On Saturday Jan. 31, 2009 I spent the morning birding near Waskish along
St. Hi. 72.  I found a Northern Hawk-Owl at mile marker 41 near the
intersection of Shoreline Dr. NE and Hi. 72.  About a quarter mile north
of mile marker 43, I found a male Black-backed Woodpecker working the
tamarack trees which are highly visible across the deep snow-covered
ditch on the east side of the road.   The boardwalk trail parking lot
for Big Bog State Recreation Area (turn at mile marker 44) is crossed by
a snowmobile trail and if you walk the snowmobile trail to the south
about a quarter of a mile, you enter excellent habitat for Gray Jays and
Boreal Chickadees.  The boardwalk trail is too snowed in to walk except
with snowshoes.   I found a freshly killed Spruce Grouse near mile
marker 48 about a mile or two south of the Lake of the Woods County line
on St. Hi. #72.  Black-billed Magpies, as usual, are numerous at the
Rhinestone Farms feed lot about 4 miles northeast of Waskish on County
112.  Also, there is an excellent feeder with many Common and a couple
Hoary Redpolls about  200 yards west of St. Hi. #72 at mile marker 38,
turn west on Laport Rd. NE(at the intersection with County 112).   


Douglas Johnson