[mou] Waterfowl Bonanza - Stevens & Traverse Counties

Bob Ekblad ekblad at frontiernet.net
Tue Apr 8 22:34:40 CDT 2008

I birded the lower portions of Stevens and Traverse counties this afternoon.
Early in the afternoon I found a good sized mixed flock of Tundra Swans,
White-fronted Geese and Snow Geese along with most expected other waterfowl
in Stevens in an area between 4 and 5 miles south of Alberta and about a
mile east of Hwy 9.  The birds were taking advantage of wet fields in the
area since most of the lakes in the area are all frozen.  There are still
several places where there is snow on the ground making it easy to miss
spotting the snows and swans from a distance.
I then went into Traverse county and drove west on CR54 (1-1/2 to 2 mi north
of the Big Stone border and a couple of miles west of US75) and found huge
flocks of all five species of geese along with Tundra Swans and other
waterfowl along a two mile stretch to the east of where CR54 intersects with
CR63.  The fields all along this stretch were covered with geese.  I made no
attempt to count the geese but I would estimate there were 10s of thousands.
I then dropped down to CR2 and went all the way to Browns Valley and
continued to find flock after flock of geese and swans.  To my eye the
quantity was even more than we saw in Nobles and Jackson counties a week ago
on Kim Eckert's MBW.  I went back through the area using CR4 (3 miles north
of CR2) and found almost as many flocks of geese in that area as well.  I
also found a large flock of Tundra Swans along Hwy 9 just north of Morris as
I went by at dusk.
I also had a couple of flocks of Lapland Longspurs in the area as well.  I
picked up on the longspurs as they were feeding in the field while I was
stopped and watching the waterfowl.  I tried to come up with some Smith's
but only found Lapland.  Viewing was difficult since the birds only pop up
out of the furrows for just a short time so I probably only viewed about 5
or 10% of the birds with my scope.
Bob Ekblad
Olmsted County in Southeast Minnesota
ekblad at frontiernet.net
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