE, and COMMON GRACKLE on March 30, COMMON GOLDENEYE, MERLIN , RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER, and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW on March 31, FOX SPARROW and NORTHERN FLICKER on April 1 , and SONG SPARROW on April 2.
Marshall Howe in Dorset , Hubbard County, reported SANDHILL CRANES on March 26, EASTERN BLUEBIRD on March 27, diminished numbers of PINE SISKINS and COMMON REDPOLLS on March 28. Large numbers of AMERICAN ROBINS, and an AMERICAN WOODCOCK arrived on March 30. GREAT BLUE HERON, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, BROWN CREEPER, FOX SPARROW, and COMMON GRACKLE arrived on April 1.
From Otter Tail County, Alice Martin reported COMMON MERGANSER, HOODED MERGANSER, and WOOD DUCK in the Perham area, and in New York Mills, there were KILLDEER, DARK-EYED JUNCOS, NORTHERN CARDINALS, PINE SISKINS, and HOUSE FINCHES. At Little Pine Lake, she saw BUFFLEHEAD, AMERICAN COOT and NORTHERN SHRIKE all on April 1.
Benjamin Eckhoff in Douglas County reported this week a big increase in waterfowl with a variety of duck species arriving. About 30 CEDAR WAXWINGS were seen. He reported large flocks of AMERICAM ROBINS and AMERICAN CROWS. Among other species seen in the Lake Carlos area were TUNDRA SWANS, SNOW GOOSE, RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, BALD EAGLES, RED-TAILED HAWKS, RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, GREAT BLUE HERONS, SANDHILL CRANES, KILLDEER, YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER, AMERICAN KESTREL, NORTHERN SHRIKE, EASTERN BLUEBIRD and AMERICAN TREE SPARROW.
Thanks to Alice Martin, Benjamin Eckhoff, Gary Tischer, Marshall Howe, Sandy Aubol, and Zeann Linder for their reports.
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at [email protected] OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber’s toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Friday, April 10, 2015.