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Friday, February 15, 2013

Winter Trails Report

Detroit Lakes
The Winter Wonderland Snowmobile Trails running through the Detroit Lakes area received 15-18 inches of snow February 10 & 11. Groomers have been out all week preparing the trails for this weekend. They are currently in excellent shape, with a 10-15 inch base. Over 250 miles of trails in the Detroit Lakes area offer views of rolling prairie to secluded woodlands with abundant wildlife to snowmobilers. Cross country skiers are also enjoying excellent conditions on trails just to the north. These trails have a 10 inch base on average. 

Pelican Rapids/Ottertail/Battle Lake
Maplewood State Park  received nearly 2 feet of snow last weekend, leaving 3 feet of snow on the ground! Grooming has been delayed by the heavy, wet snow, but all trails that are groomed by the weekend are expected to be in very good to excellent condition. At this time, conditions are fair for skiing and very good for snowmobiling. The trails have a base ranging from 10-16 inches deep. Expect some areas of drifting, especially in the open areas. Please drive with caution and watch for icy patches. The nearby Otter Tail Country Trails offer 140 miles of snowmobile trails. These trails should be fully groomed prior to the weekend, at which time they should be in very good to excellent condition. The trails have a base averaging 6 inches system-wide, with nearly a foot and a half of snow on the ground. And at Glendalough State Park, excellent conditions are reported for skiing. The base of the trails measures roughly 3 inches. These trails should be fully groomed by the weekend. Don't miss their Candlelight Ski event this Saturday, February 16. 

posted by Nick Leonard at
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Northwest Minnesota Birding Report- Thursday, February 14, 2013

This is the Northwest Minnesota Birding Report for Thursday, February 14, 2013 sponsored by the Detroit Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce. You may also hear this report by calling (218)847-5743 or 1-800-433-1888.
 
This has been an interesting week in the northwest, including a snowstorm, some cold weather, and some mild weather. Both birds and birders have been busy. Of interest, it appears that a mini-irruption of northern owls occurred last week in Roseau County. Reports since Sunday show diminished numbers, but of course Sunday was stormy so that may have been weather related.
 
Brad and Dee Ehlers in Otter Tail County reported 14 RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS near Amor, and a male COMMON MERGANSER at the inlet to Ottertail Lake on February 11. Seven RED CROSSBILLS were seen near the diversion dam north of Fergus Falls.
 
In Mahnomen County, Kristy May reported lots of feeder birds and also both CEDAR WAXWINGS and BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS this week. A RING-NECKED PHEASANT was seen north of Waubun on US 59 on February 13, and a flock of SNOW BUNTINGS was along MN 113 west of Waubun on February 9.
 
SNOWY OWL was seen by Sandy Aubol a half miles east of Sherack along CR 21 in Polk County on February 9. She reported on February 12, that two adult BALD EAGLES were at the East Grand Forks nest site. Twelve BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were seen in East Grand Forks.
 
GREAT GRAY OWL was seen at Agassiz NWR in Marshall County on February 13 by Sean Lofgren near Parker Pool on the south side of CR 7. Lynda Knutsen reported that two SHARP-TAILED GROUSE have been visiting the headquarters feeders along with the usual winter feeder birds and several PINE GROSBEAKS. Just west of the refuge , Cliff Steinhauer reported 22 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE, a BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, 25 SNOW BUNTINGS, twenty COMMON REDPOLLS, and 4 EVENING GROSBEAKS  at his feeders this week.
 
Beth Siverhus reported three NORTHERN HAWK OWLS in Beltrami County on February 9, along MN 72 at mile markers 42, 49 and 50. A BARRED OWL was observed a few miles north of Kelliher.
 
In Kittson County, Larry Wilebski reported SNOWY OWLS between Orleans and Humboldt on February 11. A GRAY PARTRIDGE was also in the area.
 
Roseau County seemed to be at the center of a small irruption of GREAT GRAY OWLS late last week with as many as 20 being reported, most from a small area north of Roseau. Since Sunday, it appears that the numbers have greatly dropped off or the owls have dispersed widely. Sandy Aubol saw a RED-TAILED HAWK north of Roseau along MN 310 on February 9. Gregg Knutsen found several GREAT GRAY OWLS northeast of Warroad on February 10.
 
In Lake of the Woods County, on February 9, Beth Siverhus found a GREAT GRAY OWL just east of Blueberry Hill campground along MN 11. 4 NORTHERN HAWK OWLS were seen along MN 72  and one was at Pitt along MN 11. On the 10th, Jeff Birchem saw two GREAT GRAY OWLS on CR 8 three miles south of Long Point. Two large flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS were seen on February 9 east of Williams along CR 11.
 
Thanks to Beth Siverhus, Brad and Dee Ehlers, Cliff Steinhauer, Gregg and Lynda Knutsen, Kristy May, Larry Wilebski, Leon Thoreson, and Sandy Aubol for their reports.
 
Please report bird sightings to Jeanie Joppru by email, no later than Thursday each week, at ajjoppru@mncable.net OR call the Detroit Lakes Chamber's toll free number: 1-800-542-3992. Detroit Lakes area birders please call 847-9202. Please include the county where the sighting took place. The next scheduled update of this report is Thursday, February 21, 2013.
 

posted by Nick Leonard at
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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Upcoming Area Events

Polar Fest 
Over one week packed full of events to celebrate winter. Enjoy the One Lunger 100 Vintage Snowmobile Races, a presentation by Polar Explorer Will Steger at the Historic Holmes Theatre, a Polar Plunge into Detroit Lake, the Freeze Your Buns 5K, spectacular fireworks at the beach, Ice Tee Golf Tourney, theatre performances, curling bonspiels, hockey tourneys and Polaritaville Dance! 

Frazee Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous
On Saturday, February 23, enjoy the Frazee Third Crossing Sled Dog Rendezvous. Watch multiple races with a mass start for all classes beginning at noon at the Hostel Hornet. That evening, head to the Holiday Beach Bar & Grill in Detroit Lakes for live music by "Boomtown." 

posted by Nick Leonard at
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