Spring is just around the corner and so is the 38th annual Salt Lake Birding Weekend. On Saturday, April 27, 2013 volunteers will guide birders around Salt Lake, Big Stone Refuge and the lakes, wetlands, and native prairies around Lac qui Parle and southern Big Stone counties.
In 2012, despite low temperatures and gusty winds, over 75 hardy birders found 133 different species of birds. Notable birds found were Cinnamon Teal and Wilson's Phalarope at Haydenville WMA and two Golden Eagles at Big Stone. Cory Lake at Hamlin WMA south of 212 had over 2,000 shorebirds, mostly Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs, and two White-faced Ibis, 14 Long-billed Dowitcher, one Marbled Gotwit, Semipalmated, Pectoral and Baird's Sandpipers, Dunlin, and Willet. At Salt Lake and other locations 5 Red-necked Grebe's were found as well as Horne, Eared, Pied-billed and Western Grebes, Common Loon and Forester's Terns.
On Saturday April 27 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 a sloppy joes and cake (available at a modest cost) and to compare notes.
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. Sunday birding is on your own but you may stop by Prairie Marsh Farm for advice and directions to local sites.
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 952-595-9265, cell 612-210-8486 firstname.lastname@example.org.