(Note that thIs MBW was not in the same month as the 2019 MBWeekend,

and it includes some species not to be expected on the 2019 MBW)



~  MAY 7 - 8, 2011  ~

I guess I'll have to go along with Howard on his assessment of this MBW: it was brilliant! For one thing, most of Saturday's weather was ideal, with light winds and perfect temperatures, and that morning's pre-dawn precipitation produced a mini fall-out of passerines at Seven Mile Creek County Park. (From the reports on mou-net, it looks like we just missed a warbler peak by a day or two; otherwise, Sunday's cold and persistent drizzle might have been to our advantage if there were any migrants to ground.)

Still, we had a respectable total of 17 warblers in all on Saturday (mostly at Seven Mile Creek, of course), and Sunday in Blue Earth Co wasn't all that bad either with a surprising 13 warbler species. Respectable and surprising as well was our weekend's total of 14 sparrows. In all on Saturday we came up with an impressive composite total of 137 species, with all but 6 of these in Nicollet Co, and Sunday added 6 more for a grand tally of 143.

And there was some quality within all that quantity. Among the highlights were: a Greater White-fronted Goose and Clark's Grebe at Oakleaf Lake; exceptionally close views of both a Virginia Rail and Soras; Saturday evening's pair of Loggerhead Shrikes, plus two responsive Barred Owls, followed by a most cooperative American Woodcock posing in the spotlight; and that vocal and high-flying Louisiana Waterthrush act at Seven Mile Creek.

Even our group dinner at Whiskey River proved to be a popular choice: surprisingly fast service, a good menu, and all those feeder birds out the window that kept interrupting our checklist session. I especially thank Bob Dunlap, of course, for his brilliant assistance as a MBW co-leader for the first time. Special thanks as well to Howard Bergman, Gary & Sally Cagle, and Mitch Reed who were along on their first MBW. And, as always I thank you all for your continued interest in MBWs (and for buying all those MBW hats from Dorothy!)


N = Nicollet County on May 7 (SMCCP = Seven Mile Creek County Park)

L = a partial list: new/noteworthy species in Le Sueur Co on evening of May 7

B = a partial list: new/noteworthy species in Blue Earth Co on May 8

Greater White-fronted Goose     N (unexpectedly late at Oakleaf Lake)

Canada Goose     N

Trumpeter Swan     N

Wood Duck     N

Gadwall     N

Mallard     N

Blue-winged Teal     N

Northern Shoveler     N

Green-winged Teal     N

Canvasback     N

Redhead     N

Ring-necked Duck     N

Lesser Scaup     N

Bufflehead     N

Hooded Merganser     N

Ruddy Duck     N

Ring-necked Pheasant     N

Wild Turkey     N, B

Pied-billed Grebe     N

Red-necked Grebe     N (especially at Swan Lake)

Eared Grebe     N (distant pair at Swan Lake)

Western Grebe     N (Oakleaf and Swan lakes)

Clark's Grebe     N (a surprise at Oakleaf Lake: new for Bob's N list!)

Double-crested Cormorant     N

American Bittern     N

Great Blue Heron     N

Great Egret     N (why so few?)

Green Heron     N (seen by Bob along Hwy 169 on Sunday)

Black-crowned Night-Heron     N (Swan Lake)

Turkey Vulture     N

Bald Eagle     N, B

Northern Harrier     N

Cooper's Hawk     N

Red-shouldered Hawk     N (briefly at SMCCP)

Broad-winged Hawk     B (Minneopa State Park)

Red-tailed Hawk     N

American Kestrel     N

Merlin     N (Oakleaf Lake fly-by)

Virginia Rail     N (very close views!)

Sora     N, L (best near Kasota)

American Coot     N

Sandhill Crane     N (distant fly-by at Middle Lake)

Semipalmated Plover     N (along 169 en route to dinner)

Killdeer     N

Spotted Sandpiper     N

Solitary Sandpiper     N, L (at the Whiskey River pond)

Greater Yellowlegs     N

Lesser Yellowlegs     N

Least Sandpiper     N

Pectoral Sandpiper     N (best looks on Sunday)

Wilson's Snipe     N

American Woodcock     L (excellent looks at a very cooperative bird!)

Ring-billed Gull     N

Black Tern     N (Swan Lake)

Forster's Tern     N

Rock Pigeon     N

Eurasian Collared-Dove     N (in the town of Nicollet), B (a Williams Nature Center surprise)

Mourning Dove     N

Barred Owl     N (heard-only before dawn at SMCCP), L (2 seen after dusk)

Chimney Swift     N

Ruby-throated Hummingbird     L (Whiskey River)

Belted Kingfisher     N

Red-bellied Woodpecker     N, L (Whiskey River)

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker     N

Downy Woodpecker     N

Hairy Woodpecker     N

Northern Flicker     N

Pileated Woodpecker     N, B (best at Minneopa)

Least Flycatcher     N, L

Eastern Phoebe     N

Great Crested Flycatcher     B (heard-only at Minneopa)

Eastern Kingbird     L

Loggerhead Shrike     L (an unexpected pair near Kasota Prairie)  

Blue-headed Vireo     N, B

Warbling Vireo     N

Blue Jay     N

American Crow     N

Horned Lark     N

Purple Martin     N

Tree Swallow     N

Northern Rough-winged Swallow     N

Bank Swallow     N

Cliff Swallow     N

Barn Swallow     N

Black-capped Chickadee     N

White-breasted Nuthatch     N

House Wren     N

Marsh Wren     N (Middle Lake)

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher     B (finally, at Minneopa)

Ruby-crowned Kinglet     N

Eastern Bluebird     N

Veery     N (seen by Linda S at SMCCP)

Gray-cheeked Thrush     N (SMCCP)

Swainson's Thrush     N

Wood Thrush     N (unexpectedly nice view at SMCCP)

American Robin     N

Gray Catbird     N

Brown Thrasher     N

European Starling     N

Blue-winged Warbler     N (briefly at SMCCP), B (best views at Williams)

Orange-crowned Warbler     N, B

Nashville Warbler     N, B

Northern Parula     N (heard-only at SMCCP), B (briefly in Judson)

Yellow Warbler     N, B

Magnolia Warbler     N

Yellow-rumped Warbler     N, B

Black-throated Green Warbler     N, B

Blackburnian Warbler     N (SMCCP), B (with gnatcatchers at Minneopa)

Palm Warbler     N

Blackpoll Warbler     N (SMCCP)

Black-and-white Warbler     N, B

American Redstart     N, B

Ovenbird     N, B

Northern Waterthrush     N, B

Louisiana Waterthrush     N (seen briefly but heard well at SMCCP)

Common Yellowthroat     N, B

Eastern Towhee     B (best at Williams)

Chipping Sparrow     N

Clay-colored Sparrow     N

Field Sparrow     N

Vesper Sparrow     N

Lark Sparrow     B (in the rain at Minneopa, plus others later along the river)

Savannah Sparrow     N

Grasshopper Sparrow     L (heard-only by Bob near Kasota)

Song Sparrow     N

Lincoln's Sparrow     N

Swamp Sparrow     N

White-throated Sparrow     N

Harris's Sparrow     N, L (best looks at the Whiskey River feeders), B

White-crowned Sparrow     N

Northern Cardinal     N

Rose-breasted Grosbeak     N

Red-winged Blackbird     N

Eastern Meadowlark     N, L

Western Meadowlark     L (singing near Kasota)

Yellow-headed Blackbird     N

Brewer's Blackbird     N (pair near Middle Lake)

Common Grackle     N

Brown-headed Cowbird     N

Baltimore Oriole     N, L (Whiskey River)

House Finch     N

American Goldfinch     N

House Sparrow     N