(Note that these MBWs were not in the same month as the 2019 MBW;

they include counties not in the 2019 itinerary and several species

not to be expected on the 2019 MBW)  



July 22 - 23 - 24 - 25, 2011

(summary by Craig Mandel)

Steele-Waseca pre-MBW


Our one-day trip to Steele and Waseca counties turned out very well, with a few moments of excitement. We observed 76 species in the two counties, plus the unusual, but uncountable, Egyptian Goose. Other highlights for the day included Sandhill Crane, Black Tern, Willow Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, and lots of Dickcissels. It was also interesting to see all the migrating swallows and a few other early migrants. Thanks go out to all the drivers, and to Linda Born, for getting us into the Janesville sewage ponds for a better look at the Egyptian Goose.  

Mower-Freeborn MBW

The Mower and Freeborn counties portion of the MBW turned up most of the species of birds we had observed on the 22nd, with a few additional surprises. Our morning start at Myre Big Island State Park turned out well, with 50 species of birds being observed or heard there before lunch on Saturday. Some of the highlights were the singing Willow Flycatchers, American White Pelican, all six species of swallows, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Bobolinks. Lake Geneva offered us some distant looks at Pied-billed, Red-necked and Western grebes, and a very cooperative Virginia Rail. Shorebirds were scarce number-wise, with only a single flooded field found late in the day offering us looks at Solitary, Semipalmated, Least and Pectoral sandpipers, and a single Short-billed Dowitcher.

Our birding in Mower County began with a search for owls on Saturday night. While we did not turn up any screech-owls, several Barred Owls were heard at our last stop. On Sunday morning we started out at the Hormel Nature Center and added the usual feeder birds to our county lists plus a few flycatchers, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher was observed by some of the group. The Eurasian Collared-Doves in Dexter were a nice find as were the Grasshopper Sparrow and Western Meadowlark found en route to lunch. Our time spent at Lake Louise State Park was nice with dozens of Dickcissels in the park. We missed our staked-out Western Kingbird but did find a family of Lark Sparrows and a Red-headed Woodpecker along the state trail where the kingbird had been reported. The Orchard Orioles along the entrance drive to the park was another highlight for the day, and it was fun to see all the Purple Martins in Austin.  


Olmsted-Dodge post-MBW


Our final day produced many of the birds observed on the previous days. We also got to see a number of Green Herons, and our time spent at Dodge Center Creek Park was great, with 6 species of woodpeckers observed there in a matter of minutes. We observed some Eurasian Collared-Doves in the town of Claremont and found a couple of Orchard Orioles by the gravel pits in Dodge County. In Olmsted County we added Yellow-throated Vireo to the list at Ox Bow Park and Belted Kingfisher at the County Road 9 marsh. Our final stop was at a small flooded field to the east of Rochester, and, while we did not see any new shorebirds there, Linda and I added the final bird for the Olmsted County portion of the trip as we watched a Ruby-throated Hummingbird chase a Killdeer: that was an interesting sight to see.

BIRD LIST (Composite total for all six counties = 105 species)

S - seen/heard in Steele Co on July 22 (61 species)

W - seen/heard in Waseca Co on July 22 (65 species) 

F - seen/heard in Freeborn Co on July 23-24 (81 species)

M - seen/heard on Mower Co on July 23-24 (70 species)

D - seen/heard in Dodge Co on July 25 (66 species)

O - seen/heard in Olmsted Co on July 25 (52 species)

Canada Goose     W, S, F, M, D, O         

Wood Duck     W, S, F, M, D, O

Mallard     W, S, F, M, D, O

Blue-winged Teal     S     

Ring-necked Pheasant     S     

Wild Turkey     S, F, M, D, O

Pied-billed Grebe     F

Red-necked Grebe    F

Western Grebe     F

Double-crested Cormorant     W, F

American White Pelican     W, F

Great Blue Heron     W, S, F, M, D, O

Green Heron     D, O

Turkey Vulture     W, F, M, D, O 

Osprey     F

Bald Eagle     F, D

Northern Harrier     S      

Cooper's Hawk     S, F     

Red-tailed Hawk     W, S, F, M, D, O

American Kestrel     S, F, M, D, O

Virginia Rail     F

Sandhill Crane     S 

Killdeer     W, S, F, M, D, O

Spotted Sandpiper     W, F, M, O     

Solitary Sandpiper     S, F, M, O

Semipalmated Sandpiper     F  

Least Sandpiper     S, F, M, O

Pectoral Sandpiper     F, O

Short-billed Dowitcher     F    

Franklin's Gull     F

Ring-billed Gull     W, F, M     

Black Tern     W, F 

Rock Pigeon     W, S, F, M, D, O     

Eurasian Collared-Dove     M, D    

Mourning Dove     W, S, F, M, D, O     

Barred Owl     M

Common Nighthawk     M

Chimney Swift     W, F, M, D, O

Ruby-throated Hummingbird     W, S, D, O     

Belted Kingfisher     M, O

Red-headed Woodpecker     F, M     

Red-bellied Woodpecker     S, F, M, D      

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     D     

Downy Woodpecker     W, S, F, M, D, O 

Hairy Woodpecker     W, D       

Northern Flicker     W, S, F, D     

Pileated Woodpecker     F, D

Eastern Wood-Pewee     W, S, F, M, D   

Willow Flycatcher     W, S, F, D

Least Flycatcher     F, M

Eastern Phoebe     S, D, O      

Great Crested Flycatcher     W, S, F, M, D, O     

Eastern Kingbird     W, S, F, M, D, O  

Yellow-throated Vireo     O

Warbling Vireo     W      

Red-eyed Vireo     W, S, F, M, D, O

Blue Jay     W, S, F, M, D, O

American Crow     W, S, F, M, D, O      

Horned Lark     W, S, M, D

Purple Martin     W, S, F, M     

Tree Swallow     W, S, F, M, D 

Northern Rough-winged Swallow     W, F, M, D     

Bank Swallow     W, S, F, M, D, O

Cliff Swallow     W, S, F, M, D, O  

Barn Swallow     W, S, F, M, D, O

Black-capped Chickadee     W, S, F, M, D, O

White-breasted Nuthatch     W, S, F, M, D, O

House Wren     W, S, F, M, D, O

Sedge Wren     W, S, F, M, D

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     S, F, M, D 

Eastern Bluebird     W, S, F, M, D, O

American Robin     W, S, F, M, D, O

Gray Catbird     W, S, F, M, D, O

Brown Thrasher     M, D

European Starling     W, S, F, M, D, O   

Cedar Waxwing     S, F, M, D, O

Yellow Warbler     F

American Redstart     F, O     

Common Yellowthroat     W, S, F, M, D, O      

Chipping Sparrow     W, S, F, M, D, O

Clay-colored Sparrow     W, S, F, M   

Field Sparrow     W, S, F, M, O

Vesper Sparrow     W, S, M, D, O

Lark Sparrow     M

Savannah Sparrow     W, S, F, M, D      

Grasshopper Sparrow     M

Song Sparrow     W, S, F, M, D, O

Swamp Sparrow     W, S, F, M, D, O

Scarlet Tanager     W, S

Northern Cardinal     W, S, F, M, D, O

Rose-breasted Grosbeak     S, F, D

Indigo Bunting     W, S, F, M, D, O

Dickcissel     W, S, F, M, D

Bobolink     F, M

Red-winged Blackbird     W, S, F, M, D, O      

Eastern Meadowlark     S, F, D

Western Meadowlark     M

Yellow-headed Blackbird     F    

Common Grackle     W, S, F, M, D 

Brown-headed Cowbird     W, S, F, M, D, O      

Orchard Oriole    W, M, D

Baltimore Oriole     D

House Finch     W, S, F, M, D, O   

American Goldfinch     W, S, F, M, D, O      

House Sparrow     W, S, F, M, D, O

*          *          *

Watonwan County  ~  April 20, 2007

Martin & Faribault Counties  ~  April 21-22, 2007

I would like to thank you all for joining me on this Minnesota Birding Weekend. We got to see some wonderful country and bird in some areas that are not birded that often. Despite lots of wind, reported at 33 mph with gusts to 45 mph on Saturday, we still managed to see a fair number of birds. Thanks much to everyone for their help, especially Judy and Wayne. It was fun to get to do some birding at Judy's house along South Silver Lake, and Wayne helped pick out some great spots to bird in Faribault County. It was interesting to find a new nesting location (Rosendale WMA in Watonwan Co) for the Great-tailed Grackle, which seems to be continuing its range expansion further into Minnesota. The other highlight for me was the pair of Long-tailed Ducks at Pilot Grove Lake in Faribault Co, a species most often observed along the North Shore of Lake Superior, not in a small lake in southern Minnesota. The flock of Snow Geese was also a great treat, and, while they could have been closer, I think most people were able to observe the field marks on a few Ross's Geese that were mixed in with the flock. It was also fun to get to see some shorebirds, as this is one of my favorite families to study.  – Craig Mandel


• Watonwan County = Wat / April 20 (69 species)

• Martin County = Mar / April 21 (79 species)

• Faribault County = Far / April 22 (79 species)

• Total species for the three days = 102

Snow Goose - Mar (CR 118, 1.5 miles west of CR 27; was fun to watch the flock as it

     fed in the field)

Ross's Goose - Mar (same location as the Snow Geese; would have helped if the birds

     would have sat still and if we did not have to contend with 30-mph winds)

Canada Goose - Wat, Mar, Far

Trumpeter Swan - Far (five observed on Pilot Grove Lake)

Wood Duck - Wat, Mar, Far

Gadwall - Wat, Mar, Far

American Wigeon - Far

Mallard - Wat, Mar, Far

Blue-winged Teal - Wat, Mar, Far

Northern Shoveler - Wat, Mar, Far

Green-winged Teal - Wat, Mar, Far

Canvasback - Wat, Mar, Far

Redhead - Mar, Far

Ring-necked Duck - Wat, Mar, Far

Greater Scaup - Far (a single male in a large flock of Lesser Scaup at Pilot Grove L,

     but it was only observed by a small portion of the group, as the Long-tailed Ducks

     got everyone else's attention)

Lesser Scaup - Wat, Mar, Far

Long-tailed Duck - Far (some of the group even got to see them perform some head

     snaps and other breeding behavior)

Bufflehead - Wat, Mar, Far

Red-breasted Merganser - Mar (we owe this sighting and many others to Linda's diligent efforts with her spotting scope)

Ruddy Duck - Wat, Mar, Far

Ring-necked Pheasant - Wat, Mar, Far

Gray Partridge - Far (observed by Wayne on Saturday night near his house north of

     Blue Earth)

Pied-billed Grebe - Wat, Mar, Far

Horned Grebe - Wat (a single bird at Case Lake was very difficult to observe)

Red-necked Grebe - Wat, Mar (this was another species observed on Case Lake, but

     was a little easier for the group to see)

American White Pelican - Mar (I thought we would see a lot more of them)

Double-crested Cormorant - Mar, Far

Great Blue Heron - Wat, Mar, Far

Great Egret - Mar

Turkey Vulture - Wat, Mar, Far

Osprey - Mar (unexpected species sitting in a tree in a farm lot)

Bald Eagle - Wat (was nice to see a pair on the at a nest; looked like they may have

     had some young birds in the nest already)

Northern Harrier - Far

Sharp-shinned Hawk - Mar, Far

Broad-winged Hawk - Far

Red-tailed Hawk - Wat, Mar, Far (I was surprised at how few of these were observed)

American Kestrel - Wat, Mar, Far

Virginia Rail - Wat, Far (had some great looks at Bergdahl Lake in Watonwan Co and

     Pilot Grove Lake in Faribault Co)

Sora - Far (heard-only at Pilot Grove Lake)

American Coot - Wat, Mar, Far

Semipalmated Plover - Mar (nice looks at a small flock east of Ceylon)

Killdeer - Wat, Mar, Far

Greater Yellowlegs - Wat, Mar, Far

Lesser Yellowlegs - Wat, Mar, Far

Solitary Sandpiper - Far (great spotting by Janice)

Spotted Sandpiper - Mar, Far

Baird's Sandpiper - Far (very nice looks at a bird in breeding plumage)

Pectoral Sandpiper - Wat, Mar, Far (was interesting to observe how much this species

     can vary in size)

Long-billed Dowitcher - Far

Wilson's Snipe - Wat, Mar, Far

Franklin's Gull - Mar, Far (was great to get a side-by-side comparison with Bonaparte's

     Gulls at the flooded field south of Ceylon; it was also nice to see how pink some of

     the birds in breeding plumage can get)

Bonaparte's Gull - Mar

Ring-billed Gull - Wat, Mar, Far

Forster's Tern - Far (three birds in flight over Rice Lake)

Rock Pigeon - Wat, Mar, Far

Mourning Dove - Wat, Mar, Far

Common Nighthawk - Mar (heard-only by Rick on Friday night at the Super 8 in


Chimney Swift - Mar (single bird at Pierce Lake and several more at Timberlane

     County Park)

Belted Kingfisher - Far (seen by a few along the Blue Earth River)

Red-bellied Woodpecker - Wat, Mar, Far

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - Wat, Mar, Far

Downy Woodpecker - Wat, Mar, Far

Hairy Woodpecker - Mar, Far

Northern Flicker - Wat, Mar, Far

Eastern Phoebe - Wat, Far

Blue Jay - Wat, Mar, Far

American Crow - Wat, Mar, Far

Horned Lark - Wat, Mar, Far

Purple Martin - Wat, Mar

Tree Swallow - Wat, Mar, Far

Barn Swallow - Wat, Mar, Far

Black-capped Chickadee - Wat, Mar, Far

White-breasted Nuthatch - Wat, Mar, Far

Brown Creeper - Wat, Mar

March Wren - Wat (heard-only at Bergdahl Lake)

Golden-crowned Kinglet - Wat (several observed at the cemetery in St James)

Rudy-crowned Kinglet - Wat, Mar, Far

Eastern Bluebird - Mar

Hermit Thrush - Wat, Mar, Far

American Robin - Wat, Mar, Far

Brown Thrasher - Mar (single bird observed at Cedar Park)

European Starling - Wat, Mar, Far

American Pipit - Wat, Far (OK looks at a few at Madelia and better looks at a couple in

     a flooded field NE of Blue Earth)

Orange-crowned Warbler - Mar (nice bright bird observed by a number of people at

     Judy's house)

Yellow-rumped Warbler - Wat, Mar, Far

American Tree Sparrow - Wat (a single bird at Bergdahl Lake)

Chipping Sparrow - Wat, Mar, Far

Vesper Sparrow - Wat, Mar, Far

Savannah Sparrow - Wat, Mar, Far

Song Sparrow - Wat, Mar, Far

White-throated Sparrow - Wat, Mar

Dark-eyed Junco - Wat, Mar, Far

Northern Cardinal - Wat, Mar, Far

Red-winged Blackbird - Wat, Mar, Far

Western Meadowlark - Far

Yellow-headed Blackbird - Wat, Mar, Far

Common Grackle - Wat, Mar, Far

Great-tailed Grackle - Wat (was exciting to find the two pair of Great-tailed Grackles in

     a new location)

Brown-headed Cowbird - Wat, Mar, Far

House Finch - Wat, Mar, Far

American Goldfinch - Wat, Mar, Far

House Sparrow - Wat, Mar, Far