The Quad 30 Campaign

3352 Knollwood
West Bend, WI 53095
noel.cutright@we-energies.com


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Noel's Quad 30 Journal

Wednesday, June 9th
Tenney, Minnesota

 

I was awoken this morning by a bird song about 30 minutes before my alarm, which was set for 4 a.m. At first I thought it was a caged bird singing from the room next to me that was occupied by a Mexican family. Now fully awake, I got up and poked my head outside. It turned out to be a Western Kingbird calling from a large cottonwood near a street light on the outskirts of Breckinridge, MN. I needed more sleep but then figured it would be really tough to wake up in another 30 minutes so I stayed up.

As I drove south to my starting point, I could see some lightning to the south, and in about 10 minutes it was raining. As I turned off onto the gravel road that would be my constant companion for the next 4.5 hours, it was sprinkling lightly. I've never counted on so many consecutive stops when it was raining. It never completely stopped until stop 22, but it was never hard enough for me to sit it out in the car, and the birds didn't seem to mind. Winds were light, but I did have 3 layers of clothes on for the first time during the Quad 30 since the temperature was in the mid-50s.

I ended up with 61 species, which is very close to the average for the last 3 years the route was run in 1994-96. Sparrow counts were down considerably - Song, Savannah, and Vesper, but Bobolinks were up. I only found Black Tern at 1 wetland and the count was 7, whereas the 3 previous counts averaged 26. I couldn't find a pigeon and crow numbers were lower than expected, which has generally been the case on the MN routes.

The small scattered woodlots were more productive than in the past with higher numbers of Great Crested Flycatcher and Red-eyed Vireo and I had a single downy, Ovenbird and Scarlet Tanager, all 3 new for the route.

At a cafe outside Fergus Falls, I ordered my standard 2 pancakes and coffee, and the waitress asked if I really wanted 2 since they were plate-sized. The price for 1 was about what I normally pay for 2 so I said ok, let's go with 1. It came and it was huge, and on top were 2 eyes (2"-diameter pancakes), a smiling mouth pancake, and even a tongue pancake hanging out of the mouth. The skinny, wrinkled waitress and I had a good chuckle over the cook's handiwork. And the good blueberry syrup was a bonus.


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