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.
Many species of waterfowl can be found in Minnesota right now as gentle weather moves migrant birds north. The key is finding open water, most likely easier to do in a week or so. Wells Lake just west of Faribault is where Jude and I found birds on Thursday. We watched thousands of Greater White-fronted Geese loaf on ice edges on that lake. With them were smaller numbers of Canada Geese, half a dozen species of duck, Hooded and Common Megansers, and one each of coot and Pied-billed Grebe. We watched the White-fronts for about an hour, the nearest birds to our parked car about 100 feet away. We drove south on I-35 to the Highway 60 exit at Faribault, drove a short distance east once off the Interstate, then turned left on County Road 38. The birds were on the right side of that road about two miles from Highway 60. There is ample room for pull-off parking at the viewing site. At mid-afternoon, the geese rose from the ice to head west in three swirling flocks. We tried unsuccessfully to follow them. Here is one of the photos we took at Wells Lake. White-fronted Geese are named for the small patch of white on the face. Another identifying mark is the dark stripes on the belly of the bird. Their call is distinctly different than that of the Canada Geese.
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