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Subject:Looking for day trip ideas from the Twin Cities
From:Paul Kammen <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Kammen <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 1 Mar 2011 09:09:29 -0600

Hi everyone,
Just back from a wonderful day trip to the Sax-Zim bog where Erik Bruhnke
guided me around for the day. No owls, but had a great time seeing the birds
of the area, and now that I know how to go there I'll definitely head back. 

I'm the kind of person who has no problems doing things on a whim when it
comes to birds, and love day trips, leaving at 8 from the Metro and getting
back at 9; last summer I had my morning Mass one day, made it as far as
Silver Bay and took landscape shots at Gooseberry, Split Rock, and
Tettegouche, had time for a nice meal and was back in the cities by 10, but
wasn't as much into birding them as I am now. I do have Kim Eckerts book,
and thus far have birded at Bloomington's refuge, Sherburne, and live right
near the Rapids Lake Unit; all these places I go whenever I get time late in
the afternoon for a few hours, and also go to Blackdog and the Louisville
Swamp (the latter when it was warmer, haven't tried it in winter.) I've
never been to Wilkie, but hope to go there later today. So, as far as day
trips from the Metro, if you could give me any suggestions I'd appreciate
it. I've heard Aitkin County for instance is good, but my concern is what do
I do when I get there? When I go to a state park or refuge, I simply go to
the trail or wildlife loop, but are there specific spots to go? (Eckert's
book points out roads, so I guess just go up and down those roads and hope
for the best, and keep driving up and down County Road 18 and then the
McGregor Marsh?). I'm also aware of the list at M.O.U. that lists the
hotspots, and am on this list for alerts, but as a new birder I just want to
be able to try to find the most productive areas, and for some reason
envision driving aimlessly down a back road repeatedly seeing nothing but a
field of snow. The refuge spots are great, and I will keep going back there,
but what I'm really after is owls and hope to give Aitkin county a whirl in

Thanks for the suggestions!
Fr. Paul

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