***Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect. Contact [email protected] by Wednesday, June 9.***
Join the Minnesota Driftless Chapter for grassland birdwatching at Prairie Creek Wildlife Management Area. We will be welcomed by Craig Koester, who helped create the site from a portion of his family's farm in 2013. Birdwatching will be led by local expert Gerry Hoekstra. Morning is the best time for bird watching, so we will have about two hours to walk and observe bird life. After that there will be time for you to explore the prairie and oak savanna on your own or with Craig.
Directions: 13371 Lamb Ave., Dennison, MN, one mile west and one mile south of Dennison. Google Maps drops a pin for that address in the middle of the site so here’s a Google Maps link that drops a pin at the parking lot located in the northwest corner of the site. For more directions and more information about this remarkable grassland, see the Friends of Prairie Creek website (https://prairiecreekwma.wixsite.com/fopc/directions).
What to bring: Leaders of the event will have scopes, but participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars and scopes as well. We will be hiking in prairie grass on moderately rolling topography, and there are no maintained trails, so participants should wear suitable boots or shoes. Bring water, snacks, insect repellant and sunscreen. There are no restroom facilities on the WMA.
The site includes 460 acres of native prairie, native oak savanna, and planted grassland. It is a major nesting site for grassland birds, including Bobolinks (one of the great prairie singers), Grasshopper Sparrows, the soaring Northern Harrier, and the state endangered Henslow's Sparrow. Plant life includes Prairie Smoke, Golden and Heartleaf Alexanders, Hoary Puccoon, Spiderwort, Pussytoes, Late Horse Gentian, the major prairie grasses, and much more. Located at the border of Rice and Goodhue Counties, it is one of the largest native prairie and grassland sites in the area. To the west is native hardwood forest stretching down along Prairie Creek to Big Woods State Park, just a few miles away.
13371 Lamb Ave
Dennison, MN 55018
Google map and directions