Date: 7/16/17 3:19 pm
From: <mou...>
Subject: [mou-net] Western Wood Pewee, Blue Grosbeak- Big Stone NWR
(Posted by Jason Frank <jmfrank84...> via

After reading Josh Wallestad's post about the Blue Grosbeak range expansion, I decided to
check out some of the northernmost potentialities in western Minnesota, namely Big Stone
NWR. Departing my home in Gary, SD, I drove north along County Rd 15, which becomes 7
in Lac qui Parle County.

First stop was the Nassau gravel pit, less than half a mile west of CR 7 on CR 24 (the
Nassau Road). It is right next to St James Cemetery. No Blue Grosbeaks seen or heard, but
this pit is currently hosting the most extensive Bank Swallow colony I've ever seen out
here; I'd estimate some 200 holes with hundreds of birds swarming the area around
1:00PM Sunday afternoon. Coordinates are: 45.066260, -96.422451.

Moving Northward, I stopped at a gravel pit half a mile east of CR 7 on CR 28. Waited for 10
minutes, but no Blue Grosbeaks were present.

Pulling into the Big Stone NWR Wildlife Drive, I parked at the first outhouses and located 1
male Blue Grosbeak singing from some shrubs about 50 yards away; got the scope on him
for a good view; he sang for 5 minutes, and as I approached for a closer view, he retreated
into nearby brush. Coordinates: 45.268503, -96.410063.

At coordinates 45.258812, -96.411101, approaching the Wildlife Drive, I heard a Western
Wood Pewee singing. (CHEER-up, PEE-WEEEEE).

Coots and Soras were making lots of noise in Pool 7.

In other news:

Evening, July 13, I found a Clay-Colored Sparrow's nest in Mound Spring SNA, Yellow
Medicine County. It was 6 inches off the ground, in a swath of bent-over Indian Grass.

Jason Frank
Lac qui Parle

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