Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Birdwatching trails abound on Lake Pepin

Tundra swans can be seen each autumn near Alma, Wis., and Kellogg, Minn.
The National Audubon Society has named the Lake Pepin region an important Birding Area, and for good reason. Magnificent birds – both large and small – can be seen here year around.

Each spring, from March through May, tundra swans and pelicans migrate through the Mississippi Riverway and stop over her. Warblers arrive in early May and congregate at Frontenac State Park and Lake City’s Hok-Si-La City Park.

During summer, the rare peregrine falcon often can be seen gliding on the thermals above Maiden Rock Bluff. Bald eagle sightings also are common over all of Lake Pepin.

The migration runs in reverse come autumn. Tundra swans in particular can be spotted at Rieck’s Lake Park in Alma and the Weaver Bottoms south of Kellogg.

While most birds leave the area for warm weather during winter, bald eagles stay year around. They’re easy to spot in winter, too, with the tree leaves gone. Great locations to see them include Red Wing’s Covill Park, various pull-offs on U.S. Hwy. 61, and Alma’s lock and dam.

Learn about trail guidebooks available in the Hittin’ the Trail series.