(Please note that these are corrections to the previous 4th edition – not the 5th.)


Pine County (p. 193-195)

 

Park Forest Road in Nemadji State Forest (inset A) passes through mostly deciduous forest that is no different than the habitat along other more accessible roads in the county. The road north of Kingsdale (also see inset A) just west of the Wisconsin state line, however, does access some extensive sedge marshes and tamarack bogs that are more interesting. It is named Belden Forest Road or Gandy Dancer Road (depending on which sign or map you look at), and it now extends 12 miles to the Carlton County line and beyond. (If you turn left just north of the county line, you can zig-zag west and north a total of 7 miles and come out at Holyoke on Carlton County Road 8.)

 

Amended directions to the water impoundment and woods of Chengwatana State Forest: From downtown Pine City, go east on Third Avenue S.E. for 4 blocks to Second Street S.E., and turn right on Second to County Road 9 on the east side of town. Follow County Road 9 north for 3.5 miles to County Road 10, and turn east on 10 for 4.7 miles to Evergreen Road. Turn right on Evergreen, take an immediate left on Forest Road and go 2 miles east to west end of the water impoundment (where Yellow Rail was heard in 2019); the road dead-ends in the deciduous woods a mile east of the impoundment.

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Askov – From MN Highway 23, 0.2 mile east on County Road 32, jog right across tracks, and continue 2.2 miles east to gated road on the right.

Finlayson – 0.4 mile east on Highway 18 to Scotch Pine Road, then 0.4 mile south.


Sturgeon Lake – 0.9 mile west from downtown on County Road 46.

 

Willow River – 1 mile south on County Road 61 to Long Lake Road, then 0.3 mile west and 0.2 mile north.


Carlton County (p. 195-196)


Spirit Lake Road in Fond du Lac State Forest (inset B) is no longer passable for passenger vehicles.  

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Barnum – 3.8 miles west from downtown on County Road 6, then 0.3 mile south.

Cromwell – 0.6 mile west from Highway 73 on Highway 210, then north across railroad tracks.

 

Kettle River – 0.6 mile west on County Road 12.


Aitkin County (p. 197-201)


Yellow Rails are still heard at McGregor Marsh (A3), but they tend to be farther east from the road than before, and there is now a water-filled ditch along the highway which makes walking access into the marsh problematic. Also, Nelson's Sparrows may still be present, but they are less consistent in recent summers.

 

The back roads of this county are now numbered: Pietz's Road (site A1) is signed 320th Place. The east-west portion of Township Road 380 (site A2) is now 450th Street, and after 380 turns south it becomes 330th Avenue. The Township Road 49 access in Wealthwood to Mille Lacs Lake (site 5) is opposite County Road 51 and is now signed 385th Avenue.

 

The Rabey tree farm area has been logged and is no longer a site for Boreal Chickadee or Cape May Warbler.


Farther west on the north side of Highway 200 is a large sedge marsh just east of the Cass County line, which looks like it has potential for Yellow Rails and Nelson's Sparrows. There is a small pull-out where you can stop and listen on the north side of 200 at mile 167.4, or 0.4 mile east of the county line.


The spruce-tamarack bogs along Hedbom Forest Road in northeastern Aitkin County have been productive in some years for Great Gray Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker (and sometimes American Three-toed), Boreal Chickadee, Connecticut Warbler (summer), winter finches, and other sought-after Northeast Region specialties. The area is most easily accessed from the east from Floodwood in St. Louis County: from Highway 2, go 1.7 miles west on County Road 832 / 9th Street to the T, 0.5 mile south to Laurie Road, 2.2 miles west and southwest to the 5-way intersection, jog right and then left to continue west for 3 miles to the Atikin County line and the start of Hedbom Road; the best bogs are along the first 4 miles west of the county line.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


McGregor – These ponds have been relocated: 0.7 mile south from the post office on County Road 8 / Maddy Street to the Union Woodland Cemetery sign opposite Carr Avenue, then 0.2 mile west.


Crow Wing County (p. 201-202)

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Breezy Point – 1 mile south from County Road 11 on County Road 4, west on Thrane Drive and immediate left on unsigned gravel road (Plant Road), then 0.6 miles to the ponds.  


Emily – 1.4 miles west from Highway 6 on County Road 1, then 0.4 mile north on Yost Road.

 

Pequot Lakes – 1 mile south from County Road 11 on Highway 371, then 0.4 mile east on Old 371 and Derksen Drive.


Cass County (p. 203-205)

 

The location of Chippewa National Forest headquarters is 200 Ash Avenue N.W., Cass Lake 56633.


Some updates to access points on Lake Winnibigoshish (sites 1):


• Forest Road 2163, the road to Birches and Tamarack Point public accesses, is now named Tamarack Point Road.

     

• In Bena, there are access points at the end of South Winnie Drive / County Road 140 and just west of town at Nodak Lodge.


• Forest Road 2074, the road to Richard's Townsite public access, is now named Richard's Road.


• There is another access via Painted Turtle Drive, about 3 miles up West Winnie Road.


• The road to the public access about 5 miles up West Winnie Road is named Trapper's Drive.

 

Little Pelican Island on Leech Lake (site 2) can be accessed by boat from any of the three public accesses off Highway 200 (see p. 203), and probably the best place to launch your boat or to rent one is at Huddle's Resort in Whipholt. Caspian Terns now nest here, and recent records include Parasitic Jaeger, Whimbrel (among other shorebirds), and even an amazing Elegant Tern! Approaching or landing on the island is prohibited from May through August to protect the gull and tern nesting colony, but the birds can be seen fairly well from a boat anchored outside the bouys marking the protected area. There is less to see here in years with high water levels.  


On the east side of Leech Lake, shorebirds are sometimes possible at Sugar Point's beach and rice paddies. From Highway 200, go 11.8 miles north on County Road 8 (or from Highway 2, go 10.3 miles south on 8), 4.2 miles west on County Road 73, continue west on County Road 136 to the rice paddies, and then south to Sugar Point.

 

Two roads farther east of Leech Lake are recommended for breeding warblers and other boreal forest specialties:


• One is County Road 135 and its mile-long tamarack bog (listen for Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler, and possibly Boreal Chickadee). From Boy River, go 2 miles north on County Road 63, then east 3-4 miles on 135.

     

• The other is County Road 129 and its 6 miles of varied habitats between Highway 200 and County Road 7 (good for 20 species of breeding warblers, LeConte's Sparrow, etc.); turn south on 129 from Highway 200, either 6.5 miles east of Highway 84 or 7 miles west of Remer.

 

The remnant Greater Prairie-Chicken population in the Oshawa area (site 5) is extirpated.

 

In southern Cass County, there are deciduous woodlands along County Road 36 (and connecting side roads) where such southeastern species like Red-shouldered Hawk, Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Northern Cardinal occur. County 36 turns south off Highway 210, 4 miles east of Pillager, goes 2 miles south, 2.5 miles east, and 2 miles north back to 210.

 

The staff at Deep Portage Conservation Reserve east of Hackensack is especially knowledgeable about Cass County birding. From Hackensack, follow the signs to Deep Portage (east on County Road 5, then south on County Road 46), and inquire at the front desk for information about Deep Portage and throughout the county. Their e-mail address is portage@uslink.net, and their website includes information on birding sites (deep-portage.org/birding-at-deep-portage).

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Cass Lake – 4 miles south from Highway 2 on Highway 371 to County Road 143 / 144th Street, then 0.6 mile east and 0.2 mile north.

 

Hackensack – From the junction of Highway 371 and County Road 5, go 0.4 mile south to Whipple Avenue, then 0.4 mile east to the gate and sign just south of the curve.

 

Longville – East from Highway 84 on Aspen Lane just north of downtown.

 

Pillager – 0.5 mile south from Highway 210 on County Road 1, then 0.7 mile west on Hazel Avenue.

 

Remer – 1 block south on First Avenue, then 1.1 miles southeast on Etna Avenue.

 

Walker – 2 miles south from Highway 200 / 371 on Highway 34 to 73rd Street N.W., then 0.7 mile east.


Wadena County (p. 205)

 

The remnant Greater Prairie-Chicken population in the Cass-Wadena-Hubbard region is now extirpated.

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Menahga – 3 blocks south from downtown on Highway 71 to County Road 31, 1 mile east to County Road 147 / 139th Avenue, then 0.5 mile south.

 

Verndale – 0.9 mile west from downtown on Highway 10, then south across the railroad tracks and 0.3 mile west along south side of tracks.


Hubbard County (p. 206)

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Akeley – From south side of town, 0.7 mile east from Highway 64 on County Road 12, then 0.3 mile south on road along east side of cemetery.


Nevis – 0.3 mile east from Highway 34 on County Road 82 / 210th Street, 0.5 mile south on Woodland Drive, then 0.4 mile east on unmarked road.

 

Park Rapids – 2 miles south from Highway 34 on Highway 71, then 2.4 miles west on 160th Street. (Please note: two birders here in 2107, while standing on the berm just inside the open gate, were cited for trespassing and fined.)


Clearwater County (p. 206-208)

 

The large and excellent water impoundment along the Clearwater River (see inset B) still attracts summering and migrant water birds, although there may be no Yellow Rail/Nelson's Sparrow habitat. The access road turns north off County Road 5 just east of the river and Red Lake Indian Reservation sign: the impoundment starts after 3 miles, there is a good wetland (often with mudflats) just northwest of the corner at 5 miles, and the road dead-ends at 6 miles. Keep in mind this road is within the reservation, although there are no signs restricting access.


Elsewhere in inset B, the habitat is not as interesting as in previous years, with accessible sod farms and rice paddies more limited. (Note especially that the Skoe rice paddies along County Road 5 have been sold, and birders are no longer permitted access.) Rice paddies and sod farms can appear and disappear from year to year here and elsewhere in the state depending on market prices and water levels.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Bagley – 0.6 mile south on Highway 92 to County Road 32, then 0.7 mile east to an unsigned driveway and 0.3 mile north.

 

Clearbrook – 2 miles east from County Road 5 on County Road 4, then 0.3 mile south and 0.2 mile west.


Beltrami County (p. 209-212)

 

An impressive interpretive boardwalk provides foot access into the Big Bog off Highway 72 (site 1). Turn west at mile 45.2 at the sign for Big Bog State Recreational Area Boardwalk, which is 5.7 miles south of the Lake of the Woods County line or 8.5 miles north of the Tamarac River bridge in Waskish. Summer residents include Black-backed Woodpecker (and sometimes American Three-toed?), Olive-sided and Yellow-bellied flycatchers, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Connecticut and Palm warblers. Northern Hawk Owls have also nested here at least once.


Shoreline Drive, the east-west road along the north side of Upper Red Lake (site 1), has some rice paddies at 2-4 miles and 5.5 miles west of Highway 72, but it has no views of the lake. Rocky Point Road (4 miles west of 72) and Blanchard Road (6 miles west of 72) turn south off Shoreline, but vantage points to scan the lake from both roads is limited.


Near Waskish, there are also three sets of rice paddies along or near County Road 112 (formerly CR 40; see inset A), which goes 2 miles north and 4 miles east to the Koochiching County line. 1) at the corner where CR 112 turns east; 2) 3 miles east of this corner (look for a small road leading south off 112 to the paddies); and 3) 2-3 miles farther east (or 1-2 miles inside Koochiching County along Pine Island Forest Road).                 

 

Some of the former access points from which to scan Upper Red Lake (see inset A) no longer exist. Five locations still provide access:


• Just north of Waskish along the north side of the Tamarack River.

    

• 0.2 mile south of the Tamarack River across from the Big Bog State Recreational Area headquarters.  

    

• Sunny Beach Road: turn west on County Road 111 about 4 miles south of Waskish, go 1 mile west to where 111 turns south, and continue west 1.3 miles on Sunny Beach Road.

     

• The north end of Rogers Road: from Sunny Beach Road, go 2 miles south on County Road 111, then 3.5 miles west on County Road 23, and turn north.

    

• The public access 3 miles west and 1 mile north of Shotley.


The only good access along the west side of Lower Red Lake is at the mouth of the Red Lake River along the Clearwater County portion of MN Highways 1 and 89, 5 miles south of the Beltrami-Clearwater county line. Relatively uninteresting deciduous woods predominate along both highways until the boundary of the Red Lake Indian Reservation, 5 miles north of where Highway 1 turns west towards Pennington County. Highway 89 continues north and west from here to Grygla in Marshall County through more interesting and varied open-country habitats, including a large sedge marsh 3-4 miles northwest of Thorhult (or 1-2 miles southeast of Fourtown).


There is now a narrow but interesting water impoundment in northwestern Beltrami County: from Fourtown on Highway 89, go 2 miles north, 4 miles west, 2 miles north, and 1 mile west on County Road 44; then 1 mile north, 2 miles west, and north on Dike Road along the west side of the impoundment. (In a few more miles, Dike Road comes out on Moose River Forest Road, 4 miles west of Dick's Parkway Forest Road, which goes 12.4 miles south back to Fourtown, or north into Lake of the Woods County – see the Beltrami County map on p. 210.)


In Bemidji, the best places to check for migrant passerines along the shore of Lake Bemidji are:


• Diamond Point Park (from Highway 197, 3 blocks east on 16th Street N.W., then 2 blocks north on Birchmont Drive and east into the park).

     

• In the park by the Paul Bunyan statue (from Highway 197, east on 3rd Street N.W.).

     

• From the public access boat ramp behind the Doubletree Hotel (from Highway 197 at the south end of the lake, east on Lake Shore Drive N.E.).

     

• Along the hike-and-bike Paul Bunyan Trail from the boat ramp east to the Blue Ox / Voyageaur Trail (from Highway 197, 0.8 mile east on 1st Street S.E. to Gould Avenue, then 4 blocks north to the trailhead and hike north).


In southern Beltrami County:


• There is still spruce-tamarack bog habitat along County Road 20, but it is now difficult to access.

     

• The jack pines in this part of the county are no longer recommended for Connecticut Warblers; there have been only a few records in the past several summers.

     

• Three Culverts Road south of Tenstrike passes through good boreal forest habitat that is usually productive for a variety of nesting passerines. From the corner of 3rd Avenue and Main Street in Tenstrike, go 0.4 mile east on Main, then turn south and follow Three Culverts Road 5.6 miles south to its end at County Road 22 (from here it is 4.5 miles west to Turtle River).  


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Blackduck – From Highway 71, 1.9 miles west and north on County Road 30 / Blackduck Lake Road to the north end of the golf course, then 0.2 mile east and north on unmarked road.


Kelliher – 0.6 mile west from Highway 72 on 4th Street, 0.2 mile north on Derwall Road, then 0.6 mile east and north on unmarked road to the ponds.  


Redby – Revised directions from the previous update: from the Redby Community Center on Hwy 1, go 1.1 miles west to Reservation Road 42 (unmarked), 0.5 mile south on 42, and 0.6 mile back east on an unmarked road to the ponds. (Notes – It is best to use Google Maps to navigate here since there are no street signs. Also use discretion as you drive the roads to these and Red Lake sewage ponds: they are on Red Lake Indian Reservation property and generally traveled only by local residents.)


Red Lake – 0.8 mile south from Highway 1 on Highway 89, then 3.1 miles east on Walking Shield Road (which is unsigned); visibility is limited unless the gate is open.


Lake of the Woods County (p. 212-216)


There are two sites where Yellow Rails have been consistent recently. The better of the two is Browns Lake (see inset B): from Norris-Roosevelt Road, go 1.8 miles east on Faunce-Butterfield Road to an unmarked dirt road which leads 0.1 mile south to the lake (Red-necked Grebes also nest here). Also try Cecil's Landing marsh: from Browns Lake, return to Norris-Roosevelt Road and go 6 miles north.  


The most consistent Connecticut Warbler spot in the state forest is east and south of Browns Lake: continue 8 miles east on Faunce-Butterfield Road to Faunce Road, 11.7 miles south to Rapid River Road, and 2 miles east.


For information on access to Sharp-tailed Grouse blinds in this and other counties, see dnr.state.mn.us/birds/sharptailedgrouse.html, or call (218) 634 1705.


Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Baudette – 4 blocks north from Highway 11 on 1st Avenue N.E. (the access road to the border), bear left just before the customs station, and follow this unmarked road across the railroad tracks.


Williams – 0.7 mile east from County Road 2 on Main Street / County Road 97.


Koochiching County (p. 216-218)

 

County Road 13 (see p. 217) has been especially productive in recent years, with Spruce Grouse, both American Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers, and Boreal Chickadees all seen on several occasions.


The east end of the Wisner Forest Road is at Highway 65 (as shown on the map), not Highway 6 (as stated in the text). The Holmstrom Spur Forest Road is misspelled: it should be the Holstrum Spur Forest Road.


Amended information for some of the recommended roads in the Pine Island State Forest:

    

• The road which continues west into Lake of the Woods County from the west end of County Road 101 is Indian Pines Forest Road.

     

• County Road 86 is also named Sandsmark Forest Road (birding habitat still recommended).

    

• The north-south road between the west end of County Road 101 and Twomey-Williams Forest Road is Fiero Forest Road (birding habitat still recommended).

     

• The road between the west end of County Road 30 and Twomey-Williams Road is Pine Island Forest Road.

    

• The east (not west) end of Twomey-Williams Road is 9 miles west of Big Falls, its west end is at the Fiero Road junction, and its extensive boglands are still recommended (as good as on County Road 13, and often better). The road continuing west from this junction to Waskish in Beltrami County is Pine Island Road (not Twomey-Williams Road).  

     

• There are extensive boglands along Highway 71 between Big Falls and Mispah, but they are relatively far from the road and not easily accessed.  

     

• It is unlikely there is much bogland habitat after the first 8 miles of Gemmell Forest Road.

     

• County Road 31 is still recommended: watch especially for Great Gray Owl, Black-backed Woodpecker, and Connecticut Warbler.


The Pine Island State Forest map is useful and recommended (see files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_forests/sft00040.pdf); however, the comparable map for Koochiching State Forest is not detailed enough to be useful.


There is a new bog boardwalk east of International Falls at the Tilson Bay public access / Tilson Creek ski trail parking lot on the south side of the road: from Highway 53, go 8 miles east on Highway 11.

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Littlefork – 2 miles east on Highway 217 to County Road 8 junction, continue 0.1 mile east on 217 to Township Road UT169, then 0.4 mile north.

Northome – 2.3 miles east from Highway 46 on Highway 1, then 1 mile north.


Itasca County (p. 218-219)

 

The hiking trail to the fire tower at Scenic State Park (site 1) starts near the north end of the main park drive and in less than 1/2 mile passes through a tamarack bog where Connecticut Warblers nest. This trail (where Spruce Grouse are still present) continues to the fire tower through more mixed woods, where Black-backed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, several warbler species, and other Northeast Region breeding specialties occur.


Much of the Alder Road (between County Road 48 and Marcell) has now been logged, and it is not as productive for Northeast Region specialties, although Black-backed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee are still possible in the spruce bog about 3 miles north of County Road 48.


In the southeast corner of the county, County Road 429 turns south off Highway 2 at Wawina and zig-zags mostly west for 4 miles by spruce-tamarack bogs, sedge meadows, and other boreal habitats; Great Gray Owl, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Connecticut Warbler, LeConte's Sparrow, and other specialties nested here in 2013. After sunset, the nearby sedge marsh along Highway 2 between Wawina and the Aitkin County line has the possibility of Yellow Rail and Nelson's Sparrow; note the small pull-out on the south side of the highway where you can safely park off the road: watch for an opening in the guard rail, 1.2 miles southeast of Wawina or 1.3 miles northwest of the county line.


County Road 148, which leads to one of the access roads on Lake Winnibigoshish (site 2), is now named Williams Narrows Road, and the road which turns left off 148 to the lake is now named Bowen's Road. This road dead-ends at Bowen Lodge, which has allowed birders to scan the lake from their property.


The best way to reach West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish (site 2) is from the west via Cass County Road 10. From the town of Cass Lake: go 6.3 miles east on Hwy 2, north on 10 for 2.4 miles, east on Smurler Road for 1.5 miles, then northeast on Forest Road 2171 for 5.7 miles, and at the sign turn south on Forest Road 2168 to the campground and lake access.

 

White Oak Lake just south of Deer River attracts a variety of nesting and migrating marsh birds and waterfowl, including species generally local or rare in the Northeast Region: e.g., Red-necked Grebes (and sometimes Westerns), bitterns, Forster's and Black terns, Marsh Wrens, and Yellow-headed Blackbirds. To reach its public access, turn south off Highway 2 in Deer River on 4th Street, continue south to the T at 6th Avenue, then 1 block west to the public access road.


Amended directions to the fish hatchery ponds at Island Lake: turn east off Highway 46 on Rearing Pond Road, 0.7 mile south of the county line.

 

The website with birding information in Itasca County (formerly, itascacnfbirding.com) has been discontinued.

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:


Bigfork – 0.4 mile east from Highway 38 on Golf Course Lane / County Road 77, north to the "Bigfork Valley Communities" sign just south of the hospital, then east to the Bigfork Valley Villa building and bear right to the ponds.

 

Deer River – 0.9 mile north on Highway 6, 1 mile east on County Road 128, then 0.5 mile north on the gated access road.

 

Grand Rapids – 4 blocks south from Highway 2 on Highway 169 to First Street S.E. / River Road, 1.6 miles east and southeast to 23rd Avenue S.E., then 0.2 mile south.

 

Nashwauk – 1.9 miles east from Highway 65 on Highway 169, then south and east on the access road to the ponds.

 

Warba – 0.5 mile west on Highway 2, then 0.2 mile north on County Road 10.


St. Louis County (p. 220-231)

 

On the bay side of Park Point in Duluth, birding access is not permitted in the Army Reserve parking lot at 15th Street, but you can park and access the bay at the adjacent aquatic center storage building. From there, also be sure to check the good wooded area for migrants between 15th and 13th streets. There is another nearby wooded spot for migrants on the bay side at 17th Street: from the Army Reserve building, follow St. Louis Avenue soutrh to its end at 16th Street, and from the parking area behind the nursing home look for the inconspicuous path into the woods.     


Just before the entrance to the Park Point Recreation Area (site A1) by the bus turn-around at 43rd Street, be sure to check the Southworth Marsh woods between 41st and 43rd streets during migration; warblers and other migrants often concentrate here more than in the Recreation Area itself.


The fields along the Sky Harbor Airport runway at Park Point in Duluth (site A1) are now fenced off and inaccessible. Also, the Duluth harbor area (site A2) has become less accessible to birders, as evidenced by new signs, fences, and security guards in the Port Terminal area and at the grain elevators and railroad yards along Garfield Avenue. Besides Garfield itself, the best street now for scanning the railroad yards and grain elevators is Helberg Drive, which turns east off Garfield Avenue between Railroad Street and the Goodwill store stoplight. Follow Helberg as it crosses the tracks, curves south along the tracks parallel to Interstate 535 and Garfield, becomes Port Terminal Drive, and comes out at the UPS building under the bridge.  

 

Bayfront Park is located in Duluth's harbor area just west of the Great Lakes Aquarium: free parking and access on Railroad Street west of Fifth Avenue W. (see inset A). Its waterfront landscape with planted shrubs and open areas of gravel and weeds often attracts field birds (larks, pipits, longspurs), warblers, sparrows, and other migrants (records include Brant and Mountain Bluebird).


The Erie Pier area in Duluth (site A2) is still generally off-limits to birders (although some birders report fishermen, dog walkers, etc. also enter the area without being asked to leave).


An undeveloped tract of weedy fields and brushy edges south of Morgan Park can attract pipits, longspurs, sparrows, and other grasslands birds during migration; shorebirds might also stop here during wet periods. From the stoplight entrance to Morgan Park, go 1.3 miles south on Highway 23 and turn left (east) on Nick Glumac Drive which leads to this area behind the Ikonics building.

 

As mentioned in the Superior, Wisconsin section (p. 226), that side of the harbor is better in winter for Snowy Owls. Besides the vicinity of the harbor, also check Superior's municipal airport and elsewhere in the fields and on rooftops along Tower Avenue farther north.


In recent years there have been far more jaeger sightings and larger gull concentrations in fall along Wisconsin Point in Superior than on the Park Point side in Duluth. The most productive site has been at parking lot #1, which is on the lake side a mile up the Wisconsin Point road (unfortunately, this is 2.4 miles from the Minnesota state line at the Superior Entry).

 

The Superior, Wisconsin landfill is now closed to birding access (both driving and walking in) because of liability concerns, but gulls flying over or resting on the slopes can still be seen from the road outside the gate. If the road is plowed east of the landfill, follow it to the first left which leads to so-called Gull Bluff, where gulls are often distantly in view roosting on the lake (and where waterfowl, Red-throated Loons, etc. can concentrate in spring).

 

A fence around the Lakewood Pumping Station (site B6) now excludes birding access around the building, including the former site of the fall migration censuses.

 

A so-called safe harbor has opened at McQuade Road, 2 miles northeast of Lakewood Pumping Station (see inset B). Its combination of a small harbor with rocky breakwaters, mixed woods bordering the parking lot, and open areas of grass, weeds, and gravel along the lakeshore is an attractive site for migrants. (Records include Red Phalarope, Say's Phoebe, and Smith's Longspur.)


Gulls are no longer attracted to the boat ramp along Scenic Highway 61 between McQuade Road and the French River.

 

In the Sax-Zim Bog (inset C), a small Sharp-tailed Grouse lek has been active the last few years near Meadowlands along the east side of County Road 29, 2.2 miles north of 133, northeast of the junction of 29 and Racek Road. However, only one or two birds were seen here in spring 2022, indicating this lek may be abandoned. Non-displaying grouse (along with Le Conte's Sparrows, Bobolinks, both meadowlarks, and other field birds) can also be seen along the side roads adjacent to County Road 29 in this vicinity.


Several feeding stations have been set up in Sax-Zim Bog in winter; for their locations, see the Friends of Sax-Zim Bog birding map: saxzim.org/birding-the-bog/birding-map-2018-19. Or stop by the Welcome Center for information, which is on Owl Avenue, 1.7 miles south of Arkola Road. This is also located on the Sax-Zim birding map, which also shows trails, bog boardwalks, and protected spruce-tamarack tracts acquired and maintained by the Friends organization.


Do not stop to bird along the north end of Stickney Road, within 1/2 mile south of Sax Road (see inset C); the local resident here (who apparently has mental health issues) is not birder-friendly.


The access and habitats at the Embarrass wetlands area (site 9) have recently been restored, and the site is now designated as the Darwin Meyers Wildlife Management Area.


An area of spruce bogs east of Cook has been consistent for American Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers. The best area is at the junction of Johnson Road (County Road 948) and Sassas Road (County Road 512): from Highway 53 just south of Cook, follow Johnson Road as it zig-zags east and south for 4.3 miles to Sassas Road; other bogs elsewhere along Johnson Road can also be productive.


Spruce Grouse and woodpeckers have been seen as well in other spruce bogs west and southwest of Cook: look especially along MN Highway 73 and connecting side roads south of MN Highway 1 for about 8 miles. (Find Plum Creek, Lind, Heino, and Samuelson roads on your county map, and try these first.)

 

Additional sewage ponds or amended directions:

 

Chisholm – 3.3 miles east from Highway 73 on Highway 169, then 0.5 mile north and west to the gate opposite the County Road 5 junction.  


Floodwood – 0.7 mile west from Highway 2 at the BP gas station on Ninth Avenue / County Road 832, then 0.2 mile south on Triplett Road to the gated access road.


Nett Lake – 1 block east from Nett Lake Store to Lake Drive, then 2 blocks northwest to unmarked two-track road on right, then 0.2 mile to the gate.  

 

Tower-Soudan – From downtown Soudan, east on Main Street to McKinley Park Road, then 0.3 mile northwest.

 

Ely – 0.5 mile north from Highway 169 on County Road 88 to unmarked dirt road, then 0.1 mile east to gated access road.


Lake County (p. 231-240)

 

Lakeview Cemetery, along Highway 61 on the west side of Two Harbors, often attracts fall migrant geese, Black-bellied and golden-plovers, pipits, longspurs, and Snow Buntings; also note the small settling pond near the southwest corner of the cemetery.

 

There are more than two ponds at the golf course in Two Harbors (inset A) with potential for shorebirds and other water birds: they are a short walk east and north of the parking lot. Later in fall, these ponds sometimes attract Snow Geese, with an occasional Ross's or Greater White-fronted among them.


County Road 3 (see p. 234), an alternate route between Two Harbors and Beaver Bay, features species partial to sedge marshes, fields, and forest edges which tend to be local and harder to find elsewhere in the county: e.g., American Bittern, Sandhill Crane, Sedge Wren, Eastern Bluebird, Brown Thrasher, Golden-winged Warbler, Clay-colored and Le Conte's sparrows, Indigo Bunting, Bobolink, both meadowlarks, and Brewer's Blackbird.

 

There are now sewage ponds in Castle Danger: from Highway 61 go 0.6 mile west on County Road 106 / W. Castle Danger Road, turn right on Bunker Hill Road, and in 1.1 miles the road ends at the gated/fenced ponds (which can be scanned from outside the fence). Even more interesting is the extensive adjacent clearing with scattered brush, rocks, and small muddy ponds; such open habitat with good potential for migrant shorebirds, sparrows, and other field birds is scarce in this part of the state.


The fencing around the Beaver Bay sewage ponds (site 3) has been reinforced, so that walk-in access is no longer recommended; however, the ponds can still be scanned from outside the fence.

 

Just northeast of Silver Bay on Highway 61 (mile 54.9), the weedy and brushy clearings around the AmericInn Motel are good places to look for migrant pipits, sparrows, longspurs, and the like. Next, be sure to follow Mensing Drive just before the motel to W. Lakeview Drive which leads to Black Beach Park and a productive mix of habitats along the lake shore.


Connecticut Warblers have been found in some years in the jack pines by the Sand River (site B4) along County Road 2.


Though much harder to find in recent years, a Boreal Owl or two might still be heard singing on territory in late winter / early spring, usually in March. The best road to try for them is now the Tomahawk Trail: this signed road turns east off Highway 1, 6.5 miles northwest of the County Road 2 intersection, and (if plowed in winter) eventually ends after about 19 miles near Lake Isabella – see insets C and D. Spruce Grouse and Black-backed Woodpeckers have also been found here, especially along the last 9 miles of this road,


Two navigation aids on inset B:

      

• Forest Road 102 at the east end of the Whyte Road (site B5) is also named the Snake Trail, and it comes out south of Isabella on Highway 1 at mile 330 (see inset D).

     

• The Mitawan Lake Road turns north off Highway 1 immediately east of mile 319.

 

North of Isabella (see p. 238), the forest road which connects to Forest Roads 173 and 373 is numbered 369, not 396 (it is correctly shown on inset D).

 

The configuration and numbering of the roads leading to the west side of Tettegouche State Park (site 7) have been changed again:


• From Beaver Bay, follow County Road 4 / Lax Lake Road north to the junction with County Road 5; turn left to stay on Lax Lake Road as it joins County Road 15 / Forest Road 11; turn right (north) on County Road 31 to stay on Lax Lake Road to the Tettegouche State Park access, 0.7 mile beyond Lax Lake.


• From Finland, turn right (southwest) off Highway 1 on County Road 31 / Lax Lake Road.


Black-throated Blue Warblers have been harder to find in recent years (and may now be absent) along the service road on the west side of Tettegouche State Park (site 7).


Cook County (p. 240-246)

 

For easier access to the Lutsen sewage ponds: go 1.3 miles north from Highway 61 on County Road 5 to the Caribou Highlands sign, turn left, bear right past the first driveway on the left, bear left at the next intersection, in another 1/4 mile the road ends at the last condominium (Poplar Ridge #687), then park off to the side here and follow the path and to the ponds.  


Grandview Park in Lutsen at mile 93.7 on Highway 61 is a new location from which to scan Lake Superior.

 

Gunflint Trail / County Road 12 has been rerouted through Grand Marais, and now intersects Highway 61 on the east side of town. To reach the Gunflint Trail from the center or west side of town, follow W. Fifth Avenue north to the stop sign at the Gunflint Trail, and turn left.


Nesting Boreal Owls are no longer consistently found in recent years in Cook County (or apparently anywhere else in Minnesota); it is not known if this is the result of excessive logging or from a natural range contraction.

 

The Lima Mountain Trail is marked with a sign on the Lima Grade Road (site C5), just north of the south tip of the "triangle"; Black-throated Blue Warblers have nested along the hillsides about a half mile up this trail. Black-throated Blues, along with Philadelphia Vireo and Bay-breasted Warbler, have also been found along the Lima Grade Road about a mile north of the triangle. Another recent site for Black-throated Blues on the Lima Grade Road is 3.5 miles south of the South Brule Road, or 0.5 mile north of where the Lima Grade ends at East Twin Lake.










~  NORTHEAST REGION  ~

CORRECTIONS and ADDITIONS as of JULY 2022;

PUBLICATION of a NEW FIFTH EDITION

SCHEDULED in SUMMER 2022

Roy Zimmerman photo