Birding Dakota County

I headed down to Dakota County and stopped at one of my favorite spots, the Empire Substation. While there a male kestrel (digi-scoped above with my Vortex binos) did a food pass with a female.

The substation is an interesting place. For those who watch anime and have seen "Lain" this area reminds you of that series because of the constant hum of the electrical wires. Besides being an eerie electronic place, it's great for sparrows and I must say that there was a butt load of clay-colored sparrows in. They were all trying to claim top perches and sing their buzzy little song. Another fun aspect of this spot is that you can hear both eastern and western meadowlarks singing at the same time.

For those interested in going from the Twin Cities, take hwy 52 south into Dakota Co. Turn right onto 200th street. Take 200th to Clayton and turn left. As soon as you turn left stop at the clump of trees on the right, this is a great spot for indigo buntings (didn't see any today but it's still a little early). I did find palm, yellow-rumped, Nashville and black-throated green warblers here today. Take Clayton to where it "T's" off and you will go right. This will be 210th street and it will turn into a gravel road. Drive until you see the chain link fenced area in a farm field on your right and that's the substation. It's a great spot for birding by ear.

Other birds found in Dakota Co today include:
Lincoln's sparrow
solitary sandpiper
blue-winged teal
Swainson's hawk
blue-gray gnatcatchers
eastern bluebirds
brown thrashers
chimney swifts
and a surprise mammal: red fox

I spoke with Gordon at Adventure, the calendars are being printed at this very moment. I can't wait until they are here!!