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