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Castlewood S.P. Saturday morning ----
Had 4 vireo species and 12 of warbler, including singing MAGNOLIA,
YELLOW-THROATED, CERULEAN, AMERICAN REDSTART, PROTHONOTARY, KENTUCKY and
YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT.  Also saw 2 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS and had close looks
at 2 RED-SHOULDERED HAWKS.  Wild Turkeys were gobbling and I heard a
YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO.

One LITTLE BLUE HERON was in the creek not far from the HQ bldg and, in the
same area, there were vocalizing LEAST and GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHERs.

I could swear I heard a King Rail along the Meramec, near the heronry, but I
never did find a bird, so I'm unsure of what happened.

=====================

Later, I stopped at M. A. Auer's Grasshopper Sparrow field in Chesterfield
Valley, and heard lots of grasshopper-like buzzing, but it was coming from
grasshoppers.  The only sparrows I saw were SAVANNAHs.

=====================

The West Alton Boat Ramp area was nearly devoid of bird life, but I saw 1
each of ORCHARD and BALTIMORE ORIOLE.

I almost stepped on 4 snakes resting quietly on the side of the gravel road
and we startled each other nicely.  The picture of BANDED WATER SNAKE in the
Natl Audubon guide to reps and amphibs seems to match closest to what I saw,
but I'm not sure of that either.  I'm beginning to think I should carry a
camera as standard field equipment.

=====================

Riverlands in the late afternoon was birdy, and I think Charlene Malone has
posted the highlights.  I saw also SORA, SPOTTED SANDPIPER, WILSON'S SNIPE
and FORSTER'S TERN.  I watched a CASPIAN TERN work carefully to swallow a
fish about as big as his head and neck combined.  After downing it the
bird's neck was engorged and he seemed to struggle during takeoff.



94 species for the day.



Mike Thelen
St. Louis County, MO
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