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May 2012


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Kim R Eckert <[log in to unmask]>
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Kim R Eckert <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 29 May 2012 13:42:35 -0600
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During this past weekend, May 26-27-28, my Minn Birding Weekends group  
(MBW) turned up several birds of note in southwestern Minn, especially  
a Buff-breasted Sandpiper and 3 Henslow's Sparrows.

The quite unexpected Buff-breasted was found in a flooded field in  
Pipestone Co along 110th Ave between Hwy 23 and 131st St.  
Unfortunately, it flew N and out of sight before the entire group  
(myself included) arrived to see it, and the bird was not relocated.  
Although this species is a locally regular migrant in late summer- 
early fall, it is only casual-accidental in spring (e.g., I can recall  
seeing it only once before in Minn during spring migration).

The Henslow's Sparrows were seen/heard at 2 locations: 2 individuals  
at Touch the Sky Prairie NWR in Rock Co, 3.2 mi W of Hwy 75 along  
171st St (thanks to a tip from Shawn Conrad); and 1 near the NW corner  
of Pipestone Nat'l Monument, across the road from Woodlawn Cemetery  
along 121st St.

Some other highlights during this weekend included:

- Greater Scaup: Pipestone sewage ponds
- Least Bittern: Luverne sewage ponds and Woodstock WMA (5 mi E of  
Holland, Pipestone Co)
- dark-morph Swainson's Hawk: adult along CR 5, ~2 mi W of Pipestone  
(only the 2nd dark-morph I can recall seeing in Minn)
- Peregrine Falcon: unexpected adult flying N over Blue Mounds State  
- total of 17 shorebird species: mostly in flooded fields in Pipestone  
Co; incl Willet and Hudsonian Godwits along 81st St just E of the SD  
border, and Red-necked Phalarope at Pipestone sewage ponds
- Blue-gray Gnatcatcher: thicket by the Blue Mounds State Park  
swimming beach
- Lark Sparrow: visitors center parking lot at the S end of Blue Mounds
- Blue Grosbeak: besides 2-3 expected pairs at Blue Mounds, there was  
a pair at Pipestone Nat'l Monument

There were also still a few migrant flycatchers (Olive-sided, Yellow- 
bellied, and Alder) and warblers (N Waterthrush, Tennessee,  
Blackburnian, Blackpoll, and Yellow-rumped) passing through.

On the other hand, we were unable to find any Gray Partridge, Soras,  
either cuckoo, or Western Kingbirds (!), and we only saw Upland  
Sandpipers at 2 locations.

Kim R Eckert
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