Rice Lake NWR

I spent some time yesterday afternoon (after the big thunderstorm) and this morning at Rice Lake NWR, outside of McGregor.  This is one of my four favorite birding locations in MN.

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I mostly enjoyed just dinging around the refuge, seeing what was about.  My best birds were Golden-winged Warbler, Trumpeter Swan, Black Tern, and Le Conte’s Sparrow.  Le Conte’s Sparrow is a real skulker, and spends most of the time hidden in wet grassy fields on the edge of marshes.  It was easy to hear, but tough to see.  I finally saw one perched up:

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Not a great photo, but you can see most of the important field marks for Le Conte’s. 

This morning I was treated to an American Woodcock ambling across the path.  Woodcock has been somewhat of a nemesis bird for me, but this one was downright confiding.

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Eventually he moseyed into the woods.  

I have also seen a fair number of mammals, including moose, coyotes, rabbits, various ground and tree squirrels, chipmunks, and these skunks (momma and her older babies?) crossing the road near sunset.

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I also saw a pair of what might have been gray wolves on the Gunflint Trail, but I’m not sure.  Off to Western MN today!

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2 responses to “Rice Lake NWR

  1. Pingback: Dancing Chickens and Skulking Rails | Periodic Wanderings

  2. Pingback: Protect Birds for the Next Big Year | Periodic Wanderings

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