Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Rice County Bird List

I've just added to the top navigation bar a list of the birds we've seen in Rice County. I had a yard list going (and am still keeping it privately), but I thought this would be more interesting, with more scope for growth. A very useful resource for Northfield-area birders, which I relied on in building our list, is the official Cowling Arboretum bird list. I'm hoping we add a lot more of the birds seen there to our Rice County list this year -- especially owls and warblers.

Cowling Arboretum, owned by Carleton College, is a wonderful birding resource. Other favorite spots in the county include the Cannon River Wilderness Area, Nerstrand Big Woods State Park, River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, and the Union Lake area west of I-35. We're less familiar with the lakes in the southern part of the county.

I had to refer to a county map several times to make sure I was staying legal. Unfortunately, some of the nearby spots where we've seen shorebirds are outside the county lines, and I had to remove the Redhead (a duck) from the list when we determined that the lake just after the big bend in Hwy 19 west of Lonsdale is actually in Scott County. Lake Byllesby is a favorite spot, where we've not only seen a lot of shorebirds but also an osprey, but it's in Goodhue and Dakota Counties. Oh well.

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