With temperature predicted to be back into the 60’s, you will find the 41st Annual Salt Lake Birding event, in Western Minnesota, a fun place to explore by bike. Consider packing up the bikes and family for a spring birding weekend in the Prairie Waters Region of the state on Saturday April 23, 2016. With many birding haunts on local gravel roads, both fat and wide tired bikes work well to quietly approach and view the many species of birds returning to the area.
Volunteers will guide birders around Salt Lake, Big Stone Refuge and the lakes, wetlands, and native prairies in Lac qui Parle and southern Big Stone counties over the weekend. The event is free and open to all those who are interested – plus, no pre-registration is needed.
Each year birders will see many species of waterfowl including: Common Goldeneye and American Black Ducks. Also spotted were Snowy and Cattle Egrets and White-faced Ibis. A number of birders located Bald Eagles and Great- horned Owls on nests in the area. Also spotted were three birds that are usually found later in the year, Black Tern, Least Flycatcher and Black and White Warbler. The most unusual find was a Say’s Phoebe, the first time it’s been found by Salt Lake Birders here in Minnesota. Last year, over 90 birders found 143 different species of birds over the weekend. Check out this photo gallery, of some of the birds you may see.
It all happens on Saturday April 23, at 7 a.m. meet at the Marietta American Legion, located one block west of the intersection of County Road 7 and State Highway 40 (11-miles west of Madison). Coffee, sweet rolls, juice and milk will be available for purchase. Guided car caravans will leave between 7 and 8 a.m.
At noon, stop back at the Legion for a sloppy joes and cake (available at a modest cost). And to compare notes with others a Saturday evening chicken dinner, will be available at the Sons of Norway Hall, on Highway 75, in Madison.
Reservations are necessary for dinner; please contact Julie Claflin by email at [email protected]. After dinner there will be a short program and then the species count for the day will be recorded.
Friday and Sunday birding is on your own, however you may stop by Prairie Marsh Farm for advice and directions to local sites. See the HaveFunBiking.com Prairie Waters Destination Page
Local lodging is available at Lou’s Lodge in Madison 320-598-7518, the Vali Vu Motel in Ortonville 320-839-2558, Prairie Waters Inn in Appleton 320-289-2500, and the Country Inn by Carlson in Montevideo 320-269-8000. Free camping is available at Prairie Marsh Farm, 1770 151st Ave, Marietta, located 7 miles west of US 75 and 1.5 miles south of 212. Contact Ken Larson for more information or to reserve a camping site – home 952-595-9265, cell 612-210-8486 [email protected] Information and map at http://moumn.org/saltlake/.