The annual Minn Birding Weekends trip to NW Minn over Labor Day weekend (Aug 29-30-31-Sept 1) turned up a few birds of note in Beltrami, Lake of the Woods, and Roseau counties, including 15 shorebird species (including Buff-breasteds and Red-necked Phalaropes), several Short-eared Owls, a few Western Kingbirds, 20 warbler species, late Bobolinks, and Pine Siskins:
- There were 2 Buff-breasteds in a flooded field 1 mile S of Arnesen in Lake of the Woods Co, just W of the jct of County Roads 17 and 9; these were among the 12 shorebird species here, which also included Black-bellied Plover, Stilt and Baird's sandpipers. The Red-necked Phalaropes were at the Warroad sewage ponds in Roseau Co, which had 11 shorebird species. (And note these were the only two sites we came across in 4 days which had any significant number and variety of shorebirds.)
- There was a concentration of at least 8 Short-eared Owls (possibly 9 or 10) in Roseau Co along 440th Ave, 5 mi E and 2-3 mi N of Roseau. They were hunting at dusk in the same area we have seen them in several previous years on this MBWeekend.
- Western Kingbirds were present at two sites just N of Warroad in Roseau Co: near the jct of MN Hwy 313 and Springsteel Island Rd, and on Springsteel Island by the first stop sign.
- Our total of 20 warbler species was made possible by the off-and-on rainy weather, and the best waves were along the shore of Lake Bemidji in Beltrami Co (between Diamond Point Park and the Gould St access to the lake) on Friday, at Springsteel Island on Saturday, and at Arnesen on Sunday; the only expected species missed were Ovenbird and Mourning.
- A few migrant Bobolinks were noted at 2 sites in Roseau Co. And Pine Siskins were seen at Springsteel Island and Arnesen (this species has been unusually scarce to almost non-existent in Minn for the past 12 months or so).
Kim R Eckert, Duluth
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