More excellent shorebird habitat at Otter Slough, with the additional
rain. There are three large moist soil units harboring large #'s of
shorebirds near the intersection of Conservation Ln. and 870 Express
(both are gravel roads). As one enters Otter Slough CA from Hwy. ZZ
(near the Hwy. ZZ and Hwy. H junction), go 1 mile on County Rd. 675
(gravel) until you reach Conservation Ln. Turn right on Conservation Ln.
and proceed around the main lakes (the lakes will be on your left) until
you reach 870 Express (gravel road). Continuing forward on Conservation
Ln. and good shorebird habitat exists on the right. Turning right on 870 
Express and the shorebird habitat is on your left about 1/4 mile. At this
spot, the birds are VERY close; close enough for binocular views.
Continuing on 870 Express, bearing left where the road becomes County 
Rd. 691, will take you to Pool 22S. You can park on top of the levee
and scope for waders and shorebirds here. The light is best in the evening.
From Pool 22S, continue south on CR 691 a short distance and turn left 
on CR 670. CR 670 is the southern boundary of Otter Slough, basically.
Go east on CR 670 until the first left turn onto a gravel road. This road goes
around a treeline sheltering a ditch. Good habitat exists on the west side
of the treeline, and to a lesser degree, on the east side.
Birds observed near the intersection of Conservation Ln and 870 Express:
Pectoral Sandpiper-220
Gr. Yellowlegs-10
Lesser Yellowlegs-12
Semipalmated Plover-1
Peep, spp-115
     I could identify Least and Semipalmated S'pipers. Studied one peep with
     a substantially longer bill that I am calling a Western)
Black Necked Stilt-23
Other birds:
Dowitcher, spp-4
Ruddy Duck
Solitary S'piper
Black Necked Stilt-60(!)
AND on the way home:
Hwy. A, about 4 miles east of Cherokee Pass. Nearly a dead Ruffed Grouse...
flew about 10 feet in front of my car! Bold flank streaking plainly visible.
Black subterminal tail band noted, as well as a faint white terminal tail band.
Rufous upperparts. Somewhat crested head.Underwings grayish. 
                                                             Doug Willis
                                                             Farmington, MO
                                                             St. Francois County
                                                             tbarnes @
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