*          *          *


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          √

The summary of the 2018 Lac Qui Parle - Yellow Medicine MBW

follows the summary of the 2022 MBW



Yellow Medicine I = May 11 - 12 - 13, 2022

Yellow Medicine II = May 13 - 14 - 15, 2022

Once again, at least on Yellow Medicine I, the headlines involved the weather – just as they had on the two previous MBWs earlier this spring. This time, it was all about the heavy rains and high winds on Wednesday and Thursday, although the rain didn’t really affect our birding much except for a delay in starting Wednesday afternoon’s pre-MBW. And it did leave behind flooded fields with mudflats almost everywhere (plus a flooded road to the casino!), though only a few of those fields attracted any shorebirds. As for the high winds in the forecast for Thursday, along with temperatures close to 90 and more downpours, they were mercifully and mostly non-existent. It was more like in the 60s with mostly light to moderate winds into the early afternoon, and we were done birding for the day before the heat, serious winds, and more heavy rain moved in.

Things settled down on Friday, although at the same time it did clear off enough Friday night to prompt several migrants to pull out and head north by Saturday. Still, Yellow Medicine II surprisingly managed to come with a few more species than MBW I on its list, although the overall number of individuals had diminished – this was especially noticeable with the sparrows and warblers. But each MBW nearly recorded 20 warbler species (19 on I, 18 on II), and 20 is a hard number to reach in western MN. We also managed to turn up a combined list of 18 shorebird species, another surprisingly good number considering this has been a poor spring for shorebirds statewide.

In all, we came up with an impressive composite total of 167 species, 15 of these only on Yellow Medicine I, and 18 on Yellow Medicine II only. The first MBW came up with 149, including 3 on Wednesday’s pre-MBW not seen during the rest of MBW I. Meanwhile, MBW II recorded 152 species, with 7 of these only on its Friday pre-MBW – these included that White-faced Ibis still lingering from that morning at Wood Lake (but gone the next day), plus 6 species found only on the Chippewa County side of the river. Besides that ibis, MBW I’s most significant finds were the lone American Avocet and some Hudsonian Godwits on a puddle by Miller Lake. While these did not stay around for MBW II, that group found a quite unexpected Surf Scoter on Miller Lake, and we chanced upon a Cattle Egret in a farmyard that afternoon.

Bird List

I = Yellow Medicine I, May 11-12-13

II = Yellow Medicine II, May 13-14-15

(species not annotated = found on both I and II)

Canada Goose

Trumpeter Swan

Wood Duck

Blue-winged Teal

Northern Shoveler


American Wigeon          II only


Northern Pintail          II only

Green-winged Teal


Ring-necked Duck

Lesser Scaup

Surf Scoter          II only

Hooded Merganser

Ruddy Duck

Wild Turkey

Ring-necked Pheasant

Pied-billed Grebe

Eared Grebe          II only

Western Grebe          II only

Rock Pigeon

Eurasian Collared-Dove

Mourning Dove

Common Nighthawk          I only

Chimney Swift

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Virginia Rail


American Coot

American Avocet          I only


Semipalmated Plover          II only

Upland Sandpiper

Hudsonian Godwit          I only

Stilt Sandpiper

Least Sandpiper

White-rumped Sandpiper          II only

Pectoral Sandpiper

Semipalmated Sandpiper

Short-billed Dowitcher

Wilson’s Snipe          I only

Spotted Sandpiper

Solitary Sandpiper          II only

Lesser Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs          I only

Wilson’s Phalarope

Red-necked Phalarope

Franklin’s Gull

Ring-billed Gull

Black Tern

Forster’s Tern          I only

Common Loon          I only

Double-crested Cormorant

American White Pelican

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Cattle Egret          II only

Green Heron

White-faced Ibis

Turkey Vulture

Osprey          I only

Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk          I only

Cooper’s Hawk          II only

Bald Eagle

Broad-winged Hawk

Swainson’s Hawk          II only

Red-tailed Hawk

Belted Kingfisher

Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Downy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Pileated Woodpecker          II only

American Kestrel

Great Crested Flycatcher

Western Kingbird

Eastern Kingbird

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Willow Flycatcher          II only

Least Flycatcher

Eastern Phoebe

Yellow-throated Vireo

Blue-headed Vireo          I only

Philadelphia Vireo          

Warbling Vireo

Red-eyed Vireo          I only

Blue Jay

American Crow

Black-capped Chickadee

Horned Lark

Bank Swallow

Tree Swallow

Northern Rough-winged Swallow

Purple Martin          I only

Barn Swallow

Cliff Swallow

Ruby-crowned Kinglet          I only

Cedar Waxwing

Red-breasted Nuthatch          I only

White-breasted Nuthatch

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

House Wren

Sedge Wren          II only

Marsh Wren

Gray Catbird

Brown Thrasher

European Starling

Eastern Bluebird

Veery          II only

Gray-cheeked Thrush

Swainson’s Thrush

Wood Thrush          II only

American Robin

House Sparrow

House Finch

American Goldfinch

Grasshopper Sparrow

Lark Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Clay-colored Sparrow

Field Sparrow

White-crowned Sparrow

Harris’s Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow

Vesper Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow

Song Sparrow

Lincoln’s Sparrow

Swamp Sparrow

Eastern Towhee

Yellow-headed Blackbird


Eastern Meadowlark          II only

Western Meadowlark

Orchard Oriole

Baltimore Oriole

Red-winged Blackbird

Brown-headed Cowbird

Brewer’s Blackbird          II only

Common Grackle


Northern Waterthrush

Black-and-white Warbler

Tennessee Warbler

Orange-crowned Warbler

Nashville Warbler

Mourning Warbler

Common Yellowthroat

American Redstart

Northern Parula

Magnolia Warbler

Blackburnian Warbler

Yellow Warbler

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Blackpoll Warbler

Palm Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler          I only

Wilson’s Warbler

Scarlet Tanager

Northern Cardinal

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Indigo Bunting


Jeff Stephenson photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Jeff Stephenson photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Jeff Stephenson photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Jeff Stephenson photo

Jeff Stephenson photo

Jeff Stephenson photo

Jeff Stephenson photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Roy Zimmerman photo

Immature Swainson's Hawk  ~  Jeff Stephenson photo