Juvenile Sabine's Gull wondering if it will ever stop raining

13 September 2008 / Sleepy Eye sewage ponds, Brown Co.


Well, it never really did stop, did it? At least not enough to do us much good....and unfortunately the gull was found dead the next day. (As we wondered aloud as we watched it on Saturday, it was probably starving or sick, since there were no signs of gunshot wounds or other trauma when it was picked up.) 

But at least the rest of us survived the weather, and we managed to accomplish something on Saturday afternoon, as we opted for some Sleepy Eye-area shorebirds along with that Sabine's Gull to replace the waterlogged warblers along the Minnesota River. And we never managed to outrun the rain on Sunday, and finally all of us gave up in New Ulm and went home. My thanks to all of you for at least trying to bird along the river valley, and special thanks to Brian Smith for leading the way to Sleepy Eye.


Canada Goose

Wood Duck


Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler


Ruddy Duck

Ring-necked Pheasant

Pied-billed Grebe

Eared Grebe

Double-crested Cormorant

Great Blue Heron

Turkey Vulture

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk

American Kestrel


American Coot

Semipalmated Plover


Greater Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

Solitary Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

Baird's Sandpiper

Pectoral Sandpiper

Stilt Sandpiper

Wilson's Snipe

Red-necked Phalarope

Ring-billed Gull

Sabine's Gull

Rock Pigeon

Mourning Dove

Belted Kingfisher

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Eastern Phoebe

Blue-headed Vireo

Philadelphia Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo

Blue Jay

American Crow

Horned Lark

Purple Martin

Tree Swallow

Barn Swallow

Black-capped Chickadee

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Wren

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

American Robin

European Starling

Cedar Waxwing

Tennessee Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler

Bay-breasted Warbler

Black-and-white Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

Chipping Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Northern Cardinal

Red-winged Blackbird

Brewer's Blackbird

Common Grackle

American Goldfinch

House Sparrow

Note that other counties besides Renville and Redwood

were included on these MBWs.


Redwood - Lyon - Lincoln MBW Summary

October 13-14-15, 2017

Yes, I suppose it would be just too much of a stretch to declare the Thursday I spent in Yellow Medicine County as a pre-pre-MBW (we've never really had one of those) so we could include that Vermilion Flycatcher on this trip list. The bird was certainly nice while it lasted (which was all of about five minutes), but it was never seen again later that afternoon or the next day. If it had, perhaps then we could have tried for it on Saturday by making a slight detour north of Lincoln County – though possibly rained out in the process, of course!

This bird would have certainly been a nice addition to this MBW's tradition of rarities. Note that the past three Marshall-based MBWs in fall have recorded the likes of Surf Scoter, Western Sandpiper, Sabine's and Lesser Black-backed gulls, Cattle Egret, Plegadis ibis, "Harlan's" Red-tailed Hawk, Smith's Longspur, Spotted Towhee, and Nelson's Sparrow. Accordingly, my expectations were pretty high for this group to find something really unusual again this year.

"Dave's Slough" did provide a nice assortment of shorebirds for us on Friday morning: including the Baird's Sandpiper and Greater Yellowlegs I found there early Friday evening and the Long-billed Dowitcher Brian saw Saturday morning, there was a total of 9 shorebird species. But that was about it for shorebirds since we essentially saw none anywhere else in three days. And that nice (but wet) group of Red Crossbills unexpectedly appeared at Hole in the Mountain just after lunch on Saturday and posed for photos (see below). But steady rains also came in about the same time and mostly ended any hopes for finding much the rest of that afternoon.

At least the weather the rest of the time was decent, and we even managed to come up with a composite list of 92 species – or make it 97 if you include those 3 extra shorebirds at Dave's Slough plus the Herring Gull and unidentified swallow (probably a Bank) that the Edwardsons and I saw in Cottonwood on the way home on Sunday.

Bird List

R = Redwood County pre-MBW, October 13 (74 species)

Ly = Lyon County, October 14-15 (63 species)

Li = Lincoln County, October 14 (61 species)

Canada Goose        R, Ly, Li

Trumpeter Swan        Ly

Wood Duck        Ly, Li

Blue-winged Teal        R

Northern Shoveler        R, Li

Gadwall        R, Li

American Wigeon        Li

Mallard        R, Ly, Li

Northern Pintail        R, Li

Green-winged Teal        R, Li

Redhead        Ly, Li

Ring-necked Duck        R

Bufflehead        R, Ly

Hooded Merganser        Ly

Ruddy Duck        R, Ly, Li

Ring-necked Pheasant        Ly, Li

Wild Turkey        Ly

Pied-billed Grebe        R, Ly, Li

Rock Pigeon        R, Ly, Li

Eurasian Collared-Dove        R, Ly, Li

Mourning Dove        R, Li

American Coot        R, Ly, Li

American Golden-Plover        R

Killdeer        R, Ly

(Baird’s Sandpiper        R)

Least Sandpiper        R

Pectoral Sandpiper        R

Semipalmated Sandpiper        R

(Long-billed Dowitcher        R)

Wilson’s Snipe        R

(Greater Yellowlegs        R)

Franklin’s Gull        R, Ly, Li

Ring-billed Gull        Ly, Li

(Herring Gull        Ly)

Double-crested Cormorant        R, Ly, Li

American White Pelican        Ly

American Bittern        R

Great Blue Heron        Ly, Li

Turkey Vulture        R, Ly

Bald Eagle        R, Li

Northern Harrier        R, Ly, Li

Sharp-shinned Hawk        R, Ly, Li

Cooper’s Hawk        Li

Red-tailed Hawk        R, Ly, Li

Eastern Screech-Owl        R

Belted Kingfisher        Ly, Li

Red-bellied Woodpecker        R, Ly, Li

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker        R

Downy Woodpecker        R, Ly, Li

Hairy Woodpecker        R, Ly

Northern Flicker        R, Ly, Li

Pileated Woodpecker        R, Ly

American Kestrel        R, Ly, Li

Merlin        R

Peregrine Falcon        Li

Eastern Phoebe        R

Blue Jay        R, Ly, Li

American Crow        R, Ly, Li

Horned Lark        R

(swallow, sp.        Ly)

Black-capped Chickadee        R, Ly, Li

Red-breasted Nuthatch        Ly

White-breasted Nuthatch        R, Ly, Li

Brown Creeper        Li

Golden-crowned Kinglet        R, Ly, Li

Ruby-crowned Kinglet        R, Ly, Li

Eastern Bluebird        R, Ly, Li

Hermit Thrush        R, Ly, Li

American Robin        R, Ly, Li

Gray Catbird        Ly, Li

European Starling        R, Ly, Li

Cedar Waxwing        R, Li

House Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

American Pipit        R, Ly, Li

House Finch        R, Ly

Purple Finch        Ly

Red Crossbill        Li

Pine Siskin        R

American Goldfinch        R, Ly, Li

Lapland Longspur        R

Chipping Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

Field Sparrow        Ly

Vesper Sparrow        R, Li

Savannah Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

Fox Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

Song Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

Lincoln’s Sparrow        R, Ly

Swamp Sparrow        R, Li

White-throated Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

Harris’s Sparrow        R, Ly, Li

Dark-eyed Junco        R, Ly, Li

Western Meadowlark        Ly, Li

Red-winged Blackbird        R, Ly, Li

Common Grackle        R, Ly, Li

Orange-crowned Warbler        R, Ly

Yellow-rumped Warbler        R, Ly, Li

Northern Cardinal        R, Ly

LeConte's Sparrow, Cottonwood, Lyon Co.

Lyon-Lincoln MBW & Redwood Falls pre-MBW summary

October 8-9-10, 2010

As the photo above suggests, it was unfortunate that not everyone had the time to bird with us after lunch on Sunday! For reasons I still can't explain, at least 3 Le Conte's Sparrows decided to pose at length for pictures on a fence wire adjacent to the Cottonwood sewage ponds. At least 3 or 4 others were also present in this field – a fitting climax to our "Sparrows-R-Us" MBW. 

In all, there were no fewer than 17 sparrow species on our composite list, highlighted by that Spotted Towhee near Lynd on Saturday (which stubbornly refused to reappear for half the group), and by a Nelson's Sparrow (perhaps more than one?) which accompanied still more Le Conte's near the Lake Benton sewage ponds on Saturday.

These certainly weren't our only highlights, although things started out slowly on Friday for those on the Redwood Falls-based option. And little wonder that it was relatively quiet with record-breaking temperatures around 90 degrees that day – no less than 30 degrees above normal! Indeed, we "only" managed a dozen sparrow species, though a quite unexpected Cattle Egret at Cottonwood's Sham Lake was a nice unexpected find to end the day. 

Things cooled off nicely into the 70s the next day, and with light winds and low humidity the weather was about as pleasant as it gets in October. Besides that towhee and all the other sparrows, the day's surprises included a very early Rough-legged Hawk seen by some and the extremely late Common Nighthawk seen by all in Tyler. In all, 108 species were turned up during our three days, which was a pretty good composite total considering that the relentlessly uneventful weather that week was not conducive to much migration activity. For example, migrant woods birds were almost non-existent, and even most sewage ponds were relatively empty.


F = Friday pre-MBW (Oct 8 in Redwood, Brown, Renville, Yellow Medicine, Lyon Co's) 

Ly = seen in Lyon County (Oct 9-10)

Li = seen in Lincoln County (Oct 9)

Snow Goose     Ly (Sham L on Sunday)

Cackling Goose     F,Li

Canada Goose     F,Ly,Li

Wood Duck     F,Ly,Li

Gadwall     Ly,Li

American Wigeon     Li

Mallard     F,Ly,Li

Blue-winged Teal     Ly,Li

Northern Shoveler     F,Ly,Li

Northern Pintail     Ly

Green-winged Teal     Ly,Li

Canvasback     F

Redhead     F,Li

Ring-necked Duck     F,Ly

Bufflehead     Li

Hooded Merganser     Li

Ruddy Duck     F,Ly,Li (incl 330 on Friday at Tyson L, Yellow Medicine Co) 

Ring-necked Pheasant     F,Ly,Li

Wild Turkey     Ly

Common Loon     Li (L Benton)

Pied-billed Grebe     F,Ly,Li

Western Grebe     Ly (McKay L)

Double-crested Cormorant     F,Ly,Li

American White Pelican     Ly,Li

Great Blue Heron     F,Li

Great Egret     Li

Cattle Egret     F

Turkey Vulture     F

Osprey     F

Bald Eagle     F

Northern Harrier     F,Ly,Li

Sharp-shinned Hawk     F,Li

Cooper's Hawk     Li

Swainson's Hawk     Li

Red-tailed Hawk     F,Ly,Li

Rough-legged Hawk     Ly

American Kestrel     Li

Merlin     Ly (chasing a N Harrier)

American Coot     F,Ly,Li

American Golden-Plover     F,Li

Killdeer     F,Ly,Li

Greater Yellowlegs     F,Ly,Li

Lesser Yellowlegs     Li

Least Sandpiper     Li

Baird's Sandpiper     Li

Pectoral Sandpiper     Li

Long-billed Dowitcher     Ly,Li (flying over the county line at Gislason L)

Wilson's Snipe     Ly,Li

Bonaparte's Gull     Li (Perch L)

Franklin's Gull     F,Ly,Li

Ring-billed Gull     Ly,Li

Rock Pigeon     F,Ly,Li

Eurasian Collared-Dove     Ly,Li (Lynd and Ivanhoe)

Mourning Dove     F,Ly,Li

Common Nighthawk     Li

Belted Kingfisher     F,Li

Red-bellied Woodpecker     F,Ly,Li

Downy Woodpecker     F,Ly,Li

Hairy Woodpecker     F,Ly,Li

Northern Flicker     F,Ly,Li

Pileated Woodpecker     F,Ly

Eastern Phoebe     F,Ly,Li

Blue Jay     F,Ly,Li

American Crow     F,Ly,Li

Horned Lark     F,Li

Tree Swallow     F,Li

Barn Swallow     F,Li

Black-capped Chickadee     F,Ly,Li

White-breasted Nuthatch     F,Ly,Li

Brown Creeper     F,Ly

Sedge Wren     Li

Golden-crowned Kinglet     Ly,Li

Ruby-crowned Kinglet     F,Ly,Li

Eastern Bluebird     F,Ly,Li

American Robin     F,Ly,Li

European Starling     F,Ly,Li

American Pipit     Ly,Li

Cedar Waxwing     F,Li

Orange-crowned Warbler     F,Ly

Yellow-rumped Warbler     F,Ly,Li

Palm Warbler     Ly

Spotted Towhee     Ly

Chipping Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Clay-colored Sparrow     Li

Field Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Vesper Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Savannah Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Grasshopper Sparrow     Ly

LeConte's Sparrow     Ly,Li

Nelson's Sparrow     Li

Fox Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Song Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Lincoln's Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Swamp Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

White-throated Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Harris's Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

White-crowned Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

Dark-eyed Junco     F,Ly,Li

Northern Cardinal     F,Ly

Red-winged Blackbird     F,Ly,Li

Western Meadowlark     F,Ly,Li

Yellow-headed Blackbird     F

Common Grackle     F,Ly,Li

Brown-headed Cowbird     F,Li

House Finch     F,Ly,Li

Pine Siskin     F,Li

American Goldfinch     F,Ly,Li

House Sparrow     F,Ly,Li

*        *        *

On the "pre-pre-MBW": Yellow Medicine County, 12 October 2017

(Denny Martin photo)

Hole in the Mountain County Park (Roy Zimmerman photo)

Hole in the Mountain County Park (Gerry Hoekstra photo)

*        *        *