Here is an update on the Harlequin Duck that was observed at the Wilkie
Unit, which is part of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
After consulting some field guides on my return home, I was able to determine
that the Harlequin Duck is a first winter plumage male Harlequin
There are two ways to reach the location that the bird is at and here they
Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Maps are available at there web page.
1. Wilkie Unit - main parking lot - 35 to 40 minute walk - The main parking
area for the unit is located at the NE corner of the intersection of Highway 101
and Stagecoach road. This is about a 1/2 mile West of Highway 169.
From here you need to walk to the west, following the trail around the stand of
conifers. Then head on the trail to the North, about 250 yards to a trail
that heads to the West. This trail goes between the Blue Lake Water
Treatment Plant and Blue Lake. The bird was observed in the small open
area on Blue lake, along the north side of the trail.
2. Wilkie Unit - Hunter parking lot - 20 minute walk - This
parking area is about 1/4 mile West of the main parking lot and was plowed
today. From this parking area, take the trail to the North and then follow
the trail that runs west, between the plant and the lake.
Birds observed at the unit and Treatment plant included the
Canada Geese - 8
Mallard - 100s
Harlequin Duck - 11:45 - 1:00 pm - One - 1st Winter plumaged male, on
the open area of water on Blue Lake.
Common Goldeneye - 100s
Hooded Merganser - 6
Common Merganser - 4
American Coot - 3
Blue Jay - 1
Veterans Park in Shakopee
American Black Duck - 2
Mallard - 100s
Bald Eagle - 3
Black-capped Chickadee - 1