Note that this 2018 MBW included adjacent Lac Qui Parle Co.,

where the species are similar to those in Yellow Medicine.



May 10 - 14, 2018

Note – Because of the interest in these two counties, this MBW consisted of two Lac Qui Parle County MBWeekends, on May 10-11 and May 12-13, a Yellow Medicine County pre-MBW on May 11, and a Yellow Medicine post-MBW on May 14. This allowed additional persons to be confirmed and for more areas to be covered during the five-day period. As a result, no fewer than 166 species were found in all, including some interesting rarities – e.g., Cinnamon Teal, Common Gallinule, 21 shorebird species (including 2 American Avocets and 3 Hudsonian Godwits), Snowy and Cattle egrets, 2 White-faced Ibis, LeConte's Sparrow, and 2 Eastern Meadowlarks. (On the other hand, the passerine migration was relatively slow, as only 15 warbler species were found.) My thanks as always to Craig Mandel who led Lac Qui Parle MBW I, and to Ken Larson and Garrett Wee for their tips on the White-faced Ibis and Cinnamon Teal.  –KRE

Lac Qui Parle I MBWeekend  ~  May 10-11, 2018

Other than some temperatures in the low 40s, the weather cooperated for us on this two-day MBW, since the rain either came at night or stayed to our south. Our total of 126 species was fairly respectable, with some nice numbers of warblers at Cory Lake WMA and Lac Qui Parle County Park. But many of the usual locations for shorebirds (e.g., Salt Lake) were full of water, so we spent a lot of time searching for locations that held shorebirds. Haydenville WMA was one of the better locations, along with the flooded field south of Louisburg where there was a pair of American Avocets. Some other locations of interest were: Sweetwater WMA, where we observed a single Snowy Egret; Florida Creek WMA held a number of American Bitterns and sparrows, including a Lark Sparrow; Madison Lake WMA was great for waterfowl (including over 300 Ruddy Ducks); and CR 36 near the town of Rosen was also good, with 3 Cattle Egrets present on Friday (found the day before by the Lokens) – and chased around by a young Bald Eagle!  – Craig Mandel (with edits by KRE) 

Yellow Medicine pre-MBW  ~  May 11, 2018

As Craig's group was completing the second day of the first Lac Qui Parle MBW, my group was doing the first of two single-day trips in Yellow Medicine Co – with a bit of Chippewa Co on the side and a healthy dose of Lyon Co at Lone Tree Lake. Our first productive area was along 306th Ave (a back road along the Minnesota River leading into Granite Falls) where we heard – but could never quite see – an unexpected LeConte's Sparrow, followed a short time later by an equally surprising and singing Eastern Meadowlark. (And both birds stayed around for the post-MBW on Monday.) After a couple of mostly unsuccessful searches for warblers along the river, Lone Tree Lake was next and its shorebirds did not disappoint. Even though the Curlew Sandpiper had departed two days before, we were content to see 12 shorebirds there (we later added species #13 elsewhere) along with two late-lingering Greater White-fronted Geese. The afternoon was spent in the scenic Coteau des Prairies country west of Canby, but the cool and overcast day seemed to have dampened most bird activity. At least we came up with an even dozen warbler species for the day, and on the way back to Montevideo a stop at Miller Lake yielded Horned, Eared, and Western grebes to bring our day's list to 112 species.  – KRE      

Lac Qui Parle II MBWeekend  ~  May 12-13, 2018

We were still in Chippewa Co not far from Montevideo, and this second Lac Qui Parle MBW had just begun when Kathrynne spotted one of the best birds of this five-day MBWeekend – a Common Gallinule in a marshy slough just east of the Minnesota River! And eventually there was much more in and around Lac Qui Parle that day and the next, as my group came up with 141 species – more than Craig's MBW total, but keep in mind they scouted out some sites and species for us. After the gallinule, most of the places we tried that morning for woods birds only produced modest results, but things picked up in the afternoon as we relocated the avocets (nesting?) in the flooded field south of Louisburg, and one Cattle Egret was still in the pasture by Rosen. The birding improved even more on Sunday when we found a singing Eastern Meadowlark, a fly-by Sandhill Crane, and a handsome Hudsonian Godwit all along CR 12. The Snowy Egret seen by Craig's group on this road was a no-show, but a nearby spot produced an Orchard Oriole a late Red-breasted Nuthatch, and we ran into Ken Larson at the Haydenville shorebird spot. He had just found a nearby White-faced Ibis on CR 14, and as we watched the ibis most of us decided there was time after lunch to look for a Cinnamon Teal found that morning by Garrett Wee's MOU field trip in Big Stone County. Indeed, it was still there (!), and en route back to Montevideo a few of us drove the Big Stone NWR auto tour and found a Scarlet Tanager, Lark Sparrow, and an amazing concentration of 1,100+ Black Terns.  – KRE


Yellow Medicine post-MBW  ~  May 14, 2018

This second one-day effort in Yellow Medicine Co could be considered somewhat better than the first, even though we had one species less (111) and some rain eventually prompted us to call it a day by mid-afternoon. The LeConte's (still heard-only) and Eastern Meadowlark were still there along 306th Ave, and this time the south end of Lone Tree yielded 13 shorebird species: the same 12 as on Friday plus a Ruddy Turnstone – and there was even a White-faced Ibis wading among them! We then followed up on a tip from Garrett Wee to try one more spot in Lyon Co where a Summer Tanager had been the previous day at a feeder. But the tanager had moved on and was not seen that day, although a screech-owl was heard back in the farm grove and a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers was nesting. We were back in Yellow Medicine for lunch at Ooras County Park, but the nice woodland there had little of note except a couple of gnatcatchers. Indeed, we only managed to find 8 warbler species for the day, but before the rain did us in entirely we made up for the relative lack of warblers by chancing upon two nice flooded fields. One had two close-to-the-road Hudsonian Godwits, and the other hosted handsome Black-bellied Plovers, a non-breeding-plumaged American Golden-Plover, some more Ruddy Turnstones, plus Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers, White-rumped Sandpipers, and others – and we ended the day with 16 shorebird species.


Bird List (166 species total)

LQP1 = May 10-11 Lac Qui Parle I MBW (126 species; incl some in adjacent Chippewa Co)

YMpre = May 11 Yellow Medicine pre-MBW (112 species; incl some in adjacent Chippewa

   and Lyon Co's)

LQP2 = May 12-13 Lac Qui Parle II MBW (141 species; incl some in adjacent Chippewa,

   Swift, and Big Stone Co's)

YMpost = May 14 Yellow Medicine post-MBW (111 species; incl some in adjacent Chippewa

   and Lyon Co's)

√ = seen on all 4 trips (83 species)

boldfaced species = birds of special interest  

Greater White-fronted Goose          YMpre

Canada Goose          √

swan, sp.          LQP2

Wood Duck          √

Blue-winged Teal          √

Cinnamon Teal          LQP2

Northern Shoveler          √

Gadwall          √

American Wigeon          √

Mallard          √

Northern Pintail          √

Green-winged Teal          √

Canvasback          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Redhead          √

Ring-necked Duck          √

Lesser Scaup          √

Bufflehead          LQP1

Hooded Merganser          √

Ruddy Duck          √

Ring-necked Pheasant          √

Wild Turkey          YMpre, LQP2

Pied-billed Grebe          √

Horned Grebe          YMpre

Red-necked Grebe          LQP1, LQP2

Eared Grebe          LQP1, YMpre

Western Grebe          YMpre, LQP2

Rock Pigeon          √

Eurasian Collared-Dove          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Mourning Dove          √

Common Nighthawk          LQP2, YMpost

Chimney Swift          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Ruby-throated Hummingbird          LQP2

Virginia Rail          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Sora          √

Common Gallinule          LQP2

American Coot          √

Sandhill Crane          LQP1, LQP2

American Avocet          LQP1, LQP2

Black-bellied Plover          YMpost

American Golden-Plover          LQP1, YMpost

Semipalmated Plover          √

Killdeer          √

Hudsonian Godwit          LQP2, YMpost

Marbled Godwit          LQP1

Ruddy Turnstone          YMpost

Stilt Sandpiper          YMpre, YMpost

Dunlin          √

Least Sandpiper          √

White-rumped Sandpiper          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Pectoral Sandpiper          √

Semipalmated Sandpiper          YMpre, YMpost

Short-billed Dowitcher          √

Wilson’s Snipe          LQP1, LQP2

Spotted Sandpiper          √

Solitary Sandpiper          YMpre

Lesser Yellowlegs          √

Greater Yellowlegs          LQP1

Wilson’s Phalarope          √

Franklin’s Gull          LQP2

Ring-billed Gull          LQP1, LQP2

Caspian Tern          LQP2

Black Tern          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Forster’s Tern          LQP1, LQP2

Common Loon          YMpre, LQP2

Double-crested Cormorant          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

American White Pelican          √

American Bittern          LQP1, LQP2

Great Blue Heron          √

Great Egret          LQP1, LQP2

Snowy Egret          LQP1

Cattle Egret          LQP1, LQP2

Green Heron          LQP1, YMpost

White-faced Ibis          LQP2, YMpost

Turkey Vulture          √

Osprey          LQP2

Bald Eagle          √

Northern Harrier          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Cooper’s Hawk          LQP1

Red-tailed Hawk          √

Eastern Screech-Owl         YMpost

Belted Kingfisher          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Red-headed Woodpecker          LQP1, YMpost

Red-bellied Woodpecker          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker          √

Downy Woodpecker          √

Hairy Woodpecker          LQP2

Northern Flicker          LQP1, LQP2

Pileated Woodpecker          LQP1, YMpost

American Kestrel          LQP1, LQP2

Peregrine Falcon          LQP1, LQP2

Least Flycatcher          √

Eastern Phoebe          YMpre, LQP2 YMpost

Eastern Kingbird          √

Yellow-throated Vireo          LQP1

Blue-headed Vireo          LQP1, YMpre, YMpost

Warbling Vireo          √

Blue Jay          √

American Crow          √

Horned Lark          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Purple Martin          LQP1, LQP2

Tree Swallow          √

N. Rough-winged Swallow          √

Bank Swallow          √

Cliff Swallow          √

Barn Swallow          √

Black-capped Chickadee          √

Red-breasted Nuthatch          LQP2

White-breasted Nuthatch          √

House Wren          √

Sedge Wren          √

Marsh Wren          √

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher          LQP1, YMpost

Ruby-crowned Kinglet          √

Eastern Bluebird          LQP2, YMpost

Veery          LQP2

Gray-cheeked Thrush          √

Swainson’s Thrush          √

American Robin          √

Gray Catbird          √

Brown Thrasher          √

European Starling          √

Cedar Waxwing          LQP2

House Sparrow          √

House Finch          √

American Goldfinch          √

Chipping Sparrow          √

Clay-colored Sparrow          √

Field Sparrow          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Vesper Sparrow          √

Lark Sparrow          LQP1, LQP2

Savannah Sparrow          √

Grasshopper Sparrow          LQP2

LeConte’s Sparrow          YMpre, YMpost

Song Sparrow          √

Lincoln’s Sparrow          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Swamp Sparrow          LQP1, LQP2

White-throated Sparrow          √

Harris’s Sparrow          √

White-crowned Sparrow          √

Yellow-headed Blackbird          √

Bobolink          √

Eastern Meadowlark          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Western Meadowlark          √

Orchard Oriole          LQP2

Baltimore Oriole          √

Red-winged Blackbird          √

Brown-headed Cowbird          √

Common Grackle          √

Ovenbird          YMpre

Northern Waterthrush          √

Black-and-white Warbler          

Tennessee Warbler          LQP1, LQP2

Orange-crowned Warbler          √

Nashville Warbler          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Common Yellowthroat          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

American Redstart          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Cape May Warbler          LQP1, LQP2

Magnolia Warbler          YMpre

Yellow Warbler          √

Blackpoll Warbler          √

Palm Warbler          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Yellow-rumped Warbler          √

Wilson’s Warbler          LQP1

Scarlet Tanager          LQP2

Northern Cardinal          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Rose-breasted Grosbeak          √

Hudsonian Godwit, May 13, along Lac Qui Parle CR 12 –

one of 21 species seen on the MBW (KRE photo)

A handsome Blackpoll Warbler portrait; one of 15 warbler species

found during the MBW (Dee Kuder photo)