Saturday, June 3, 2006

Heading for the Potholes

Saturday, June 3, 2006
A willet guards its nearby nest from one of the few perches in an untilled portion of prairie near Carrington, ND.

Yes, that's right. I leave Wednesday at the crack o' dawn for North Dakota and the Potholes and Prairies Birding Festival

This event is an annual highlight of our birding year (and we always take the whole fam damily), but this year, alas, I will be attending solo.

Some folks feel squeamish with no skyscrapers or Starbucks within sight. Not me. Being a native Iowan, I am perfectly at home in the wide open spaces.

So if you have an opening in your schedule next Thursday June 8 through Sunday June 11, this would be a great way to pass the time. I'll be playing music on Friday night at The Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, ND. Joining me will be the best birding fiddle player (or fiddle-playing birder) I've ever known, Jessie Munson. And we hope Ernie Haffert, the Jimmy Buffett of Carrington, ND will make an appearance, too. On Saturday night I'll join my folks on stage for their music show.
Jessie Munson and I played music (along with Julie Zickefoose and Jeff Gordon) at the New River Birding Festival last month.
Photo by Rondeau Ric McArthur.

Some of the old favorite birds I hope to see each year, include: Chestnut-collared longspur, upland sandpiper, white pelican (thousands), Baird's sparrow (with luck), black tern, and almost every duck in your field guide.

Upland sandpipers are common enough along the prairie roads in ND that you almost ignore them after a while.

I'll also be making a mad-cap dash to NW Minnesota in search of a Connecticut warbler, my lifelong jinx bird. Rest assured I'll report on that adventure here.

Hope to see you in North Dakota!


On June 4, 2006 at 10:52 AM ornitholoco said...

Hi Bill - What sites are you checking in Minnesota for Connecticut Warblers? I know a few sites where they are fairly reliable - around Remer, MN and in the famous Sax-Zim Bog. If you have Kim Eckert's Birding in Minnesota, look for Owl Ave in Sax-Zim bog. I had Connecticut and Palm Warblers, Yellow-bellied Flycatchers, and Boreal Chickadee around this stretch a few summers ago. Gorgeous place.

On June 4, 2006 at 10:07 PM Anonymous said...

Sounds fun. I'll be there in spirit!

Grace (WA state)

On June 4, 2006 at 11:27 PM Susan Gets Native said...

I wish, I wish, I wish!!!
Why does North Dakota have to be in, well, North Dakota???

On June 5, 2006 at 9:18 AM Rondeau Ric said...

I agree with susan gets native.
Wish Anne and I could get out there. Maybe next year. How about taping the music so the unfortunate can enjoy the party after the fact.
On second thought you could always pick me up and take me along!

On August 17, 2006 at 2:05 PM Michelle said...

I'm an old friend of Jessie's. Please tell her that Michelle from Horn Hall says hello! Thanks!