Jim Williams has been watching birds and writing about their antics since before "Gilligan's Island" went into reruns. Join him for his unique insights, his everyday adventures and an open conversation about the birds in your back yard and beyond.
If you are looking for a short weekend birding trip well worth the drive, this is it. Take Highway 12 west to Dassel. Go south on Highway 15 for about three miles (more or less; we didn't measure).Here you will find Pigeon Lake and an island in its middle that is home to thousands of waterbirds that nest in colonies or hang around in large groups: Double-crested Cormorants, American White Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, American Egrets for certain, maybe other species if you take a scope and give it a good look. There is a parking area overlooking the lake. The view is perfect. I learned of this yesterday in an email from friend Mark Martell, who works for Audubon Minnesota. Pigeon Lake and its island have been designated as one of Minnesota's Important Bird Areas, a label indicating need for protection and conservation. It's the most spectacular birding site within several hours drive in any direction from the Twin Cities. On the way, along Highway 12, watch for wetlands where Black Terns are breeding. We saw at least a dozen of these birds as we drove through. The photo shows about one-third of the island in Pigeon Lake.
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