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Noel's Quad 30 Journal

Monday, June 14th
Blackduck, Minnesota


The Blackduck route is my kind of route - lots of forest, back roads, no barking dogs, 16 warbler species, and only 1 car, which I know makes some of you jealous because of the heavy traffic that must be endured on some BBS routes. This route started fairly close to where yesterday's Cass Lake route ended so I knew what to expect from a habitat perspective, but the route had never been surveyed before. This became evident when I drove it since the route shown had me following one private resort road for a short distance and followed a unmaintained sand road for some distance that had 2 huge water-filled potholes where it crosed a wetland that I decided to risk. I came out the other side no worse for the experience except for some mud thrown all over my Saturn Vue.

The highlight of the survey was not avian but mammalian. As I emerged from dense woods into a recent clear-cut, 2 wolves hauled "..." quite close in front of me before cutting into the brush on the far side of the clearcut. Goose bump city! I'm always amazed when I see a wolf - they are tall!

It was nice to tally a few boreal bird species at a couple of black spruce bogs and wetlands that weren't all that huge. The only field birds seen were at the last stop, which was adjacent to a cattle pasture. The temperature was 54 at the start and overcast; these conditions remained the same for the almost 5 hours it took to complete the survey. I had ten drops of moisture and a very light mist at about the half-way point for 2 stops. Mosquitoes were a constant also but were not that bad in relation to what I hear they are like in WI. Enjoyed huge stands of blooming corn lily (Clintonia), Canada mayflower, starflower, dwarf cornel, and other northern wildflowers through the route.

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