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 lakes. 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 you. 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) jmfran...@gmail.com >From the Lovely Land of Lac qui Parle https://turnstonecreations.smugmug.com/ Sent from my invisible blue Homing Pigeon ---- Join or Leave mou-net: http://lists.umn.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mou-net Archives: http://lists.umn.edu/archives/mou-net.html