Verdict: Post-Apocalyptic Mordor Tundra Hellscape.
Recommended Gear: Snowshoes, Lifejacket, Waders, Wool.

Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine Counties have been hit hard.
Snow-depths of 16-20 inches are being reported around the birding
zone, with higher amounts to the south. Drifts are ranging from 3 to 6
feet. It has been extremely windy, so depth varies wildly.

Higher up on the Coteau, snow depths in excess of 20 inches, and
nearing 2.5 feet, are being measured around Gary and Clear Lake, SD.
All creeks that flow into Lac qui Parle County come downhill from the
Coteau, so judging by the 2-week forecast, we should anticipate
flooding by the last weekend in April. More snow is forecast for
Wednesday and it doesn't look like it'll hit 50 till around April 23.

Expect reduced access to low-lying sites, dirt roads turning to peanut
butter, and little (if any) viable shoreline on the larger sloughs and

Flooded fields will be our best bet for shorebirds.

There has been very little northward movement this month. Juncos,
Redpolls, and Rough-Legged Hawks are still here in great numbers.
There are plenty of ducks and geese (also pelicans and herons) above
the dam at Lac qui Parle, but none of the smaller sloughs or lakes
have thawed yet.

The day before the storm hit, the West Branch of the Lac qui Parle
River was already cresting and beginning to flood over the dirt road
to Prairie Marsh Farm, south of 212. There is also a chasm opening up
there. Those attending the potluck will likely have to access the farm
from the back way, by driving south 2 miles on Hwy 75 and turning west
on CR 12.

I'll survey the main sites in our territory on April 24 or 25th, and
report back with more specific details. But I just want to put this
out there now: 4-wheel drive is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED this year. Please
consider networking and carpooling now if that's not an option for

There will likely still be snow on the ground. On the plus side, there
won't be any leaves, we're likely to get Redpolls and Juncos and
Rough-Legs, and these freak conditions will provide us with an
opportunity to gather valuable data pertaining to migration patterns
in an increasingly chaotic climate.

Jason M. Frank
Founder and Vice President,
Luddite Ornithologists League (LOL)
>From the Lovely Land of Lac qui Parle

Sent from my invisible blue Homing Pigeon

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