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I went over to Bois D'Arc for awhile after classes yesterday in hopes of finding a few sparrows for my year list.  My main target was harris sparrow, I had seen one out there early this winter and was made aware by others that they should be more common than I originally thought so I was also trying to see how many I could find. I had one dark morph red tailed off 160 on the way there. highlights were:

the road that the shooting range is off of in the section where there are brush piles on both sides:
HARRIS SPARROW- 3 juv.
BREWERS BLACKBIRD- 2 in a flock of redwinged
also had song, whitecrowned, white throated, field, american tree, fox, swamp, and a few lincoln's

Shooting range archery area:
HARRIS SPARROW- at least 2 adults (they were moving around alot)

Today I headed to Lake Springfield which was dead last week, but was hopping today highlights were:

Red Shouldered Hawk-1
Bald Eagle-2 adults
Canvasback-2
Mute Swan-1 i am sure that this bird is one from the ABA accepted flock in the great lakes...wink wink just like the chinese geese and greylags that hang around the boat launch ; -)
other ducks included GW teal, gadwall, shoveler, mallard and hooded merg

In a big flock of canadas in the field I found a couple subspecies including quite a few lesser (almost half the flock, probably with many integrades) as well as 6-7 RICHARDSON'S canada geese, these birds stood out easily in the flock of larger birds with their shorter bills, tiny size as well as high pitched calls.  I don't know how common these birds are in the winter out here but my field guides say they only come through in migration.  I have never seen either lesser or richardson's in st. louis where I am from so it was pretty cool.
I also saw the harlan's hawk again on the way to the lake

I had my most embarassing birding moment yesterday too.  I was looking at some meadowlarks in a field and head a mess of crows going crazy down the road.  I hoped in the car to go see what was going on, I thought maybe they had found an owl or something.  Well anyway I located the thicket they were in but could not see them, so I went running down toward it and right as I got close to the thicket i thought I head someone yell, I turned and there was a hunter sitting under a tree, then I made the painful realization.  I went over to talk to him and found out that he was crow hunting and the sound was a recording that he used to bring them in! I felt so dumb! Hope you all get a good laugh out of this one! They're seeing lots of uncommon gulls in St. louis, I'm sure there are some at table rock or stockton, just something to think about. later

Matt Andrews
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