It has been an interesting March around in this part of the country. Most mornings I drive by big Lake Detroit on my way into work. This winter, I enjoyed watching the flood of ice houses cover the “frozen” lake…where only days earlier there was open water. So, when driving into town on March 1st, I was a little sad to see them gone. I remember thinking… “It’s too bad the ice houses need to be off the ice already.” Now…less than 2 weeks later…I understand. It has been quite warm the past couple weeks. The warm weather, coupled with regular rain showers, have resulted in a slushy mess. I imagine it would be nearly impossible to get houses off at this point. In front of the beach at East Silent Resort, there is actually a pond on top of the ice. We also have many ponds of water throughout the property…most notably, about 1-2 feet of water down by the fire pit. I’ll try to get some photos of the water over the weekend to share. We eagerly look forward to summer…and the arrival of our many guests. See you all soon.
This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, March 11 , 2010 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.
Spring seems to be coming in gently, but that might change at any moment. Temperatures in the northwest have been downright balmy for this time of year with highs in the high thirties, low forties and lows just tickling the freezing mark. Snow is melting fast and brown spots are starting to get larger in the fields. There are reports of some birds returning and the resident ones are starting to sing their spring songs.
Brad and Dee Ehlers reported RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center south of Fergus Falls in Otter Tail County on March 8. Several AMERICAN ROBINS and many HORNED LARKS were seen in the county this week.
Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found RED CROSSBILLS on the weekend in Hubbard County two miles south of the Beltrami County border.
Sandy Aubol in Polk County reported an adult BALD EAGLE on the nest in East Grand Forks on March 11.
Maggie Anderson at Agassiz NWR in Marshall County observed a BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE carrying nesting material on March 11.
In Beltrami County, Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found 3 NORTHERN HAWK OWLS on the north side of Shoreline Drive which runs along the north side of Upper Red Lake last weekend, and a NORTHERN SHRIKE was also seen there. Two BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKERS were seen on the west side of MN 72 a quarter mile north of mile marker 43 while a BOREAL CHICKADEE and a BROWN CREEPER were seen on the east side of MN 72 near mile marker 42.
From Kittson County, Larry Wilebski reported another NORTHERN HAWK OWL two miles east of his cabin northwest of Lancaster on March 6, and he mentioned that the NORTHERN HAWK OWL was still at St Vincent adjacent to the Red River.
Gretchen Mehmel reported that several GRAY PARTRIDGE were seen roosting in a barn north of Wannaska in Roseau County this week. Gene Knutson in Roosevelt has a VARIED THRUSH in his yard this week.
In Lake of the Woods County Gretchen Mehmel reported that 14 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE were seen south of Cecil’s Landing on the Roosevelt Road on March 7 ; and on March 11 two males and a female SPRUCE GROUSE were seen about two miles east of Norris Camp along the Roosevelt Road. A NORTHERN HAWK OWL is still working the shear area east of East Hiwood Road. Ron Erpelding and Herb Dingmann found 8-10 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, two WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS, a PINE GROSBEAK, and a male NORTHERN CARDINAL in Baudette on the weekend, and a BLACK-BACKED WOODPECKER on the Faunce Forest Road.
Thanks to Brad and Dee Ehlers, Gretchen Mehmel, Larry Wilebski, Maggie Anderson, Ron Erpelding, Herb Dingmann, and Sandy Aubol 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 Thursday, March 18, 2010