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Yesterday, we decided to bird Swan Lake NWR with the ultimate goal of
stopping by the "Big Sit" and offering encouragement and M & Ms to the
participants.  They didn't need our encouragement (but the M&Ms didn't last
long!) as they were already at 62 birds and it was only 1:30p !!   We had
great fun visiting with everyone and watching for about an hour to see if we
could add anything to the total.  Decided to return home to Columbia by way
of Thomas Hill Reservoir.   We only got as far as the northwest side, at the
access point at the end of Gaslight Road.  The back end of that arm was FULL
of AW Pelicans, most of the dabbling ducks, coots, DC Cormorants,  a large
flock of Greater White-fronted Geese, Ring-billed, Franklin's and
Bonaparte's Gulls.  Also along that shoreline were probably 10-15
Yellowlegs, a few Pectorals, a couple of Dowitchers and a dozen Killdeer
(getting a little out of range to ID anything else).

The lake must have been extremely low most of the summer.  I am used to that
lake coming right up to the parking area, limiting your view around the
corner.  However, there is now extensive dry shoreline, covered with
grasses,weeds, etc.  allowing you to walk back around the corner and get
better views.  The easiest walking is closest to the shore; best down in the
afternoon so sun is behind you.
Jean Leonatti
Boone County
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