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April 1, Steve Kinder and Larry Lade birded Squaw Creek and some of the east side of Nodaway Valley CA.
     Seventeen species of waterfowl were observed at Squaw Creek:  Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Green-winged Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Gadwall, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Ruddy Duck and Hooded Merganser. Shorebirds seen were:  American Golden Plover, Killdeer, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Baird's Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher and Wilson's Snipe.
    Most of the species of waterfowl listed above were also at Nodaway Valley.  Vesper, Savannah and Song Sparrows were observed at Nodaway Valley as well.
    In Mound City we saw our first Northern Rough-winged Swallows.   
    At Squaw Creek Great-tailed Grackles were present.
    Nearing the end of the auto tour loop around Squaw Creek we noticed a large bird about belly deep in the water near the shore.  Upon closer inspection we identified the bird as a Northern Harrier.  Strange, a Northern Harrier standing in water!  We concluded that she was preparing to take a bath and we decided to move on.  As we began to move away she lifted off from the water with something grasped in her talons.  Her cargo was to heavy and fell back into the water.  It was a dead Blue-winged Teal.  Steve and I had never seen anything quite like this before.
    Arriving back in Saint Joseph we decided to take a look around Lake Contrary.  We spotted a group of @ 30 shorebirds feeding on a mud flat of the lake.  Suddenly they were in the air, circling and wheeling this way and that.  Before long they landed again, but not for long!  They were up in the air again.  That usually means one thing.  A raptor was in the area.  Getting out of our vehicle we scanned the sky, and sure enough there it was, a Peregrine Falcon looking for supper.  Also seen at Lake Contrary was a lone Purple Martin.


Larry Lade
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Buchanan County
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