If youíre dreaming about spring and finding migrating shorebirds or prairie wildflowers, why not join the 41st annuual Salt Lake Birding Weekend? On Saturday April 23, 2016, volunteers will guide birders around Salt Lake, Big Stone Refuge, the lakes, wetlands and native prairies in Lac qui Parle, northern Yellow Medicine and southern Big Stone counties. This event is free and open to all who are interested. No pre-registration is required. Last year over 90 birders found 133 different species of birds with an additional four on Friday and six on Sunday for a total of 143. Friday and Sunday birding is on your own. Contact Ken or stop by Prairie Marsh Farm for more information on local sites.
Last year we found 19 species of shorebirds with Miller Lake in Yellow Medicine County having the most variety and quantity. Waterfowl were abundant with 24 species indentified including Tundra and Trumpeter Swans and dancing Western Grebes at Salt Lake. All five species of Grebe were found. For the second year a Sayís Phoebe was found, this time near Millers Lake. Other rarities include an early Black Tern, Cattle Egret, Rossís Goose, Prairie and Peregrine Falcon, and Pileated Woodpeaker. On Sunday a very early Wood Thrush was located near Pairie Marsh Farm.
On Saturday April 23 at 7 a.m. meet at the Marietta American Legion, located one block west of the intersection of County Road 7 and State Highway 40, 11 miles west of Madison. Coffee, sweet rolls, juice and milk will be available for purchase. Guided car caravans will leave between 7 and 8 am. At noon stop back at the Legion for sloppy joes (available at a modest cost), compare notes and continue afternoon birding. A Saturday chicken dinner for $10, will be served at 7:30 pm at the Sons of Norway Hall on Highway 75 in Madison. Reservations are necessary for dinner; please contact Julie Claflin by email at JulieClaflin@gmail.com. After dinner there will be a short program and then the species count for the day will be recorded.
Local lodging is available at Louís Lodge in Madison 320-598-7518, the Vali Vu Motel in Ortonville 320-839-2558, Prairie Waters Inn in Appleton 320-289-2500, and the Country Inn by Carlson in Montevideo 320-269-8000. Free camping is available at Prairie Marsh Farm, 1770 151st Ave, Marietta, located 7 miles west of US 75 and 1.5 miles south of 212. Contact Ken Larson for more information or to reserve a camping site - home (Minnetonka) 952-595-9265, farm house 320-668-2409, cell 612-210-8486 or Email to email@example.com Information and map at http://moumn.org/saltlake/.