Spring is just around the corner and so is the 40th annual Salt Lake Birding Weekend. On Saturday, April 25, 2015 volunteers will guide birders around Salt Lake, Big Stone Refuge and the lakes, wetlands, and native prairies in Lac qui Parle and southern Big Stone counties. This event is free and open to all who are interested. No pre-≠-registration is needed. Last year, in spite of poor weather predictions, over 90 birders found 124 different species of birds with an additional six on Friday and seven on Sunday for a total of 137.
Last year we found 16 species of shorebirds but not in the numbers usually found that time of year in western Minnesota. We had good luck with waterfowl incuding Common Goldeneye and American Black Duck. We also found Snowy and Cattle Egrets and White-≠-faced Ibis. A number of birders located Bald Eagles and Great-≠- horned Owls on nests. We found three birds that are usually found later in the year, Black Tern, Least Flycatcher and Black and White Warbler. The most unusual find was a Sayís Phoebe, the first time itís been found by Salt Lake Birders.
On Saturday April 25 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 email@example.com Information and map at http://moumn.org/saltlake/.