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myotis

help with potential visit to Sax-Zim

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Hi,

I was wondering if people out there could give me some advice. I have always wanted to go see the Sax-Zim bog area, but for one reason or another have never been. I have some extra time over the next couple weeks and was considering driving up there and have some questions. My car is fairly small and doesn't do well on poorly maintained gravel roads and could also easily get stuck in the snow too. How are the roads through the area? Second, any tips on what areas to hit? I'd appreciate it

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Hey myotis welcome to FM. I hope the stfcatfish will give us a update cause he mentioned that he was going to run down there and with the last snowfall it would be tough with a small car to go down all the roads but most of the main one's are plowed. a lot of the shots that you see or pictures of birds can be found on the tar roads. If you are looking for a certain type of bird you can check out MOU HSOforum and see if there have been any sightings and they will tell you where. Jonny and Jay would be better on specific roads.

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I usually drive a Suzuki Esteem on my bog trips. Its small, its light and gets stuck easy in the snow. I have no problems getting where I need to go though as long as there isn't a blizzard in the forecast you should be fine too. The roads are generally well maintained, just drive slow on the back rds.

My favorite areas of the bog are S. Admiral Rd, McDavitt Rd, Stone Lake Rd and Hwy 7. Thats the usual area I stick too, but thats a small part of the bog and there are many other places to check out too. Check out the Minnesota Ornithologist Unions HSOforum for recent bird sightings and if you google Sax/Zim bog you should be able to find Mike Hendrickson's blog. He guides birders in the area and posts a lot of information as well. You should be able to find a map of the bog online too. There are feeding areas set up down towards Meadowland where you can observe birds too on private property as well.

Is there a particular bird your trying to add to your list?

If the sun holds out till tomorrow, I will probably be making a trip down there and can give a current update on whether or not S. Admiral has been plowed.

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Thanks for all the tips everyone. Jonny_Redhorse, that map is really helpful. I guess if there was a particular species that I would like to see, it would be a hawk owl. I know they are not always regulars up there, but I have never seen one of those. It would be nice to see and have a chance at photographing others that aren't typical for the northern Twin Cities area like pine or evening grosbeaks, crossbills, three toed woodpecker, Great Greys. I have even hear that some think that it might become a good year for boreal owls. Either way, I have always thought it would be fun to go check it out.

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I have seen two Boreal owls this year. There are a few around but being nocturnal owls they will be harder to find. I saw one last week on my way home from work at 125:30 a.m. It was sitting on the highway another one earlier this year was a road kill. There is a hawk owl that has been seen frequently a few miles south of cotton on Hwy 53. I tried to locate it once but wasn't successful. The feeding station on S. Admiral Rd has gray jays, red polls and Boreal chickadees as frequent visitors. I saw them today. I think if you look around you would find some black back or American three toed woodpeckers too. Look for trees that are stripped of their bark and get out and listen. They are easiest to locate by their tapping. It will be interesting to see how many Great Grays are sighted now after the big snow, but I have been seeing them fairly frequently. Watch MOU, they have the most up to date sightings.

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Either Duluth, Virgina or Hibbing would be my guess. Duluth might be a good option if you wanted to spend a couple days. You could bird the bog and the lake. I'm not sure if Cotton or Meadowlands has any motels. I have a feeling they might be pretty scary if they did.

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There's a motel right on Hwy. 53 as you come through Eveleth, but I don't know the name of it. I know X-Tackleman has stayed there, so he may remember. It's about 15 minutes from the northern end of the bog. If you stay in Duluth at one of the motels on the north end out by the Mall or in Hermantown, you'll still only be half an hour from the southern end of the bog.

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Hibbing is about a half hour from the north end of the bog......Duluth is the same approx from the south end....Not sure if there's any place to stay in Meadowlands(upstairs of the "Rocket" maybe grin)....Eveleth is also an option....larger towns all have sufficient lodging....

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