Molly and I took a quick overnight trip down to the Twin Cities, which meant before sunrise yesterday I drove northwest to visit the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. This wildlife refuge / extensive wetlands is about 40 miles NW of Minneapolis, and has a “wildlife drive” which allows one great access. If you go, make certain to arrive at sunrise. You will have better viewing opportunities, and few people around.
Although I was at Sherburne for birding, I had to immediately stop and enjoy the gorgeous prairie grasses. Wild Lupine were in full bloom. This native lupine is smaller than the flower which is normally seen along roadsides in the Northland. The low light / golden hour meant I was presented with a sea of blue, gold and green! Birding had to wait!
After my prairie experience, it was on to birding. The most exciting discovery of the morning was a Trumpeter Swan with newly hatched chicks / cygnets. It was fun to enjoy the young birds enjoy the morning sun.
While watching the Trumpeter Swans, the surrounding reeds suddenly became inundated with new birds. Black Terns and Yellow Headed Blackbirds which I did not even know were present, irrupted into both song and flight. It was fantastic.