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I went looking for Kansas City-area shorebirding spots yesterday
morning. I started at Cooley Lake CA (SE Clay Co) and ended at Settles'
Ford CA (SE Cass Co).

At Cooley Lake, the water levels in the pool in front of the viewing
platform are down and mud is beginning to appear. There is still a lot
of dead vegetation left over from last year (when there wasn't any
water in that pool), so looking for birds mixed in can be tedious--but
there are some birds in there. I found about 10 Solitary Sandpipers, 2
Baird's Sandpipers, and 11 Pectoral Sandpipers. I didn't see the waders
that were there a couple weeks ago.

At Settles' Ford CA, Unit 1, Pool 1-3 was covered with Great Egrets and
a handful of Little Blues. There were some yellowlegs in that pool, but
there is too much vegetation and the birds are too far out to make out
much else. I walked the levee on the south side of Pool 1-3 until I got
to Pool 1-5. This spot has lots of receding water (particularly on the
west end), and some good shorebird habitat. There were maybe 100
individual shorebirds there with some nice variety: Greater & Lesser
Yellowlegs, Solitary, Spotted, Semipalmated, Least, Pectoral, Stilt
Sandpipers and 1 Wilson's Phalarope. Also about 300 Am. White Pelicans.

Best viewing of this pool would be in the late afternoon or evening. I
was there at noon, and the sun angle and heat shimmer were combining to
make it very difficult to identify the little critters.

Kristi Mayo
Kearney, MO (Clay Co.)
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