Few MBWs have ever been scheduled in the Lac Qui Parle region in May,

with none ever in late May; the follwing MBWs come the closest

to being similar to the 2024 MBW.



May 10 - 14, 2018

Because of the interest in these two counties, this MBW consisted of two Lac Qui Parle County MBWeekends, on May 10-11 and May 12-13, a Yellow Medicine County pre-MBW on May 11, and a Yellow Medicine post-MBW on May 14. This allowed additional persons to be confirmed and for more areas to be covered during the five-day period. As a result, no fewer than 166 species were found in all, including some interesting rarities – e.g., Cinnamon Teal, Common Gallinule, 21 shorebird species (including 2 American Avocets and 3 Hudsonian Godwits), Snowy and Cattle egrets, 2 White-faced Ibis, LeConte's Sparrow, and 2 Eastern Meadowlarks. (On the other hand, the passerine migration was relatively slow, as only 15 warbler species were found.) My thanks as always to Craig Mandel who led Lac Qui Parle MBW I, and to Ken Larson and Garrett Wee for their tips on the White-faced Ibis and Cinnamon Teal.  –KRE

Lac Qui Parle I MBWeekend  ~  May 10-11, 2018

Other than some temperatures in the low 40s, the weather cooperated for us on this two-day MBW, since the rain either came at night or stayed to our south. Our total of 126 species was fairly respectable, with some nice numbers of warblers at Cory Lake WMA and Lac Qui Parle County Park. But many of the usual locations for shorebirds (e.g., Salt Lake) were full of water, so we spent a lot of time searching for locations that held shorebirds. Haydenville WMA was one of the better locations, along with the flooded field south of Louisburg where there was a pair of American Avocets. Some other locations of interest were: Sweetwater WMA, where we observed a single Snowy Egret; Florida Creek WMA held a number of American Bitterns and sparrows, including a Lark Sparrow; Madison Lake WMA was great for waterfowl (including over 300 Ruddy Ducks); and CR 36 near the town of Rosen was also good, with 3 Cattle Egrets present on Friday (found the day before by the Lokens) – and chased around by a young Bald Eagle!  – Craig Mandel (with edits by KRE) 

Yellow Medicine pre-MBW  ~  May 11, 2018

As Craig's group was completing the second day of the first Lac Qui Parle MBW, my group was doing the first of two single-day trips in Yellow Medicine Co – with a bit of Chippewa Co on the side and a healthy dose of Lyon Co at Lone Tree Lake. Our first productive area was along 306th Ave (a back road along the Minnesota River leading into Granite Falls) where we heard – but could never quite see – an unexpected LeConte's Sparrow, followed a short time later by an equally surprising and singing Eastern Meadowlark. (And both birds stayed around for the post-MBW on Monday.) After a couple of mostly unsuccessful searches for warblers along the river, Lone Tree Lake was next and its shorebirds did not disappoint. Even though the Curlew Sandpiper had departed two days before, we were content to see 12 shorebirds there (we later added species #13 elsewhere) along with two late-lingering Greater White-fronted Geese. The afternoon was spent in the scenic Coteau des Prairies country west of Canby, but the cool and overcast day seemed to have dampened most bird activity. At least we came up with an even dozen warbler species for the day, and on the way back to Montevideo a stop at Miller Lake yielded Horned, Eared, and Western grebes to bring our day's list to 112 species.  – KRE      

Lac Qui Parle II MBWeekend  ~  May 12-13, 2018

We were still in Chippewa Co not far from Montevideo, and this second Lac Qui Parle MBW had just begun when Kathrynne spotted one of the best birds of this five-day MBWeekend – a Common Gallinule in a marshy slough just east of the Minnesota River! And eventually there was much more in and around Lac Qui Parle that day and the next, as my group came up with 141 species – more than Craig's MBW total, but keep in mind they scouted out some sites and species for us. After the gallinule, most of the places we tried that morning for woods birds only produced modest results, but things picked up in the afternoon as we relocated the avocets (nesting?) in the flooded field south of Louisburg, and one Cattle Egret was still in the pasture by Rosen. The birding improved even more on Sunday when we found a singing Eastern Meadowlark, a fly-by Sandhill Crane, and a handsome Hudsonian Godwit all along CR 12. The Snowy Egret seen by Craig's group on this road was a no-show, but a nearby spot produced an Orchard Oriole a late Red-breasted Nuthatch, and we ran into Ken Larson at the Haydenville shorebird spot. He had just found a nearby White-faced Ibis on CR 14, and as we watched the ibis most of us decided there was time after lunch to look for a Cinnamon Teal found that morning by Garrett Wee's MOU field trip in Big Stone County. Indeed, it was still there (!), and en route back to Montevideo a few of us drove the Big Stone NWR auto tour and found a Scarlet Tanager, Lark Sparrow, and an amazing concentration of 1,100+ Black Terns.  – KRE


Yellow Medicine post-MBW  ~  May 14, 2018

This second one-day effort in Yellow Medicine Co could be considered somewhat better than the first, even though we had one species less (111) and some rain eventually prompted us to call it a day by mid-afternoon. The LeConte's (still heard-only) and Eastern Meadowlark were still there along 306th Ave, and this time the south end of Lone Tree yielded 13 shorebird species: the same 12 as on Friday plus a Ruddy Turnstone – and there was even a White-faced Ibis wading among them! We then followed up on a tip from Garrett Wee to try one more spot in Lyon Co where a Summer Tanager had been the previous day at a feeder. But the tanager had moved on and was not seen that day, although a screech-owl was heard back in the farm grove and a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers was nesting. We were back in Yellow Medicine for lunch at Ooras County Park, but the nice woodland there had little of note except a couple of gnatcatchers. Indeed, we only managed to find 8 warbler species for the day, but before the rain did us in entirely we made up for the relative lack of warblers by chancing upon two nice flooded fields. One had two close-to-the-road Hudsonian Godwits, and the other hosted handsome Black-bellied Plovers, a non-breeding-plumaged American Golden-Plover, some more Ruddy Turnstones, plus Dunlins, Short-billed Dowitchers, White- rumped Sandpipers, and others – and we ended the day with 16 shorebird species.  – KRE

BIRD LIST (166 species total)

LQP1 = May 10-11 Lac Qui Parle I MBW (126 species; incl some in adjacent

   Chippewa Co)

YMpre = May 11 Yellow Medicine pre-MBW (112 species; incl some in adjacent

   Chippewa and Lyon Co's)

LQP2 = May 12-13 Lac Qui Parle II MBW (141 species; incl some in adjacent

   Chippewa, Swift, and Big Stone Co's)

YMpost = May 14 Yellow Medicine post-MBW (111 species; incl some in adjacent

   Chippewa and Lyon Co's)

= seen on all 4 trips (83 species)

boldfaced species = birds of special interest  

Greater White-fronted Goose          YMpre

Canada Goose          √

swan, sp.          LQP2

Wood Duck          √

Blue-winged Teal          √

Cinnamon Teal          LQP2

Northern Shoveler          √

Gadwall          √

American Wigeon          √

Mallard          √

Northern Pintail          √

Green-winged Teal          √

Canvasback          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Redhead          √

Ring-necked Duck          √

Lesser Scaup          √

Bufflehead          LQP1

Hooded Merganser          √

Ruddy Duck          √

Ring-necked Pheasant          √

Wild Turkey          YMpre, LQP2

Pied-billed Grebe          √

Horned Grebe          YMpre

Red-necked Grebe          LQP1, LQP2

Eared Grebe          LQP1, YMpre

Western Grebe          YMpre, LQP2

Rock Pigeon          √

Eurasian Collared-Dove          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Mourning Dove          √

Common Nighthawk          LQP2, YMpost

Chimney Swift          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Ruby-throated Hummingbird          LQP2

Virginia Rail          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Sora          √

Common Gallinule          LQP2

American Coot          √

Sandhill Crane          LQP1, LQP2

American Avocet          LQP1, LQP2

Black-bellied Plover          YMpost

American Golden-Plover          LQP1, YMpost

Semipalmated Plover          √

Killdeer          √

Hudsonian Godwit          LQP2, YMpost

Marbled Godwit          LQP1

Ruddy Turnstone          YMpost

Stilt Sandpiper          YMpre, YMpost

Dunlin          √

Least Sandpiper          √

White-rumped Sandpiper          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Pectoral Sandpiper          √

Semipalmated Sandpiper          YMpre, YMpost

Short-billed Dowitcher          √

Wilson’s Snipe          LQP1, LQP2

Spotted Sandpiper          √

Solitary Sandpiper          YMpre

Lesser Yellowlegs          √

Greater Yellowlegs          LQP1

Wilson’s Phalarope          √

Franklin’s Gull          LQP2

Ring-billed Gull          LQP1, LQP2

Caspian Tern          LQP2

Black Tern          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Forster’s Tern          LQP1, LQP2

Common Loon          YMpre, LQP2

Double-crested Cormorant          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

American White Pelican          √

American Bittern          LQP1, LQP2

Great Blue Heron          √

Great Egret          LQP1, LQP2

Snowy Egret          LQP1

Cattle Egret          LQP1, LQP2

Green Heron          LQP1, YMpost

White-faced Ibis          LQP2, YMpost

Turkey Vulture          √

Osprey          LQP2

Bald Eagle          √

Northern Harrier          LQP1, LQP2, YMpost

Cooper’s Hawk          LQP1

Red-tailed Hawk          √

Eastern Screech-Owl         YMpost

Belted Kingfisher          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Red-headed Woodpecker          LQP1, YMpost

Red-bellied Woodpecker          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker          √

Downy Woodpecker          √

Hairy Woodpecker          LQP2

Northern Flicker          LQP1, LQP2

Pileated Woodpecker          LQP1, YMpost

American Kestrel          LQP1, LQP2

Peregrine Falcon          LQP1, LQP2

Least Flycatcher          √

Eastern Phoebe          YMpre, LQP2 YMpost

Eastern Kingbird          √

Yellow-throated Vireo          LQP1

Blue-headed Vireo          LQP1, YMpre, YMpost

Warbling Vireo          √

Blue Jay          √

American Crow          √

Horned Lark          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Purple Martin          LQP1, LQP2

Tree Swallow          √

N. Rough-winged Swallow          √

Bank Swallow          √

Cliff Swallow          √

Barn Swallow          √

Black-capped Chickadee          √

Red-breasted Nuthatch          LQP2

White-breasted Nuthatch          √

House Wren          √

Sedge Wren          √

Marsh Wren          √

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher          LQP1, YMpost

Ruby-crowned Kinglet          √

Eastern Bluebird          LQP2, YMpost

Veery          LQP2

Gray-cheeked Thrush          √

Swainson’s Thrush          √

American Robin          √

Gray Catbird          √

Brown Thrasher          √

European Starling          √

Cedar Waxwing          LQP2

House Sparrow          √

House Finch          √

American Goldfinch          √

Chipping Sparrow          √

Clay-colored Sparrow          √

Field Sparrow          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Vesper Sparrow          √

Lark Sparrow          LQP1, LQP2

Savannah Sparrow          √

Grasshopper Sparrow          LQP2

LeConte’s Sparrow          YMpre, YMpost

Song Sparrow          √

Lincoln’s Sparrow          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Swamp Sparrow          LQP1, LQP2

White-throated Sparrow          √

Harris’s Sparrow          √

White-crowned Sparrow          √

Yellow-headed Blackbird          √

Bobolink          √

Eastern Meadowlark          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Western Meadowlark          √

Orchard Oriole          LQP2

Baltimore Oriole          √

Red-winged Blackbird          √

Brown-headed Cowbird          √

Common Grackle          √

Ovenbird          YMpre

Northern Waterthrush          √

Black-and-white Warbler          

Tennessee Warbler          LQP1, LQP2

Orange-crowned Warbler          √

Nashville Warbler          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Common Yellowthroat          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

American Redstart          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Cape May Warbler          LQP1, LQP2

Magnolia Warbler          YMpre

Yellow Warbler          √

Blackpoll Warbler          √

Palm Warbler          LQP1, YMpre, LQP2

Yellow-rumped Warbler          √

Wilson’s Warbler          LQP1

Scarlet Tanager          LQP2

Northern Cardinal          YMpre, LQP2, YMpost

Rose-breasted Grosbeak          √

*          *          *


     Canada Goose         Wood Duck  

     American Wigeon     Mallard   BT

Including a SD-only Pileated and 3 rather routine additions Herb and I saw Sun. afternoon at Artichoke L. (Big Stone Co.), we had a somewhat amazing 142 species in all! I'll have to check back over 19 years of records, but this may well be the highest species total ever on a 2-day MBW. (There have been higher totals on several 3-day Memorial Day MBWs.) This number was especially made possible by the great showing of 22 species of shorebirds, although I think 150+ would have been reached if the warblers had been in (we only had 7 species). Certainly that Cinnamon Teal (MBW #333!) was the single best highlight, and, although it took off within minutes of our arrival (everyone did get to a scope in time, didn't they!?), at least it was more cooperative than Phil & Peder's Ruff. The weather was also tolerable enough, a bit windy on Sat. and a bit too warm on Sun., but at least we missed the stormiest stuff on Sunday. Hope everyone dodged the tornados on the way home...

B = seen/heard in Big Stone Co.

T = seen/heard in Traverse Co.

Greater White-fronted Goose B (unexpected lingerers at Thielke L.)

Canada Goose BT

Wood Duck BT

Gadwall BT

American Wigeon B

Mallard BT

Blue-winged Teal BT

Cinnamon Teal B (#333 for the all-time MBW list, thanks to Phil & Peder)

Northern Shoveler BT

Northern Pintail BT

Green-winged Teal BT

Canvasback B

Redhead BT

Ring-necked Duck BT

Lesser Scaup BT

Bufflehead B

Hooded Merganser B

Ruddy Duck BT

Ring-necked Pheasant BT

Wild [sort of] Turkey BT

Common Loon B

Pied-billed Grebe T

Western Grebe BT (necking & dancing at Thielke)

Clark’s Grebe B (persistent scanning at Thielke paid off with a nice view of this rarity)

American White Pelican BT

Double-crested Cormorant BT

American Bittern B (close views of a cooperative bird!)

Great Blue Heron BT

Great Egret BT

Green Heron BT

Black-crowned Night-Heron T

Turkey Vulture B

(Osprey - Sun. afternoon at Artichoke Lake)

Bald Eagle B

Northern Harrier BT

Cooper’s Hawk T (plus Accipiter, sp. in B)

Swainson’s Hawk B (perched adult near a possible nest)

Red-tailed Hawk BT

(American Kestrel - Sun. afternoon at Artichoke Lake)

Peregrine Falcon B (an adult hunting Ruffs, no doubt)

Virginia Rail BT

Sora BT (but where were all the King Rails?!)

American Coot BT

American Golden-Plover B (one Thielke L. fly-by)

Semipalmated Plover BT

Killdeer BT

American Avocet BT (including a possible nesting pair?)

Greater Yellowlegs B

Lesser Yellowlegs BT

Solitary Sandpiper BT

Spotted Sandpiper BT

Upland Sandpiper BT (several heard, none seen?)

Hudsonian Godwit B (several handsome birds in breeding plumage, but no Marbleds?)

Sanderling B

Semipalmated Sandpiper BT

Least Sandpiper BT

White-rumped Sandpiper B

Baird’s Sandpiper BT

Pectoral Sandpiper BT

Dunlin BT

Stilt Sandpiper B

Short-billed Dowitcher BT

Wilson's Snipe B

American Woodcock B (displaying males Sat. evening, plus a rare daytime

study on Sunday)

Wilson’s Phalarope BT (= 22 shorebird species!)

Franklin’s Gull B

Bonaparte’s Gull B

Ring-billed Gull BT

(Herring Gull - Sun. afternoon at Artichoke Lake)

Forster’s Tern B

Black Tern B

Rock Pigeon BT

Mourning Dove BT

Great Horned Owl B (heard Sat. evening)

Chimney Swift BT

Belted Kingfisher BT

Red-bellied Woodpecker BT

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker B

Downy Woodpecker BT

Hairy Woodpecker BT

Northern Flicker T

(Pileated Woodpecker - a South Dakota fly-by)

Olive-sided Flycatcher T (nice spotting, Kirk)

Least Flycatcher BT

Eastern Phoebe BT

Western Kingbird BT

Eastern Kingbird BT

Warbling Vireo BT

Blue Jay BT

American Crow BT (why so few!?)

Horned Lark BT

Purple Martin BT

Tree Swallow BT

Northern Rough-winged Swallow BT

Bank Swallow BT

Cliff Swallow BT

Barn Swallow BT

Black-capped Chickadee BT

White-breasted Nuthatch BT

House Wren BT

Sedge Wren BT

Marsh Wren BT

Ruby-crowned Kinglet BT

Eastern Bluebird T

Swainson’s Thrush T

American Robin BT

Gray Catbird B

Brown Thrasher BT

European Starling BT

American Pipit BT

Cedar Waxwing B

Tennessee Warbler B

Yellow Warbler BT

Yellow-rumped Warbler BT

Palm Warbler BT

Black-and-white Warbler T

Ovenbird B

Northern Waterthrush B

Chipping Sparrow BT

Clay-colored Sparrow BT

Field Sparrow BT

Vesper Sparrow BT

Lark Sparrow T (seldom seen as a migrant; not known to nest in Traverse Co.)

Savannah Sparrow BT

Song Sparrow BT

Lincoln’s Sparrow T

Swamp Sparrow BT

White-throated Sparrow BT

Harris’s Sparrow T (lots of them, some singing)

White-crowned Sparrow BT

Northern Cardinal B

Rose-breasted Grosbeak BT

Bobolink BT

Red-winged Blackbird BT

Western Meadowlark BT

Yellow-headed Blackbird BT

Common Grackle BT

Brown-headed Cowbird BT

Baltimore Oriole BT

House Finch BT

American Goldfinch BT

House Sparrow BT