[mou] MOU Sherburne Trip Report; MN Birding Vacation (183 species)

Pastor Al Schirmacher pastoral at princetonfreechurch.net
Mon May 19 10:45:17 CDT 2008

Enjoyed a four day birding vacation here in Minnesota from 5/14 to 5/17, 
including the MOU Sherburne trip on Saturday:  183 species, 46 year birds, 
27 warblers, 24 shorebirds, one state bird (Say's Phoebe).  Few highlights & 

* Saturday 5/17 MOU Field Trip, Sherburne Refuge

Group of 23 took a relaxed approach to this year's trip, covering 
Mahnomen/Blue Hill Trails and the Auto Tour from 7:00-3:00.  Highlights were 
outstanding looks (trees not yet leafed out) at 22 warbler species 
(including a male Bay Breasted that was breathtaking, numerous Cape Mays & 
Northern Parulas, Blackburnian and Black-throated Greens, among others) - 
nice views of an Olive-sided Flycatcher - Lark Sparrows - "flame on" Scarlet 
Tanager - among 88 species.  Auto Tour was surprisingly quiet, although wind 
& rain didn't help.  Group dynamics were excellent - MOU has some good 

* Friday 5/16 Aitkin Trip

Covered Rice Lake Refuge, CR 5/Palisade, CR 18, 1 & 15, northern Mille Lacs 
Lake.  110 species, including 18 warblers, 9 shorebirds, 7 county birds. 
Highlights included Hudsonian Godwit, Long-billed Dowitcher, Pine Warbler 
(only one in four days, in fact, only one this year to date), Black-billed 
Magpie, Red-headed Woodpecker, Philadelphia Vireo, and LeConte's Sparrow 
(only one on Rice Lake drive).

* Thursday 5/15 Sherburne & Mille Lacs Trip

Covered the refuge, Mille Lacs WMA, the lake, Kathio State Park and Mille 
Lacs Hiking trails.  124 species, 23 warblers, only 6 shorebirds. 
Highlights were a Connecticut Warbler (only one in the four days), single 
Great Egret (first one of year up here), and Common Nighthawk.  Good numbers 
of commons; 20 warblers on Mahnomen Trail.

* Wednesday 5/14, Big Stone & Lac Qui Parle Trip

Most details have already been shared, but 132 species, including 23 
shorebirds & 17 warblers made this trip very worthwhile.  Say's Phoebe, 
Nathan's Ferruginous Hawk, multiple Least Bitterns, Swainson's Hawks, 
Western Grebe, heard Common Moorhen, American Avocet, numerous Hudsonian & 
Marbled Godwits and both dowitchers made this the top day of the trip.

900 miles of driving, $205 in expenses made this a reasonable vacation 
experience.  Further details available upon request (not demand:).

Good birding to all!

Al Schirmacher
Princeton, MN
Mille Lacs & Sherburne Counties 

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