Observers this past weekend reported more than 5,000 Tundra Swans massed in the Mississippi River near Brownsville, Minnesota. That's south on Highway 61, near LaCrosse, Wis., about a 2.5 hour drive from Minneapolis. Between Brownsville and south to Reno, Minnesota, are three viewing decks. Also check the river at Alma, Wisconsin (from the Minnesota side).
The birds move from their Canadian nesting grounds to wintering areas on Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The river is a place for the birds to rest and refuel. They will be here until driven out by rough weather. Thursday might do it for some of the birds. Friday through Sunday are forecast to be much better days. The birds are worth a trip if you're looking for a weekend adventure.
Take Highway 61 out of Hastings. Look for Bald Eagles along the river from Red Wing south. For information call Wings Over Alma at 608-685-3303.